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Melric Takes VKS into the Field!

July 5, 2021

Melric Takes VKS into the Field!

With over 40 years of experience in sales, merchandising, e-commerce, and customer service, Melric is a turnkey strategic partner for companies looking to increase the visibility of their product on the Canadian market. Melric accomplishes this goal with reliability, punctuality, and intelligence.

Melric’s merchandising business is constantly on the go and out in the field. Unlike manufacturing companies which are located in fixed areas, Melric’s merchandising department predominantly serves in hardware and home centers across the province of Quebec. Employees build and maintain product displays in various stores while ensuring that products are at the right place at the right time.

To meet their standards of excellence, Melric uses our work instruction software to seamlessly connect with their remote workers, share key knowledge, and track quality data. In this way, Melric employees go from site to site with years of experience and knowledge conveniently stored in a tablet. This enables Melric to maintain a strong foundation of experience and expertise while maintaining flexibility and mobility within their workforce.

We had the privilege of discussing how Melric uses VKS in the field service industry with their very own Owner/President, Melanie Letham, and the Chief of Operations, Pierre Olivier. Together, they outlined how using modern technology is advancing the capabilities of their business and paving the way for others within the industry.

The 3 Field Service Benefits Melric Experiences with VKS

Using VKS Enterprise has brought 3 major benefits to Melric’s merchandising operations and helped them achieve some incredible feats. These benefits are:

  • Complete traceability and visibility
  • Efficient sharing of expertise and knowledge
  • Increased teamwork with their remote employees

Each of these benefits is deeply rooted in the adoption of digital technology and intelligence. In every modern industry, establishing powerful connections with customers and employees is key to success. These strong connections make it possible to share information and data at an incredible pace, resulting in better coordination, communication, and knowledge.

Benefit #1: Complete Traceability and Visibility

incremental approach

Before integrating VKS into their operations, Melric used Microsoft PowerPoint for their work instructions. But there was a problem with this method. There was no way of knowing if their employees were looking at the instructions, let alone following them. In this way, there was always the potential for employees to mistakenly perform the wrong task or simply not perform the required work.

Now with VKS, Melric observes and tracks the progress of their employees’ work in real-time. This enables Melric to have complete visibility into their operation, no matter the distance.

“I 100% love that we can see our employees’ progress at all times. In our industry, visibility is huge. When they start entering the information on their tablets, I’m able to see what they’ve done and how they’ve done it. For being a remote field service team, that’s really good.”

Melanie Letham, Melric Owner/President

Once an action or task is finished, Melric employees take a picture and mark the task complete in VKS. The completion of the task is then directly sent to Melanie and Pierre and the information is reviewed and stored in the database. In this way, all information and quality data are recorded in VKS, ready to be reviewed and verified by Melric and their customers.

Sharing Report Data with Customers

This complete visibility is extremely beneficial for Melric’s customers. As Melric’s employees perform their work and capture data within VKS, Melric can share this data with their clients when needed. This enables Melric to provide their customers with a level of traceability rarely seen in the field service industry.

“With VKS, our customers have a guarantee that the service is being accomplished to their standards. We provide data that our competitors cannot provide. That's why we promote VKS on our website. If our clients want to see what we’ve done or how we’ve done it, the data is readily available with visual evidence. For us and our customers, this level of traceability is key.”

Pierre Olivier, Melric Chief Operations Officer

The ability to capture and share data is an incredible strength for Melric and others in the field service industry. With readily available data that confirms work has been accomplished to their exact standards, Melric provides security and confidence for their customers.

Melric is paving the way for a smarter and technologically relevant merchandising service. Smarty digital tools like our work instructions enable Melric to close the distance inherent to field service and create stable pathways for an advanced distribution of data and knowledge.

Benefit #2: Efficient Sharing of Expertise and Knowledge

As a merchandising specialist representing companies in the lawn and garden industry, Melric’s merchandising business is seasonal. For this reason, turnover and gaps in applied skills are real concerns. Getting all their employees up to speed in time for the new season is incredibly important. That’s why they needed a solution that allows them to quickly share their expertise and equip their workers with the right skills and know-how.

“With VKS, we can distribute clear directions that our employees can easily follow. We go into stores and record a team executing a task, and then publish that video through VKS. So when our employees log in that day or when they enter the store to perform their weekly task, they have a clear view of what they need to do.”

Pierre Olivier, Melric Chief Operations Officer

With the great distance between Melric headquarters and some of their employees, training was difficult. How do you train employees that you’ve never met? How can they perform physical tasks if they’ve never seen the task performed in real life?

Melric has found the answer to all of these questions by using our work instruction software to facilitate real-time learning and in-process directives. With VKS, training is as simple as following step-by-step instructions. Each guidebook lays out the fundamental steps needed to accomplish the specific task. With a system that guides employees through their work, Melric streamlines their training process and gets their employees ready for the new season.

Melanie and Pierre both noted that their employees --some of whom are approaching their 70’s-- enjoy using VKS with its intuitive and interactive interface.

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Enhanced Comprehension and Confidence with Visuals

People shop with their eyes first. For this reason, the quality of Melric’s work is intrinsically tied to the look of the final product and service. The displays and product placements need to be built and maintained in a specific way. There can be no room for misinterpretation.

When it comes to accurately sharing physical process knowledge, nothing beats the power of high-quality visuals. By incorporating pictures and videos into their guidebooks, Melric employees have benefitted from an enhanced comprehension of their tasks and goals.

“VKS helps us transfer our expertise to our workers through easy-to-follow guidebooks with pictures and videos. Things change pretty fast around here and we have a high turnover, so real-life pictures and videos are great for training and directing our employees.”

Melanie Letham, Melric Owner/President

With the enhanced comprehension that only visuals can give, Melric employees always understand their tasks and responsibilities. This enables their team of dedicated employees to face each day with confidence, knowing that they are doing the right thing at every moment.

Benefit #3: Increased Teamwork with their Remote Employees

As a company that serves retail establishments across the province of Quebec, staying connected with every employee presents a few challenges. At any given moment, there are at least 30 representatives going around various stores and taking care of building and inspecting displays. Without a digital solution, coordinating with each employee can be challenging as a result.

By using our work instruction software, Melric is now able to bridge the gap between their remote workers. Apart from being used to capture data and share key knowledge, our software serves as a potent method for team building as well.

“We love using VKS for its human component. For our reps, it is a tool that makes them feel connected. Our employees tell us that VKS makes them feel more like a part of the team.”

Pierre Olivier, Melric Chief Operations Officer

After connecting to Melanie and Pierre through the VKS platform, employees then have a direct conduit to relay and receive information through their reports. When faced with an issue or a problem, Melric employees report the matter directly within VKS. Everything is done through one program and one mode of communication.

Pierre has also begun to use himself as a model in their guidebooks. He takes pictures and videos of himself performing the appropriate tasks. He explained to us that this has brought positive feedback from their employees. They enjoy seeing a familiar face instead of a simple cut-and-dry set of instructions. Employees comment on the videos and the experience is proving to increase worker engagement. This has helped Melric facilitate the relationship and camaraderie with their remote workers; increasing overall collaboration.

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Melric employees look forward to using VKS because they feel engaged within the company vision and that’s powerful to say the least.

The 911 Button

With a short peak season that lasts only about 12 weeks in the summer, Melric’s merchandising department needs to respond to major issues quickly and efficiently. Communication and teamwork need to be fast.

In the case of emergencies, Melric has implemented a unique feature within VKS which they call the “911 button”. This can be used to notify headquarters of issues like diminishing supply or any other matters that impede work from being done in its normal course. Melric employees use this feature to immediately send a message to the appropriate personnel. Then Melric and their employees can solve the problem together, further facilitating the ease and efficacy of teamwork over long distances.

With VKS, Melric employees are never alone. Instead, they are part of a vast network of other people ready to work together and quickly overcome the distance between their locations.

Going the Distance with Field Service and Smart Solutions

Companies like Melric are trendsetters within their industry. They are adopting modern technology and smart practices that make a difference for their workers and their customers.

“A lot of our industry is fairly old school and we’re taking steps to become part of the new school. We recommend VKS to our partners and companies we work with.”

Melanie Letham, Melric Owner/President

As Melric continues to grow, VKS is right beside them finding new innovative ways to connect and share with people out in the field. Through all the challenges that field service can bring, Melric is overcoming them with a strong foundation of intelligence and teamwork, carrying their expertise and vision to any location.