One reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has forced unprecedented, rapid changes to the way we live – at home, in our communities and at work. Technology has been an important enabler as we all navigate these changes, whether it is to get needed food and supplies, connect with our friends and loved ones or help us perform our jobs remotely.
At P&G, we are tapping into cutting-edge technology as we take care of each other and serve consumers who count on our brands and the benefits they provide.
“Technology is more important than ever as we support the business and help our business unit partners ensure the production, distribution and availability of our brands,” said CIO Vittorio Cretella, who leads P&G’s Information Technology team, working in close coordination with Global Business Services, the Company’s shared services organization.
Enabling Remote Working
Technology is helping our people continue to do their jobs in a challenging situation, no matter where they are. Based on our experience in China, P&G further invested in the Company’s remote, cloud-based communications and collaboration platforms ahead of the COVID-19 crisis hitting elsewhere in the world. These tools help ensure that Procter & Gamble employees no matter where they are located – in plants, sales offices or homes – can remain focused on serving consumers.
“We have been able to support our people working remotely, with positive feedback and an increase in adoption of our video collaboration capabilities, which we expect will stay beyond the crisis,” Cretella said.
Leveraging Data and Advanced Analytics
Technology is also helping us get our customers what they need. Data platforms and machine learning capabilities are proving especially valuable, providing us with the visibility needed to cope with new consumption patterns and supply chain changes.
“Our data scientists and business analysts are combining signals from existing and new data sources to derive predictions that our sales and supply teams can act upon to help ensure the flow of materials and supply of our products where they’re needed most,” Cretella said.
And the team turned to analytics tools when social distancing measures in many countries triggered demand for online shopping. We combined our consumer insight of online shopping patterns with data from online retail websites to inform our Sales and Product Supply teams.
The data and analytics tools are especially helpful for account managers and sales teams, who have been unable to go into stores to physically assess promotional activities or monitor and respond to out-of-stock issues, for example.
“The systems are helping us verify, approve and pay for promotional activities, even replacing physical verification with time-stamped pictures,” Cretella said.