This App Is Changing How Sari-Sari Store Owners and URC Distributors Operate

URC's Sales Force Automation App is making life better for those in the sari-sari industry

JG Summit Holdings’ efforts to become the leading digital conglomerate in the country aren’t confined to its corporate offices, industrial plants, buildings and malls: Its digital revolution is causing a ripple effect nationwide, with changes being felt even in barangays far away from the big cities.

One particular sector undergoing rapid change is one that is deeply rooted with the Filipino identity: the sari-sari store industry. According to the Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners, there are about 1.3 million sari-sari stores in the country, ubiquitous in the city and even in remote rural areas. Thanks to their high number and wide reach, it is estimated that these sari-sari stores make up around 75 percent of the sales in the fast-moving consumer goods market. But who makes sure the individual stores are stocked with your favorite URC snacks and drinks? That’s the job of the distributor, the men and women who connect sari-sari store owners with the producers of consumer goods.  

The Sales Force Automation app is simplifying sales and ordering processes for both URC distributors and their clients.

While it may have seemed unlikely even just a few years ago, digital technology has already made a major dent in the sari-sari industry, changing the way the distributors interact with the store owners and vice-versa, especially in the way orders are placed and made.

For decades, the sales transaction went something like this: The distributor salesman would enumerate for the store owner all the products he had, referring to a printed list. He’d take down the order manually on a form, and then the form would be encoded in the sales office. As you can imagine, the process was tedious, prone to clerical errors, and highly inefficient, in terms of time and effort spent. As a result, delays in the delivery of goods to the store were likely to occur.

Big advancements in technology have brought about new ways of doing business, and URC-Branded Consumer Foods Group is entering the modernization fray with its own tool: The Sales Force Automation (SFA) app.

The distributor salesman is the unsung hero of the sari-sari industry, making sure that your neighborhood stores are stocked with your favorite URC snacks, candy, and drinks.

With the app, salesmen no longer have to pitch a long list of products as they can just show store owners a comprehensive product guide on a tablet, including the latest URC merchandise and promotions. Store owners can also check that the items he or she wants are correctly entered in the ordering section of the app. As soon as the orders are confirmed and clicked on the tablet, they are transmitted and enter the system immediately, ensuring fast and accurate delivery of products—in some cases as soon as the next day.

Staff undergoing training as the URC Sales Force Automation app is rolled out.

The app is boosting efficiency in more ways than one.  Thanks to the geotag tool in the app, distributors can see how many stores they are visiting in a particular location and can plan an efficient route to cover their clients. Aside from that, their daily sales activity reports can be tracked online any time of the day.

Doing away with tedious paperwork, sales ordering errors and delivery delays are cut down through the Sales Force Automation app.

Currently available to eight distributors so far, the feedback has been positive. After they underwent training in using the app, the consensus among distributors is that it has been effective in making and tracking customers’ orders as well as monitoring overall sales.

“At URC BCFG Sales, we see the implementation of the Sales Force Automation as a key step in achieving our vision of leapfrogging our distributor capabilities through digitization. This allows our distributors to reach out effectively to the market and cover more stores in the most efficient manner,” said Oscar Villamora, URC BCFG Vice President for Sales. 

The conglomerate’s lofty promise of “Making life better” is having a positive impact, yet again.

For more information about Universal Robina Corporation and its products, visit