Resourceful Retail

Hickory Farms improves productivity by building a Web-based application and datastore.

Hickory Farms improves productivity by building a Web-based application and datastore.

Increased Emphasis

All of this functionality has resulted in increased productivity across the board. Field representatives no longer have to look for opening and closing information for their stores in their field offices. It's now available on the Web, in one location. Because of this, they have more time to tend to their stores and train employees.

Corporate employees can now more easily interact with the representatives, knowing that either via the POS system or e-mail, the recipient will receive their e-mail. They no longer have to wait for a representative to return to the office to retrieve messages. "They don't have to make 70 or 80 calls to a district supervisor to find out what's going on," Burnette says. "Now, everyone's on the same page at the same time, which makes our entire business much more efficient."

Up Close

CUSTOMER: Hickory Farms
BUSINESS: Retailer of packaged food products
HARDWARE: An IBM iSeries 720
CHALLENGE: Improving coordination of business requirements between field representatives and corporate headquarters
SOLUTION: Using WebSmart to build an application that allows all users to have access to a centralized repository of information

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at

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