The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for executing and monitoring in-store activity to identify tasks and improve efficiency and performance.\r\n\r\nBest in Category: Salesforce\r\nSalesforce has steadily gained “share of CGT readers” in a number of categories in the last few years, with its ascension here being a prime example. The company’s retail execution-specific solutions are bolstered by its more universal platforms: the data visibility and real-time reporting capabilities of Salesforce Sales Cloud, the mobile facilitation provided by Salesforce Service Cloud, and the AI-driven in-sights delivered by Einstein.\r\n\r\nThe client list includes Brown-Forman, which uses Salesforce to manage sales and enable social collaboration across the global team; L’Oréal, which leverages the platform to distribute product information and communicate with the field force; and Unilever, which claims to have streamlined both retail execution and TPM processes.\r\n\r\nSMB Market Leader: Retail Solutions, Inc.\r\n“They offer good overall service,” is how one of RSi’s small business clients summarized the company’s work ethic. RSi’s solution collects systematic information about retailer programs and in-store activity, and then combines it with actual, store-level daily sales data to drive deeper understanding.\r\n\r\nIn 2018, the company announced the global availability of IRIS, an on-shelf availability platform intended to reduce out-of-stocks through a better method of measuring, correcting and even preventing potential situations. SMB clients include alternative beverage company Alpro, cosmetics marketer Markwins, and apple grower Stemilt. (RSi also boasts enterprise blue-chippers like Unilever and P\u0026amp;G.)\r\n\r\nCustomer Satisfaction Leader: AFS Technologies\r\nBeing “purpose-built” for food \u0026amp; beverage manufacturers and distributors might be one reason why AFS captured the Customer Satisfaction title this year (with a 4.0/5 rating). The company’s solutions aim to enable clients to serve all channels through a single point of execution.\r\n\r\nThe flagship RE Enterprise solution now embodies best practices from deployments in global enterprises, while the more nimble POP System 6 is a multi-tenant SaaS solution that can be deployed in days. Promotion Optimization Institute named AFS “best in class” for three capabilities: merchandising, guided selling and analytical insights. Among AFS’ 1,300-plus clients are PepsiCo, Whyte \u0026amp; Mackay and Nestlé.\r\n\r\nNoteworthy: Field Agent\r\nCustomers including Kohler, Kellogg and Jarden Corp. have turned to Field Agent to get real-time visibility into store conditions and quick insights into shopper behavior. The company employs mobile technology and crowdsourcing to rally ad hoc field forces that are dispatched to gather information about display placement, out-of-stock situations, pricing and planogram compliance, or to conduct shopper intercepts, mystery shopping or “buy and try” programs.\r\n\r\nRecent projects included mystery shops of all six Amazon Go locations, surveys of shoppers on the one-year anniversary of Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition, and a test of the BOPIS fulfillment service of Kroger grocery orders at Walgreens drugstores.\r\n\r\nReturn to the full Readers\u0026#039; Choice Survey, or download a pdf version of the full survey below.