© Campaign India Team. (June 25, 2009) Parle Agro launches snack food brand, Hippo Retrieved June 6, 2017 from http://www.campaignindia.in/article/parle-agro-launches-snack-food-brand-hippo/410332
Supply chain planning is like a game: As the pieces move, the plan changes – Marc Bombet, Director Business Systems Architecture, Western Digital. Through the immediate feedback provided by customers on Social Media, companies can quickly respond and react to their customer supply needs as they change.
Parle Argo is India’s largest food and Beverage Company. In 2009 it launched HIPPO Baked Munchies offering a range of chips in various flavors. It’s campaign “Hunger is the root of all evil. Don’t be hungry” can be viewed in the media below.
With the success of this campaign, retail shelves were becoming empty faster than anticipated with customers wanting more. This was a challenge as a lot of vendors carrying the product were small local shops and kiosks. These small vendors did not have any manpower or proper tools to communicate to Hippo regarding their lack of inventory. Understanding this issue, Hippo went to Twitter as a low-cost solution. Customers were asked to tweet @Hellomehippo when inventory was low in local stores.
© Author Unknown. (June 14 2010). HIPPO fights the root to all evil: Hunger - via twitter. Retrieved June 6, 2017 from http://adland.tv/adnews/hippo-fights-root-all-evil-hunger-twitter/375104620.
“We promptly got tweets from 6 different cities and we sent the data to the respective sales team and they ensured that Hippo was there”. Sanjan Raj Kurup Founder & Creative Chairman, Creative Asia. By using Twitter, HIPPO converted its customers as inventory trackers in their supply chain at no extra cost. It had an extra 400 people helping with sales and distribution which is equivalent to almost 50% of the strength of their own internal network. The Hippo team tracked and checked every tweet to stock and replenish shelves with its delicious snacks. By creating this alternative inventory system, the team was able to reach the small kiosks and local stores that were initially so difficult to communicate with. In just a few months, sales for the snack increased by 76%. During the entire campaign, HIPPO received tweets from 25 different cities where they were able to respond with more inventory.
Lessons for Others
By converting its customers through social media to become part of HIPPO’s supply chain, the company was able to stock inventory especially in small local shops to meet demand. This was a win-win situation as the company was able to stock its shelves quickly and customers were able to buy their products to satisfy their hunger. By using Twitter the company was able to save both time and money.
Parle Argo - Hippo
Industry: Retail - Food & Beverage
Name of Organization Contact: N/A
Authored by: asmartinez
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Green, Maria. (June 2010). Parle Agro’s Hippo turns to Twitter to track inventory and replenish stocks. Retrieved June 6, 2017, from http://www.campaignasia.com/agencyportfolio/CaseStudyCampaign/214608,case-study-parle–hReippo-turns-to-twitter-to-track-inventory-and-replenish-stocks.aspx
Payne, Adrian. (March 15, 2017). When Hippo used Twitter to manage its supply chain. Retrieved June 6, 2017, from https://www.businessthink.unsw.edu.au/Pages/When-Hippo-used-Twitter-to-manage-its-supply-chain.aspx
Parle Argo Homepage (2017). Parle Argo. Retrieved June 6, 2017 from http://parleagro.com/about.html