This season, salespeople from the Tom James Company, a clothing and apparel manufacturer, are embarking on sales calls with a lighter load than ever before. That’s because the Franklin, Tenn.-based company decided earlier this year to replace its printed catalogues and brochures with electronic versions pre-loaded onto iPads.
“It was just the right thing to do,” said chief financial officer Phil Williams in a prepared statement.
Because Tom James offers hundreds of suit and shirt fabrics and a similar number of ties, its sales force used to carry a heavy package of printed materials to show customers various apparel options. The company estimates moving catalog and brochure content to preloaded iPads reduced the weight of the gear its sales force bring to meetings with potential customers by 15 to 20 pounds.
In addition to helping salesmen show off Tom James’s selection of suits, shirts, ties and shoes, the iPads will provide portable access to the company’s intranet and back office systems. This includes a record of the items a customer has purchased from Tom James in the past.
The iPad rollout began in mid-March after a test run in the Boston area. Now, each of the company’s 450 salespeople are equipped with iPads.