Channel Optimization for On Field Sales Force by Integration of Business Software on Mobile Platforms

Channel Optimization for On Field Sales Force by Integration of Business Software on Mobile Platforms

Rishi Kalra (Symbiosis International University, India) and Amit Nanchahal (Symbiosis International University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-156-8.ch017
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Abstract

Marketing and sales channels are a significant lifeline for the sales force of a business. Sales professionals work on the concept of creating and widening channels that are then fed by the supply chain and distribution network of the businesses. Sales teams are constantly pushed to meet customer expectations while generating revenue for the company. As companies grow, these pressures increase. Sales teams are now looking at Mobile Sales Force Automation technologies to handle the ever increasing customer demands. Companies want to keep costs low, increase productivity and efficiency through mobile devices for the much needed edge on the field. This chapter is based on literature review of channel optimization as well as mobile software platforms and challenges faced by the sales force. This chapter discusses the need for integrating business software on mobile platforms that will optimize and enhance the performance of sales processes.
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Introduction

The concept of the mobile enterprise is growinga in today’s corporate world taking interest in tools supporting enterprise mobility for their sales force. These mobile enterprise solutions promise efficiency and productivity gains resulting from the sales function optimization. The change in mindset towards mobile applications in business has created a strong opportunity for companies to extend their core data and applications through smart phones, cell phones, and personal digital assistants (PDAs). This extension of the business process applications results in creation of location independent links between the office (or a centralized location) with an increasingly dispersed workforce – notably the sales force which is continuously on the move.

The reason why companies are looking at incorporating such small handheld devices in their business processes is because by increased usage of mobile phones, PDAs and laptops, the company can keep in constant touch with its staff and managers who are spending more and more time away from the corporate network. These devices also provide vital access to these staff for email and the Internet.  Istart Technology research found that:

  • 27% of e-mail requires immediate actionb

  • 40% of the workforce is mobile

  • 60% of senior management time is spent away from the deskc

Sales force management is the art of managing sales team on the field that enable an organization to generate revenue by selling their products to customers and increase customer satisfaction.

Companies are spending huge resources on their sales force and incorporating the new systems and applications into their operations management that help automate business processes. These applications are combined with the existing CRM functions in the organization which help enhancing the selling tactics of the on field sales force across industries by providing up to date information helping them win in the global business battlefield.

On field sales force for any company is concerned with all the stages of the sales process, starting from contact management, sales forecasting, recording sales, product solution details, integration of the various departments companywide.

A sales force personnel on the field requires constant communication with the home office for sales leads, invoicing, inventoryd tracking, order fulfillment, and other supporting information. Recent advances in wireless technology field staff had to make do with laptops that required a physical connection and voice-based mobile phones neither providing the added value of mobility.

A new breed of user friendly Internet capable applications on smart phones and mobile devices are freeing the traditional sales force from their desks and allowing them to be incredibly effective. Sales personnel now have access to the same information and tools as their peers back at the office. This chapter discusses the various aspects in the channel for sales in an organization and the intervention of mobile devices to increase productivity.e

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Channel Optimization Challenge

Distribution channel is the structure that the company uses to reach its products/services to customers through intermediaries at the right place, at the right time with special consideration for profit and effectiveness. As shown in Figure 1 products of a company may be passed from one intermediary channel member to another after keeping a certain margin for their services. The optimization of the distribution channel poses a challenge to organizations with different entities trying to transfer the product title and risk to the next successive channel member. The coordination and smooth working for optimum output for the company is the job of the sales team.

Figure 1.

Distribution channel for a packaged goods industry

Reference: Report by Rishi Kalra on “Entry Stratefy for Haats/Shandies as a distribution channel in Orissa” at ITC Ltd Vizag Branch in June 2007.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Claim Processing: The process of obtaining all the information necessary to determine the appropriate amount to pay on a given claim. Process of determining an insurance company’s liability for each claim.

Underwriting: Assessing and classifying the degree of risk represented by a proposed insured

New Business Acquisition: The risk evaluation an MCO performs when it first issues coverage to a group.

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Dedication
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Elaine Lawrence
Preface
Bhuvan Unhelkar
Acknowledgment
Bhuvan Unhelkar
Chapter 1
Houman Younessi
Business value from any technology comes when it is applied, in practice, by the business to earn economic as well as social advantage. This is... Sample PDF
Strategic View on Creating Business Value through Mobile Technologies
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Chapter 2
Rajeev Agrawal
Game theory is a tool used in the context of conflict interest among interacting decision makers. Game theory may be considered as a generalization... Sample PDF
Game Theory as a Tool in Mobile Technologies and Applications
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Chapter 3
Ioakim (Makis) Marmaridis
Enabling interorganizational collaboration for SMEs holds a lot of promise for increased competitiveness and global reach in a connected economy... Sample PDF
A Methodology and Framework for Extending Mobile Transformations to Mobile Collaborations for SMEs
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Chapter 4
Jhoanna Rhodette Pedrasa, Eranga Perera, Aruna Seneviratne
Context is any information that can enhance a computing system’s relevance, timeliness, and usefulness to the user. Recent research has been devoted... Sample PDF
Context Aware Mobility Management
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Chapter 5
Robert Harmon, Tugrul Daim
Location-based services (LBS) are approaching an inflection point. The continued rollout of the technological infrastructure, the availability of... Sample PDF
Assessing the Future of Location-Based Services: Technologies, Applications, and Strategies
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Chapter 6
Bhuvan Unhelkar
This chapter presents the creation of a process framework that can be used by enterprises in order to transition to mobile enterprises. This... Sample PDF
Creation of a Process Framework for Transitioning to a Mobile Enterprise
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Chapter 7
Bhuvan Unhelkar, Amit Tiwary, Abbass Ghanbary
Web Services (WS) technologies create the potential for an organization to collaborate with partners and customers by enabling its software... Sample PDF
Transitioning Business Processes to a Collaborative Business Environment with Mobility: An Action Research Based on a Service Organization
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Chapter 8
Bhuvan Unhelkar, Abbass Ghanbary
This chapter is based on a study at a selected organization to evaluate the impact of mobile technology and collaborative environment on its... Sample PDF
Transitioning of Existing Business Processes to Collaborative and Mobile Business Processes: An Action Research Based on a Security Service Organization
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Chapter 9
Keith Sherringham, Bhuvan Unhelkar
The Internet wave that swept through business is likely to be seen as a ripple in a pond compared to the changes that are predicted from the... Sample PDF
Strategic Elements for the Mobile Enablement of Business
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Chapter 10
Anthony S. Atkins
It is becoming evident that mobile technology can enhance a current e-business system to provide competitive advantage in business activities. These... Sample PDF
Mobile Strategy for E-Business Solution
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Chapter 11
Norshuhada Shiratuddin, Siti Mahfuzah Sarif
Mobile computing is getting more and more attention these days, but the fact that there is still inadequate source of development methodologies to... Sample PDF
Construction of Matrix and eMatrix for Mobile Development Methodologies
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Chapter 12
Norshuhada Shiratuddin, Shahizan Hassan, Syamsul Bahrin Zaibon, Sobihatun Nur Ab Salam
Studies on the use of mobile payment (m-payment) method for buying electronic book (e-book) are very scarce, possibly not yet available.... Sample PDF
eBook Mobile Payment Process Model
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Chapter 13
Dilupa Ranatunga, Rasika Withanage, Dinesh Arunatileka
This chapter describes marketing strategies in concept for wireless broadband services in the Sri Lankan market. It also emphasizes different... Sample PDF
Innovative Marketing Strategies for Wireless Broadband Services in the Sri Lankan Context
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Chapter 14
Amit Lingarchani
This chapter discusses how to extend the collaborative business process model with mobility and how to implement such a model in the “Medical... Sample PDF
Extending Collaborative Business Model with Mobility and its Implementation in the Medical Tourism Industry
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Chapter 15
Rok Rupnik
The chapter introduces mobile applications development methodology. Mobile applications represent a new application model being introduced to... Sample PDF
Mobile Applications Development Methodology
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Chapter 16
Keith Sherringham, Bhuvan Unhelkar
For business decision making to occur, data needs to be converted to information, then to knowledge and rapidly to wisdom. Whilst Information... Sample PDF
Real Time Decision Making and Mobile Technologies
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Chapter 17
Rishi Kalra, Amit Nanchahal
Marketing and sales channels are a significant lifeline for the sales force of a business. Sales professionals work on the concept of creating and... Sample PDF
Channel Optimization for On Field Sales Force by Integration of Business Software on Mobile Platforms
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Chapter 18
Mohammed Maharmeh, Bhuvan Unhelkar
This chapter presents the use of Composite Application Software Development Process Framework (CASDPF) for Mobile Applications Development. This... Sample PDF
A Composite Software Framework Approach for Mobile Application Development
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Chapter 19
Carol Charsky, Mahesh Raisinghani
Mobile devices are comprised of a multitude of various applications and operating systems that have significantly impacted the way people interact... Sample PDF
Mobile Devices and Mobile Applications: Key Future Trends
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Chapter 20
Walied Askarzai, Bhuvan Unhelkar
This chapter discusses the importance of strategic approach to the phenomenon of globalization with mobile business. Globalization is the exclusion... Sample PDF
Strategic Approach to Globalization with Mobile Business
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Chapter 21
Keith Sherringham, Bhuvan Unhelkar
Information Communication Technology (ICT) needs to provide the knowledge worker with an integrated support system of information management and... Sample PDF
Business Driven Enterprise Architecture and Applications to Support Mobile Business
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Chapter 22
Rajani Shankar Sadasivam
The integration of large systems remains problematic in spite of advances in composite services approaches, such as Web services and business... Sample PDF
Composite Process-Personalization with Service-Oriented Architecture
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Chapter 23
Ralf Wagner, Martin Klaus
Culture predefines the framework of needs, beliefs, and norms in most decisions humans make in their lives. However, the impact of culture often... Sample PDF
Cultural Impacts on the Spread of Mobile Commerce: An International Comparison
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Chapter 24
Calin Gurau
This paper presents the situation of the mobile services market in France, based on a survey conducted in the city of Montpellier, in November-... Sample PDF
The Mobile Services Market: An Exploratory Analysis of Mobile Phone Usage by French Consumers
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Chapter 25
Mobile Direct Marketing  (pages 269-281)
Ralf Wagner, Martin Klaus
The role of mobile terminals such as mobile telephones, or PDAs, is shifting from gadgetry to serious platforms for direct marketing actions. The... Sample PDF
Mobile Direct Marketing
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Chapter 26
Joaquin Aldas-Manzano, Carla Ruiz-Mafe, Silvia Sanz-Blas
The chapter aims to present an in-depth study of the factors influencing mobile commerce adoption. The authors analyze the influence of Mobile use... Sample PDF
Mobile Commerce Adoption in Spain: The Influence of Consumer Attitudes and ICT Usage Behaviour
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Chapter 27
Fernando Ferri, Patrizia Grifoni, Tiziana Guzzo
This chapter analyzes how the development and use of mobile and Web technologies are changing the way to search information, to plan, to buy, and to... Sample PDF
Social Aspects of Mobile Technologies on Web Tourism Trend
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Chapter 28
Heikki Karjaluoto, Teemu Kautonen
The chapter investigates different sources of trust as factors affecting consumers’ willingness to provide companies with personal information and... Sample PDF
Sources of Trust and Consumers' Participation in Permission-Based Mobile Marketing
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Chapter 29
Alessia D’Andrea, Fernando Ferri, Patrizia Grifoni
Mobile technologies, such as PDAs, pocket PCs and cell phones, are transforming interpersonal communications, making them independent from a fixed... Sample PDF
Social Impacts of Mobile Virtual Communities on Healthcare
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Chapter 30
Jigisha Gala, Bhuvan Unhelkar
This chapter discusses and depicts the wide range of changes induced in the lives of adolescents by the use of mobile gadgets, as viewed by a... Sample PDF
Impact of Mobile Technologies and Gadgets on Adolescent's Interpersonal Relationships
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Chapter 31
Heikki Karjaluoto, Matti Leppäniemi, Jari Sall, Jaako Sinisalo, Feng Li
This chapter discusses the mobile network as a new medium for marketing communications. It illustrates that the mobile medium, defined as two-way... Sample PDF
The Mobile Network as a New Medium for Marketing Communications: A Case Study
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Chapter 32
Keyurkumar J. Patel
Wireless Technology is growing at a phenomenal rate. Of the many present challenges highlighted by the author, increased security is one of the main... Sample PDF
Successful Implementation of Emerging Communication Technologies in a Mobile-Intense Organization: A Case Study of Sydney Airport
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Chapter 33
Kumar Priyatam, R. M. Banakar, B. Shankaranand
Physical layer issues of broadband wireless communication systems form the bottleneck in providing fast and reliable communication over wireless... Sample PDF
ISI Cancellation in 4G Wireless Mobiles
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Chapter 34
Sumeet Gupta, Miti Garg, Heng Xu, Mark Goh
Supply chains have become increasingly complex and interdependent in the globalization era. Regulatory authorities are demanding stricter customer... Sample PDF
RFID and Supply Chain Visibility
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Chapter 35
Ioannis P. Chochliouros, Anastasia S. Spiliopoulou, George Agapiou, Nikolaos Lazaridis M.D. Ph.D
In the scope of the present chapter, the authors evaluate several potential opportunities from the suggested use of cell broadcasting systems in... Sample PDF
Cell Broadcasting Opportunities of Modern Mobile Communications and Its Usage in Emergency Warning Facilities
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Chapter 36
Matthew Tatham, Arsi Honkanen
Securing data is a key concern for individuals and organisations throughout the world, especially within information and communications... Sample PDF
Mobility for Secure Multi-Factor "Out of Band" Authentication
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Chapter 37
Anand Kuppuswami
Mobile agents and framework built on mobile agents have been the key research area for the past few years. The major impedances like latency factor... Sample PDF
Asynchronous Communication Protocol for Multiple Transactions in Mobile Architecture for a Mobile Agent System
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Chapter 38
R. B. Patel, Vijay Athavale
Mobile computing extends the horizons of conventional computing model to a ubiquitous computing environment that serves users at anytime, anywhere.... Sample PDF
Reliable Computing in Heterogeneous Networks: A Review Report
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Chapter 39
Mobility in IP Networks  (pages 422-431)
Sanjay Jasola, Ramesh C. Sharma
With the ever increasing use of portable and hand held devices for voice and data transfer, there is a growing expectation to access information... Sample PDF
Mobility in IP Networks
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Chapter 40
Bharti Trivedi, Bhuvan Unhelkar
This chapter aims to investigate and expand the role of mobile technologies in an Environmentally Responsible Business Strategy (ERBS). An ERBS with... Sample PDF
Role of Mobile Technologies in an Environmentally Responsible Business Strategy
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Chapter 41
Dirk Werth, Paul Makuch
Nowadays the majority of enterprises use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to improve their business processes. Simultaneously, mobile... Sample PDF
Mobile Technologies Extending ERP Systems
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Chapter 42
Ataul Bari, Arunita Jaekel
A sensor network consists of tiny, low-powered and multifunctional sensor devices and is able to perform complex tasks through the collaborative... Sample PDF
Techniques for Exploiting Mobility in Wireless Sensor Networks
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Chapter 43
Sargam Parmar, Bhuvan Unhelkar
In commercial cellular networks, like the systems based on direct sequence code division multiple access (DSCDMA), many types of interferences can... Sample PDF
Independent Component Analysis Algorithms in Wireless Communication Systems
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Chapter 44
Bhargav Bhatt
This chapter describes a case study in installation of a Wi-Fi network in a chemical manufacturing company. This project, carried out in India, was... Sample PDF
A Case Study in the Installation of Wi-Fi Networks in a Chemical Manufacturing Unit in India
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Chapter 45
Andrew P. Ciganek, K. Ramamurthy
The purpose of this chapter is to explore and suggest how perceptions of the social context of an organization moderate the usage of an innovative... Sample PDF
Social Context for Mobile Computing Device Adoption and Diffusion: A Proposed Research Model and Key Research Issues
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Chapter 46
Ming-Chien (Mindy) Wu, Bhuvan Unhelkar
The Enterprise Architecture (EA) brings together various business processes, technologies, standards, systems, and IT infrastructure of the... Sample PDF
Extending Enterprise Architecture with Mobility
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Chapter 47
Abbass Ghanbary, Bhuvan Unhelkar
Web Services (WS) technologies, generally built around the ubiquitous Extensible Markup Language (XML), have provided many opportunities for... Sample PDF
Extending Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) with Mobile and Web Services Technologies
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Chapter 48
Wenbing Zhao
Wireless Web services are becoming a reality, if they have not already. The unique characteristics of the mobile devices and wireless communication... Sample PDF
Increasing the Performability of Wireless Web Services
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Chapter 49
David Curtis, Ming-Chien (Mindy) Wu
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a role or function that primarily ensures the Information Technology strategy and implementation within an... Sample PDF
Investigation into the Impact of Integration of Mobile Technology Applications into Enterprise Architecture
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Chapter 50
Ekata Mehul, Vikram Limaye
Securing a “Wireless Ad Hoc Network” (WAHN) is a major concern of network administrators. This is particularly so in case of the wireless networks... Sample PDF
Security in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
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Chapter 51
Barin N. Nag, Mark Siegal
The recent advances in wireless communication technologies have made possible the development of wireless systems for monitoring the health and... Sample PDF
Data Warehousing and Decision Support in Mobile Wireless Patient Monitoring
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Chapter 52
Marco Garito
Th first part of this chapter deals with various mobile business applications and initiatives taken from real-life companies of which successfully... Sample PDF
Case Studies in Mobile Business
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Chapter 53
Chitra Subramanian
Mobile commerce offers consumers the convenience and flexibility of mobile services anytime and at any place. Secured and private mobile business... Sample PDF
Secure Payment in Mobile Business: A Case Study
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Chapter 54
Marco Garito
The word “convergence” refers to the combination of fixed and mobile communication, a situation where a private or business user can take advantage... Sample PDF
Convergence in Mobile Internet with Service Oriented Architecture and Its Value to Business
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Chapter 55
N. Raghavendra Rao
Recent changes in global economy have been focusing on the need for a proactive approach in the International Financial Services sector. Integrating... Sample PDF
Balancing Business, Technology, and Global Expertise
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Chapter 56
Tagelsir Mohamed Gasmelseid
This chapter introduces the use of mobile medical informatics as a means for improving clinical practice in Sudan. It argues that mobile medical... Sample PDF
Improving Clinical Practice through Mobile Medical Informatics
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Chapter 57
Ishan Bhalla, Kamlesh Chaudhary
Mobile WiMAX has gained extensive support in the industry. Demand on wireless Internet bandwidth is increasing. Mobile WiMAX, also called... Sample PDF
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Chapter 58
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This chapter discusses the results of an action research project carried out at ImpexDocs in Sydney, Australia, by the lead author. The purpose of... Sample PDF
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