If you are a CPG manufacturer or wholesaler, and your company has a Van Sales or Direct Store Delivery (DSD) operation you will already be aware of the complexities involved in essentially managing multiple 'on the road' warehouses.
A delivery van is a mobile warehouse that needs to be managed like any other warehouse. Drivers may be responsible for more than just delivering products. They may also be required to do other tasks while out in the field including selling, checking stock, collecting payments and performing other merchandising activities.
Van sales and DSD are perfect examples of the complexity of B2B commerce and the need for an integrated and consistent approach to wholesaling. To enhance your field team’s performance across all the areas mentioned above, you will need a mobile van sales application.
The secret to choosing the right van sales app is to find one that seamlessly integrates the following capabilities on a single app:
Route planning and compliance
A mobile van sales application integrated with a route planning app means both sales managers and their reps can prioritize delivery routes efficiently, according to business considerations and by location.
Field activities can be timestamped and geo-tagged for route compliance, letting managers monitor work progress and adherence to planned routes.
A truck is a warehouse on wheels, and should be managed throughout the day – from start-of-day loading, via real-time tracking of inventory and mid-day restocking, to end-of-day reconciliation at your warehouse.
Make sure your route accounting application makes it easy for managers and reps to monitor van stock levels throughout their day.
Immediate and real-time access to customer information
Your mobile van sales application should include comprehensive and real-time access to your entire product catalog, detailed customer and visit history, together with updated pricing and inventory information.
Field reps will need to quickly search, view and edit data regarding orders, returns, credit limits and past-due payments. They will also require an accurate insight into the latest orders that have been sent, cancelled, delivered or approved.
Precise access into all aspects of customer data gives field reps greater control over every customer interaction, empowering them to behave like business consultants.
True offline capability
With van drivers constantly out in the field, they will need a mobile app that works just as well offline as it does online. Although many apps claim to have such capability, they are typically limited to presenting previously stored customer information and note-taking by reps.
A fully-fledged app enables business logic and rules to be applied offline, so your team can operate to their fullest. Once internet connection is re-established, the app seamlessly syncs with your back-office, enabling transactions, activities and data to be processed and your ERP to be updated.
Without advanced offline functionality field reps will be limited in their ability to serve customers and perform their jobs.
Streamline processes and guide reps in the field
One of the most important attributes a route accounting app can have is the facility to enable more successful and productive customer calls. Field reps have a long list of tasks to execute during their working day. It’s critical your app provides a simple user experience rather than complex software that causes frustration and wasted time.
An intuitive, easy-to-use app will help your field reps complete more deliveries and take more orders quickly and efficiently. In addition, managers should have the ability to create guided task workflows to further assist their field reps and improved customer service.
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