The highly competitive nature of the FMCG industry means that brands and wholesalers are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to stay ahead - especially when it comes to speeding up delivery.
While centralized distribution works for delivering some items, the direct store delivery (‘DSD’) method is far more suitable for FMCG products.
Direct store delivery offers significant advantages to B2B wholesalers and distributors who need to operate quickly and efficiently.
What are some of the challenges facing the FMCG industry?
FMCG goods are usually highly perishable with a short shelf life. As a result, customers are reliant upon their supplier delivering their products quickly, safely and efficiently whenever they’re needed.
Additionally, changing trends in food consumption have led to an increased demand for locally sourced produce and new interest in a huge variety of products. As a result, wholesalers need to carry a large (and ever growing) number of SKUs. This large number of products means pressure on field operations so accurate inventory management is vital to avoid out-of-stocks or food waste.
How does a mobile route accounting app improve delivery?
1. It improves route planning
Part of a direct store delivery solution will include route planning tools. These enable managers and field staff to prioritize delivery routes efficiently, according to business considerations and not just by location. For example, visiting customers who have not had a visit for 3 months or those that need special attention - ensuring that no customers get lost along the way.
2. It puts managers in control
With so many deliveries happening simultaneously, it’s critical for management to track all activities going on in the field. A DSD app gives managers access to real-time information about staff locations and completed tasks, ensuring they’re on schedule and efficiently responding to last-minute sales and delivery requests.
With improved data visibility, it’s simple for management to analyze sales statistics and compile reports to indicate which items or accounts generate the most returns; how profitable each route is and more.
3. It maximizes productivity
It’s also important for managers to oversee the entire delivery process to maximize productivity and minimize mistakes. With inventory and sales automatically reconciled at the end of every delivery, they have visibility into the accurate and real-time situation – again, improving efficiency.
In addition, when customer data is automatically synced with your back-office system, and available 24/7, your field staff are in the ideal position to better advise your customers on merchandising, stocking and re-ordering.
4. It maximizes sales opportunities
Integrating your back-office with your route accounting app provides customer data, personalized price lists and discounts, and trade promotions that are unique to each customer. Armed with that knowledge van drivers can make offers to customers based on each specific situation they find when delivering, focusing on every customer’s specific needs.
By taking orders as well as making deliveries they will provide high levels of customer service and optimize sales opportunities.
5. It improves customer satisfaction
If you really want to enhance your delivery process, you must put the customer first.
An integrated sales platform incorporating sales, CRM and route accounting functionality makes delivery staff more than just drivers. They can do more and cater for the immediate needs of customers.
In addition, with so many tasks now automated, reps will have more time to spend asking the customer about their wants – they can act more like business consultants. More customer knowledge certainly means a better customer service.