Food and beverage distributors have not been immune to the current challenges of the economy, skyrocketing fuel prices, company consolidation and SKU proliferation. These demands require more productive and accurate approaches to controlling and managing products as they move through the supply chain. Fortunately, new technologies hold promise for on-time delivery to the right destination, which is critical to customer satisfaction and managing inventory levels.
Accuracy and efficiency directly impact the distributor’s bottom line, making accurate, effective and efficient selling and delivery processes essential. Rugged mobile computers and customizable turnkey software solutions offer distributors a competitive advantage when it comes to route accounting, customer relationship management (CRM) and general business intelligence. Today’s distribution software, running on a rugged tablet PC is designed to take cost and complexity out of beverage operations. The following functionalities give distributors an edge:
Load Optimization: Save fuel by optimizing routing and fleet loads and save time with efficient route planning.
Pre-Sales: Save time with real-time data transmission from a rugged mobile tablet. Pre-sales representatives send orders back to the office for next-day delivery preparation.
Performance and Incentives: Increase sales by tracking and measuring sales team performance. Managers can devise incentive programs based on the data.
Retail Execution: Enhance merchandising and increase retailer profits. Drivers and sales representatives can virtually visualize the retailer’s cooler prior to arrival at the store. They are able to show which brands are profit generating to their accounts.
Intelligence and Reporting: Improve market strategies and optimize supply chain execution. Managers can make better decisions with reports containing the latest information entered in the field.
Supply Chain Interface: Ensure retailers, wholesalers and suppliers are sharing the same item and pricing data with electronic data interchange (EDI).
Peddle Sales/Delivery Sales: Increase order fulfillment on site by providing drivers with real-time access to order history, sales history, and promotions. Capture signatures and credit card payments on the rugged mobile tablet.
Managing Inventory: Meet forecast volume demands with accurate information regarding available product quantities, fast-moving SKUs, and order quantities. Automating the process eliminates the need for manual inventory tracking.
The MobileDemand 7” full-screen tablet PC enables distributors to achieve real-time inventory management and improve operational efficiencies while maximizing customer service. The full Windows 7 OS allows beverage distribution sales forces access to complete versions of their applications and graphic- and data-intensive databases in the field at the point of transaction. In addition, MobileDemand ruggedized tablet PCs offer wireless connectivity, bar code scanner, color camera, signature capture and a credit card reader. They also have personal management capabilities such as an address book, calendar and scheduling and other Microsoft Windows applications.
Click here to watch MobileDemand's case study on Ben E. Keith Company, the second largest Anheuser-Busch distributor in the US.