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Dramatically Improve DSD Operations with Rugged Tablet PCs: Part II

Putting a rugged tablet PC into the hands of DSD drivers gives them instant access to software applications and data that automate the mundane aspects of their work. Instead of spending time filling out forms, they can focus their efforts on merchandising and customer interaction – the things that generate revenue and loyalty.

But DSD automation doesn’t just enable delivery drivers and presales personnel to perform at a higher level. Enhancing productivity on the route provides substantial enterprise-wide and even customer benefits.

Not all DSD personnel drive the route.  

rugged tablet pc beverage beer distribution dsd deliveryYour team actually consists of customer service representatives, dispatchers, inventory managers, warehouse workers, accounting and billing people, etc. Do you actually know how much time the entire team spends on DSD-related paperwork? Since this is an insidious problem many companies have never really analyzed, you may be in for serious shock.

Fortunately, automating DSD processes can significantly reduce your entire team’s work load when it comes to data entry and processing and managing inventory.

When reps use their rugged tablet PC to capture invoice data, that information is immediately uploaded directly to billing and inventory control systems. That eliminates time-consuming manual labor and the mistakes that go along with it, duplication of effort, paperwork filing, etc. Streamlined processes are far faster, too, so everyone’s productivity increases.

Mistakes are costly.

According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the average invoice error rate is between 10.5% and 15.4%. How much time do your people typically spend resolving each problem – looking up the order, researching the specific issue, issuing credit authorizations, filling out more paperwork? Multiply that by the number of people you have to employ and you can see your total annual cost of resolving disputes.

Ouch.

Even a small improvement could have a dramatic effect on your profitability.

With a rugged tablet PC in hand, route drivers and presales reps can work with customers right on the spot to detect and correct mistakes, saving time and headaches for customer service reps and accounting personnel and eliminating the need for returns and credits. Sidestepping errors also reduces indirect costs associated with disgruntled customers.

And speaking of customers . . .  

Nothing builds appreciation and loyalty like reliable accuracy and convenience. Automation gives your retail customers greater confidence in order accuracy, and that extends to confidence in your company and products.

Automated delivery can reduce check-in time by as much as 60%. Validation is a snap because each rugged tablet PC has built-in bar code scanning capability. Faster receiving and more accurate auditing strengthen inventory management for you and your customer. And streamlined processes speed returns and credit processing – or, better yet, eliminate out-of-stock situations that cost money and damage reputation.

A rugged tablet PC interfaces easily with mobile printers. You get documents that look more professional, especially if they include your company logo. Drivers can print invoices and receipts and simply hand them to the customer.

It all speaks to the bottom line.

The ability to print invoices at the time of delivery can shorten billing time. Or you can eliminate that delay entirely by using your rugged tablet PC to process credit card payments immediately. Automated DSD processes also help you save on labor and the cost of paper and supplies associated with pre-printed manual forms.  

The more you can do to enhance the mobile effectiveness of DSD personnel, the more you’re doing to drive down costs and boost profitability. It all adds up to greater profitability for customers, too. You can be sure they’ll notice. 

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