When it comes to business, nothing spells “success” like high profit margins and low costs. Businesses sink or swim based on their overhead, so leveraging the right solutions to the right problems is key to keeping any business, large or small, on a permanent track towards long-lasting health and sustainability.
For DSD (Direct Store Delivery) vendors in particular, most especially those in the food service industry, this factor is critical, as even more management and tracking is needed to ensure quality service and products. Spoils and returns need to be tracked. Pre-sale orders need to be prepped, and routes sometimes need the occasional re-work. In this article, we’ll explain how DSD route sales software provides the perfect solution to all of these concerns, along with our recommendation on the best DSD route sales software for your business!
To put it simply, DSD route software is a tool used to automate the route settlement/route optimization process between manufacturers or suppliers and their PoS (point of sale) or PoC (point of conversation) retail partners. When you’re working with thinner profit margins, every expense counts. Fuel, labor, and time become that much more important, so optimizing the three becomes a top priority.
For this reason, every DSD business has to consider some important questions. Are drivers adding unnecessary miles or off-route stops to their delivery routes? Is extra money being spent on inventory waste or spoilage that could have been avoided? Are delivery vehicles forced to make costly re-deliveries, or failing to maximize time-effectiveness?
These are but some of the concerns DSD Route Sales Software seeks to alleviate, and in doing so, reduce operating expenses, increase sales opportunities, and provide extra functionality for management, delivery drivers, back office, and warehouse staff alike.
Understanding DSD route sales software is easy! Imagine your business has a driver in the field, and that driver has a predetermined scheduled set of stops for the day. Halfway into their route, your driver gets a call from one of your unscheduled, hot-shot customers, begging for more product to be delivered that day. Your driver is now faced with a dilemma. Their scheduled stops need to be taken care of, but so does the hot-shot customer. How do they accurately and efficiently “shuffle the deck” to fit in this extra customer? That’s where DSD route sales software steps in!
Thanks to this software, your driver is able to re-optimize their route on the fly, directly in the field, using their handheld device. Likewise, all DSD businesses, similar to food service businesses, have a set of customers with specific stop windows that drivers have to fulfill. Based on their locations, drivers might want to balance those customers by seeing them earlier in the day, factoring in these stop windows. Thanks to DSD route sales software, these routes can be further optimized in the office as needed, with the software automatically taking into the account the customers’ exact locations and stop windows to save drivers’ time. Time saved is money saved, and happy customers mean more orders! It’s a win-win!
As outlined above, some of the key benefits to DSD route sales software are an increase to sales opportunities and reduced costs. However, many other benefits present themselves accordingly. Invoicing becomes easier than ever before, going from manual to mobile, all while providing your business quick updates to SKUs, customer data, and balances in a single, ERP-certified click.
Likewise, DSD route sales software lets you ditch tiresome, manual key-ins for orders, as customers are given access to a full range of digital conveniences, such as B2B eCommerce websites, 24/7 customer-focused ordering, and next-delivery defaults.
Furthermore, warehouse-to-truck accuracy is increased exponentially, allowing your business to pick, pack, and ship for each customer, route, or truck with complete quantity verification. Whether by scanning or manual look-up, your orders and inventory are always accounted for.
When it comes to benefactors of DSD route sales software, there are many. Bread and bakery vendors particularly love the ability to quickly and efficiently track return rates and stale rates. As freshness is paramount to their customers, too much product or empty shelves can result in unhappy bakery retailers, or a loss in sales opportunities. As there is growing competition in the artisan bakery industry, every advantage is needed, something DSD route sales software provides in spades.
Similar to bread and bakery vendors, grocery and produce distributors are keen to whatever software lets them stretch their already thin profit margins. Because DSD route sales software yields greater efficiency in inventory control, along with automation options for warehouse and office personnel, route fulfillment errors are a thing of the past.
Likewise, beverage and bottled water vendors greatly benefit from DSD route sales software, as the pick, pack, and deliver process is beautifully streamlined. Offering rapid data recall, barcode scan identification, and a paperless system, DSD software gives these vendors a much-needed leg-up over their competition, all while complying with supplier requirements, government regulation, and route customer expectations.
In the same way that bread, bakery, and produce distributors require efficient software solutions, so too do milk and dairy vendors benefit. With freshness regulation a primary concern, and transportation and tracking requirements being at the forefront, any and every efficiency is welcome. DSD route sales software goes above and beyond here, providing quick access to lot ‘where sold” tracking, eCommerce ordering portals, and delivery route optimization.
So too do snack food vendors benefit from DSD route sales software, as pre-loaded B2B eCommerce portals allow retailers and customers to set up orders, reorder defaults, or stop requests directly online, 24/7. Have leftover product? Turn it into sales quickly with real-time truck or van inventory tracking. Throw in the ability to restock shelves, credit returns, and invoice in the field, and you’ve got yourself a software that pays dividends.
Last but not least, first aid and equipment vendors favor the kit options provided by DSD route sales software, including the ability to deliver by kit and/or kit location, with complete visibility on what goes into each. With the option to take payments in the field via cash, check, or credit card, this process has never been more streamlined.
If you’re wondering how well DSD route sales software could integrate to your business, the answer is seamlessly. As outlined throughout this article, the process starts with accounting integration, wherein your invoicing workflows are streamlined. Your business saves time, your costs are reduced, and your order/invoice accuracy jumps to 100%, all while keeping your field representative(s) honest.
Likewise, your business enjoys much-needed updates to route settlement and order control, with the ability to ditch or add to the traditional, manual key-in methods of ordering via phone, fax, email, or drop/call-ins. Your customers are given the ability to service themselves 24/7, giving your business a boost of dynamic, digital convenience. There’s truly nothing better.
As for our pick for the best DSD route sales software, we wholeheartedly recommend bMobile Route for your DSD needs. Built for convenience from the ground up, bMobile is an easy-to-use, ERP-certified solution for distributors already familiar with QuickBooks, Sage, Syspro, NetSuite, Microsoft (Dynamics), and other popular ERP systems, with EDI and DEX integration that are second to none. Drowning in a sea of spreadsheets? bMobile eliminates the need for manual processing of invoice data with the click of a button.
Likewise, bMobile’s customers enjoy all the cost reduction, mobile invoicing, and route optimization benefits outlined in this article, along with instant prioritization of delivery stops relative to distance, efficiency, and delivery time windows. With clear audits of warehouse-to-truck, truck-to-truck, truck-to-store, and truck-to-warehouse, your business’s end-of-day reports have never been cleaner, or more accurate. See what bMobile and DSD route sales software can do for your business today with their free demo.
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