bMobile is Attending IBIE!

bMobile Route Software is heading to the 2019 International Baking Institute Expo (IBIE)!

IBIE is an expo that is only held every three years. bMobile has engaged with some of its most valuable clients at this show. We are excited to have the privilege of participating again on Sept 8th through the 11th at booth #171.

IBIE Logo

The show will be presented with everything needed to run any type of bakery business, from cake decorating utensils to fully automated manufacturing lines. The machinery that is present at this show is truly amazing.

The show is expecting more than 23,000 baking professionals from every aspect of the industry to come together at IBIE to leverage their opportunities, acquire what’s new and move their operations forward.

bMobile Route Software will be there to highlight our Android based:

  • Mobile invoicing/ordering
  • Mobile customer management
  • Mobile inventory management

With these topics, we will discuss how they are built for companies in the baking industry that deliver their own products. 

We will also be highlighting solutions around some other areas including:

  • Customer Forecasting
  • Credit Card / ACH Payment Processing
  • Ecommerce and Phone App Customer Ordering
  • DEX for Large Chain Stores
  • Route Optimization

We are in Booth #171!

Dex for Walmart

Recently we’ve had a large amount of calls regarding Walmart and the switch to DEX from other forms of EDI. Here is what this means to you if you’ve been contacted by Walmart.

First, if you have never heard of DEX, the process is both one of the oldest forms of EDI and one of the most immediate for getting your product and invoices into the system of your customer.

DEX was introduced in the late 1980’s and the technology behind it looks fairly simple. It usually consists of a DEX cable that has a plug-in on the end that is the same size as a standard stereo plug like you might see on a pair of headphones.

When in use, this cable connects physically or wirelessly to a mobile device running a route management system like bMobile Route Manager. From there, once the delivery is at the store, the driver simply takes the cable and plugs it into a jack in the receiving dock, which then allows the driver to electronically send a copy of the delivery into the store’s computer system.

There are two files that usually get sent, 894 and 895 records. The 894 is the delivery record, which the receiver then gets on their end allowing them to confirm the items in the delivery, and then if there are any returns, the 895 is also transmitted.

The advantages of this are as follows:

  • The delivery is in the customer system immediately, thus reducing time to pay
  • The items on the delivery are validated using the UPC code and eliminate any driver entry error – also both price and quantity are validated
  • It provides a way for the supplier (you) and the customer to remove any disputes on deliveries, thus reducing chargebacks and other issues

Walmart has been requiring suppliers to use EDI through either a VAN (a third party who handles the transactions) or have those transactions sent directly to their servers. But this method has always been ‘after the fact’ once the driver returned to the office and uploaded the day’s information into the supplier’s route system. This means there would be a delay in getting that information back to Walmart for remittance.

Now, Walmart is adopting DEX and asking all suppliers to use this technology. While to some it may seem like using the oldest EDI method is a step back, it is actually a smart move on one of the largest retailers in the world. It will speed up your payments from them and eliminate errors on the delivery records.

If you want to know more about how to add a DEX solution to your bMobile Route Manager and serve customers like Walmart and many others, please give us a call and we’ll be glad to show you more about how this can help!

Call: 1+(888) 900-5667

Email: info@bmobileroute.com

You can also view the Walmart DEX supplier requirements and standards here.

Need DEX to Grow Your Business?

There are relatively few barriers to entry if a supplier wants to DEX with a retailer, and with a bit of planning, implementation can go quite smoothly. A small manufacturer may be interested in expanding their business to retailers that require DEX, but both the supplier and the consultant they are working with might not have much experience. Here are a few things to think about as you begin your DEX journey in Direct Store Delivery and how bMobile Route Software can make the process easier.

1. Setup

One of the most important aspects in a DEX implementation for a supplier may be in the communication channel that is set up with the retailers. Different retailers have different processes that suppliers must adhere to before the supplier will be allowed to DEX. At the product level, this might mean an audit of the product and price list that the supplier and retailer have to insure that they match. At the software level, it can mean a host of things. Many of the large chains have predefined technical specifications for what information must be included in a DEX transmission. Sometimes, even though the standard may list a certain piece of information as optional, the retailer will require it.

Certification of the software may also be necessary. This usually involves a trip to the retailer’s headquarters to run the software through a variety of scenarios that may happen in the DEX process. bMobile can flexibly integrate with various businesses such as Target, CVS, and more.

2. Software

The retailer’s solutions, although customized for their needs, may come with much of the DEX functionality built into certain modules that they must install and activate. The supplier’s solution may come with the route accounting software that is being used, but at times this software is not compatible. This may necessitate some customization of the software to make it DEX capable. Making the software capable will require that the invoice be translated into the proper DEX format, and translated back out of the format for reconciliation. The DEX software will also have to transfer identifying information and perform communications handshakes with the retailer’s system. bMobile Route Software can subvert these steps by being able to integrate with many different systems from the get-go. This makes the transition to DEX easy and efficient for both the organization and the driver/operator.

3. Integration

When the route accounting software is in place and DEX capable, it is important that the proper integration takes place with the suppliers system. Because the DEX process is the proof of delivery, it is important to record some of the information such as the digital signature from the transmission for later usage.

Expanding your direct store delivery operations to retailers that require DEX can be very profitable. It is important to make sure you have a software partner that understands DEX and can provide the best DSD solution for your business.

Interested in using bMobile Route Software to integrate DEX into your business? Don’t hesitate to Contact Us! We’ll help you set up all devices with our route software for all your DEX needs.

Adapted From Original Article by Gimme DSD; Posted With Permission

Tech Tips from the bMobile Tech Team

Hello out there! Today we thought it would be interesting to talk about barcodes, commonly referred to as UPC codes, and why those are useful to distributors in the field. You’ve likely seen other distributors using scanning devices as they create orders and the receivers in the back dock at your customer locations using their own ‘guns’ to scan in those items that you are delivering. We thought it would be a great idea to discuss why this method is so useful to distributors.

Barcodes are everywhere and on nearly every product that you handle today. Originally designed in the 1930s and patented in the 1940s, they didn’t come into widespread use in retail applications until the 1970s. Fun fact, the first retail scan was of a Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit pack of gum in a supermarket in 1974!

The basic idea of barcodes is simple. The printed pattern represents a string of numbers and/or characters and a scanner reads this pattern. It then converts it to that string in order to feed it to an application like Point of Sale registers and our bMobile RouteManager and bMobile Inventory applications.  The barcode reader usually has a laser or scanning device that looks at the barcode, measures it, and interprets the length of each line and the spaces between them to do that conversion.

As a distributor, barcoding makes sense for companies that have really large lists of items. It allows the lookup of items in order to add them to invoices quickly without having to memorize part numbers. It also allows warehouse workers to use them to complete the picking and receiving of items. Another big use of UPC data is in the EDI and DEX processes. The UPC code becomes a ‘common’ number between two different companies, who may have different internal item numbers for the same physical item. This UPC code acts as a translation between such systems.

The most common UPC codes that we see are UPC-A, UPC-E, and EAN-13. While these codes are the basic standards we encounter in the field, there are literally hundreds of other codes in use for all sorts of industries, even postal services! And now there are newer 3-D codes that are even showing up on drivers’ licenses and other forms of personal identification like passports.

Each distributor usually decides for themselves where having barcode scanning will make an impact on efficiency. Sometimes UPC data is only needed for the EDI and DEX processes and aren’t used in scanning. It all just depends on the distributor.  And because how they use the codes and where they use them is important, having the right device to handle that scanning makes a big difference.  If you are working in a warehouse, you might opt for using a rugged device that integrates the scanner with the handheld device. This allows the user to hold the device with one hand while pulling the inventory items with the other.

For users such as merchandisers out in the field who may not actually be handling much product while writing new orders, it might make sense to use larger devices (Android-powered tablets for example) in conjunction with a handheld scanner. The ergonomics between the two uses often determines which method you chose. Naturally, cost and durability also plays a part in any decision you might make.

Handheld scanners are separate devices that usually connect via Bluetooth to the handheld device (Android powered tablets) and bMobile has a list of both rugged, integrated devices and separate handheld scanners. This list can help you start thinking about what kinds of scanners you would want to use across your enterprise.  Among the more popular devices on the market, Socket scanners makes handheld scanners in a variety of configurations that work for most any user. Both Zebra and CipherLab have rugged, integrated units. The links below are to the certified scanners for the bMobile applications.

No matter what kind of product you distribute, you will likely benefit from the efficiency of having UPC codes and scanners. They facilitate quick entry of product and allow for a reduction in mistakes from the manual ‘lookup’ process. If you want to know more about using barcodes in your bMobile solution, just give us a call and we’ll gladly walk through the process with you. You’ll be glad you did!

Is bMobile eCommerce right for your business?

Thinking about trying out the eCommerce Add-On but not sure if it is right for your business?

Many businesses have used an eCommerce solution to grow their sales and their customer base. The main question to consider when discussing if an eCommerce solution is right for your business is “Does your company use the Presale model?”

Read the rest of this article that quickly explains which businesses benefit most from our bMobile Route eCommerce Add-On.

RouteMizer Now Available on Apps.com!

RouteMizer has been certified and ready for apps.com! It has been recognized and certified by QuickBooks and is now available on the website as a route optimization solution.

RouteMizer can be viewed in apps.com here.

Introducing the bMobile Route Training Center

bMobile is proud to introduce the bMobile Route Training Center website! This website is designed for those who are in need of information about bMobile Route software from basic questions to more specific requests.

The Training Center contains many different guides and tutorials - step-by-step guides take viewers through certain processes such as installing different versions of the software, setting up routes, and pairing printers with devices, and FAQs quickly answer questions without the need for support.
 
There is also an implementation video series for new users to watch that visually guides them through the bMobile Route software. At the end, users will be certified and able to efficiently use many functions of the software!

bMobile Route Has Been Updated!

bMobile Route Software has been updated! We have opened a new website with an updated look and new content. We have also added a live chat for live support.

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