E-Commerce as a solution during COVID-19

Is your business ready for change? More importantly, is your system ready for change?

Global Pandemic = Change
Considering recent events, many businesses are changing how they operate. With such an excessive amount of collective uncertainty, thousands of businesses were forced to cease operations until conditions improve. Now more than ever, it’s time to evaluate the inner workings of your business in relation to the current pandemic. For example, was your system ready to support your employees working remotely? Is your customer base diverse? Is your customer base changing rapidly? Do you
have a system that can quickly and efficiently adapt to the times?

At bMobile, many of our clients maintain steady productivity due largely to the fact that they serve customers that sell food and beverage items. Unfortunately, some of our clients lacked diversity in their client base and are having to hurriedly search for new markets in order to generate new revenue sources. The greatest impacted are our clients that serve the food service sector.

How can we help you?
We have also spoken with prospects that are thinking out of the box and inquired about their pain points, given the current economic state. We identified a need for a solution that can expand their market space and accommodate new processes quickly. Furthermore, we discovered that several of those we spoke to are either using a legacy system or have not implemented a mobile solution entirely.
Consequently, this has led to them feeling that they cannot adapt fast enough to the evolution of times. bMobile has been in the Direct Store Delivery solutions business for over 20 years working with companies just like yours – everyday. This authoritative experience has given us intimate first-hand knowledge about how implementing an efficient mobile solution can help lower costs, increase profits,
and streamline day to day procedures. Think about your current system, are you still creating paper invoices and printing them in an office? If you needed to work remotely, could your current system support every aspect of your operation? Staying complacent in the “status quo” mindset can wreak havoc on your future success by limiting your functionality as a whole. A great system will help you spend less time in the office completing redundant tasks and more time making sales!

Our Solution
We’ve developed a solution that can help your business continue to thrive during this unpredictable climate. With bMobile Route Software, we can help you quickly implement a business-to-business eCommerce platform that features a self-service portal for your customers to place orders, view invoices and make payments. Offering this option to your customers could empower them to buy more product
and significantly increase your revenue stream. Although cash is king, credit cards will be used more frequently and are arguably more convenient. Furthermore, with our Google Cloud Platform your data is accessible anywhere and is protected with the best SSL technology available.

bMobile Route Software makes it easy for your business to adapt in an unpredictable environment. Give us a call to further discuss how we can help! See what makes us better than the competition and why we’re the #1 DSD Software Solution.

To quickly summarize:

Systems holding things back include:
• Paper systems
    o Printing in office
• Legacy computers
    o No remote access
• Status quo mindset
    o Change is our friend

In the box ideas include:
• Business to business e-commerce
    o Self-service portal for new and old customers to put in orders and make payments
• Credit Card/ACH processing
    o Cash is king, but in these times Credit Cards will be used and convenient
• Remote access
    o Our Google Cloud Platform is both persistent and offers access from anywhere
• Route Optimization

Out of the box ideas include:
• Home Delivery
    o Management of on boarding and allowing a different way to manage orders is crucial
• Consumer facing E-commerce
    o Ecommerce and the ability for them to self-serve is the key.
• Consumer order pick up
    o It is like running a route, but at the pickup window with CC/ACH payments on the spot.

Why You Should Optimize Your Delivery Routes

For this post we’d like to discuss Route Optimization and how it can benefit your business by increasing driver efficiency, decreasing operating costs, and help you conduct more business during the work day.

To help determine if you need to optimize your routes, we recommend asking yourself three questions.

  1. How often are you required to reorder your stops and how much time does that take you?
  2. How many of your customers have specific time windows that your drivers have to meet?
  3. How often do your drivers have to fulfill “hot shots?”

Let’s quickly define what a “hot shot” is. A driver may have ten pre-determined scheduled stops for the day and has already completed the first two. A customer that is not scheduled for the day calls with a last-minute order that needs to be delivered today. The driver must somehow efficiently and accurately fit that hot shot into their routes for the remainder of the day. bMobile recognizes this efficiency gap and offers the driver the ability to re-optimize the route directly from their device in the field! Our software quickly re-optimizes the route while accounting for current driver location and the location of the newly added customer – and ensure the driver completes their route in the most efficient way possible.

Moving into the second question of how many of your customers have specific delivery time windows that your drivers must meet? Referring back to our example of having ten stops to complete – there may be a customer that is located conveniently to your driver and as such, would make sense to visit earlier in the day; however, their delivery window isn’t until much later. The driver would need to take this into account as they complete their stops for the day. Using bMobile Route Software’s Route Optimization Tool, you have the ability to optimize this route for your driver directly from the office! Our software will consider the driver’s current latitude and longitude coordinates and will fit each customer into the route sequence accordingly. This will not only increase driver efficiency but will also increase customer satisfaction.

Lastly, how often are you required to reorder your stops for your drivers and how long does this take you? With bMobile Route Software, not only do you have the ability to optimize all of your routes from the office, but it is done quickly inside of one program! Gone are the days of exporting customer delivery data into a separate program and syncing that program with your current software. Any time you need to rearrange your stops, simply select the Route Optimization tool in bMobile and let our software do the work for you!

bMobile’s Route Optimization tool helps you save time, money and increases driver efficiency! Call or email us today to get started! (888) 900-5667

Watch our Route Optimization video: Click here to watch now!


Customer Forecasting

Do you need to get a better handle on predicting your purchases or production for the products you sell? Many customers still work on the traditional method of visiting the stores and just filling the shelves to the maximum capacity. The drawback on this is that you never know how much has been sold so you don’t know how much to bring along in the truck. This leads to the potential of carrying too much inventory on the truck and over production which in turn leads to product going bad.

Many distributors, particularly those that produce fresh goods like bread and tortillas have been using the method of Forecasting the need for the products they will deliver. This has the advantage of getting the right amount of product to the stores without having either a shortage or excess of product.

It works like this – as the drivers make their delivery, they also allow the system to record how much product is still on the shelves.  Then, it records any returns being made.

When the system sends this information back to the server, it can then be used by the bMobile Forecasting add-in to create a suggested order for the next delivery. It takes all of the data gathered plus looks at the previous sales and returns over the period of time you specify to determine these numbers.

In addition, it gives your drivers control to adjust those numbers as you see fit so they can manage the forecast from the field. There might be a store special or other need for a number that is different that what was forecasted.

When combining the forecast with the lead days you can get your drivers dialed in on the numbers you need to keep your inventory ‘just in time’ and profitable!

Check out our YouTube video for further explanation! Click here to watch!  



bMobile will be attending the IBIE tradeshow on September 8th through the 11th and will be ready to discuss your forecasting needs. Come see us at booth #171 and we can show you how forecasting will improve your inventory control!

Backups, Disaster Recovery, and Crypto-Locking

These days everyone has a computer or an entire computer network to help them do their jobs. Those computers are like any other tool and should be maintained and protected regularly. And as we all know, disaster strikes when we are thinking the least about it. Just remember, when this strikes, your company will be hit with possible data loss, downtime for employees and your business, and financial losses. In many cases, companies that don’t have anything in place often just close up in the face of disaster.


Most everyone knows that you should make backups, and some folks might have even heard of the concept of disaster recovery. But recently, more scary things have been showing up on the news – crypto-locking. These attacks seem to rise alongside the value of Bitcoin and target businesses. This newest trend is where a hacker takes control over your system and encrypts the entire system. Then they will contact you and offer to unlock your system for a fee, usually paid in Bitcoins.  

For most people, the idea of having to buy Bitcoins just to get your own information back is daunting. And there are no guarantees that if you pay the fee that the hackers won’t just take the money and run. We’ve seen ransoms of anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. It all depends on what the hackers think that you are worth.

Here at bMobile, we’ve ran into a handful of these cases in the last few years. It doesn’t happen that often, but if it does happen the best thing you can do is to have a plan in place and be prepared to execute it. You should also either already have an IT staff in place or a contract for an outside IT firm so you don’t have to deal with finding someone in the middle of your disaster.

Virus protection software is also a critical piece of the puzzle. It can make a huge difference running regular scans on your network. In addition, make sure you stay current on patches for your operating systems – flaws and vulnerabilities are addressed with these patches.

To start, make sure you are creating a daily backup. This backup should include all databases and files that are critical to your company’s operations. More importantly, this backup should be stored off-site, preferably in the cloud. There are several benefits to this including making sure the backup is not corrupted by the hackers as well as for disaster recovery. Not all catastrophic events are hacker related. Sometimes Mother Nature throws hurricanes, tornados, floods, and fire into the mix. We’ve seen all of these happen to our clients over the years.

Once you have a good backup in a place you can access, practice restoring it to make sure you can do so when the time comes. In the case of the crypto-locking scenario, you will be able to pinpoint that last good backup before it happened and restore your system to that point. You may wind up losing a day’s worth of work, but it is much better than the other option of paying a large sum of money that may unlock only some or most of your files and usually only after more time is lost while you wait.

When something like this occurs, it is also useful to have your IT staff figure out the point where the hackers got in. Many times it is as simple as a bogus email that has a link in it that once clicked, triggers the process the hackers use to encrypt your system.

Discuss with your staff best practices around opening suspicious emails, not visiting unapproved web sites, and being ‘cyber-aware’. These days, a little common sense and healthy skepticism can make all the difference between having your doors open for business. If you would like to discuss plans for keeping your systems safe and want to get our take on what you should be doing, please give us a call and we’ll be glad to talk to you!

Call: 1+(888) 900-5667

Email: info@bmobileroute.com

Bill Backs From Direct Store Delivery (DSD) and How to Account For Them Easily

When you receive a check from a major chain store, or potentially not even a major store, you may notice that they have taken credits for what would be considered a bill back. This is for things like marketing, shelf space rental, promotions, and more. These can be hard to calculate ahead of time and most of the time you don’t know about them until you receive the check. You have two ways to account for these.

1. The Long Way - Create a credit for the same amount for an item that is, to the best of your knowledge, categorized for financial reporting purpose via an item on the system. This method is the most transparent and best for reporting purposes. For example, you can run a report on how many times you have credited “Marketing Bill Back” to Safeway Store #454.

2. The Short Way - Discount one or many invoices as you are entering the payment and classify the discount from a general ledger perspective. However, there are a couple of hiccups.

  • If the credits are larger than any one invoice, you will have to spread it out over multiples due to the fact that there is only one discount per invoice.
  • Reporting is less transparent, but the financial impact is taken care of quicker.

bMobile Route Software has made it easy to accomplish either of these methods at a parent (corporate) level or child (store) level. 

This is part of the fun of being in this market and we are glad to help win and keep these accounts with our DSD companies.

Vendors and How to Service Your Clients While Representing Different Companies

Today we'd like to talk about how distributors handle the challenge of having multiple lines of product. Most distributors deal with a wide range of products but are also required to manage those sales and report that information back to the companies from where they purchased the product.

When making those deliveries, they are also often asked to "do business as" or appear to their clients to be that company they are representing with those products. For instance, they may need to create invoices under their own business when delivering one line of product, but when they deliver another line of product, they may need to create an invoice for that manufacturer or whoever they contracted with to handle the delivery side.

In these cases, those invoices need to have different header information (name, address, phone, website, etc.) and unique logos. It is entirely possible that the distributor may not even handle the accounts receivable on those particular deliveries.

If this is the situation that you face in your business, bMobile has a solution for you! Part of the feature set in bMobile Route Manager allows you to assign vendors and vendor classes. This feature can be set up in order to produce unique invoices separate from your normal invoice. You can assign either customers or inventory items to these classes to assure that you are creating the right invoice under the right circumstances.

These features and several more give power to using vendors in bMobile. Whether you need to "roll up" your sales information to your accounting or not show it at all on your books, using vendors is a powerful tool to controlling how your sales are delivered and recorded. If you want to know more about how to utilize vendors in your bMobile Route Manager system, just give us a call and we'll be happy to show you how to get better control over your sales!

Call: 1+(888) 900-5667

Email: info@bmobileroute.com

Need CONSIGNMENT to Grow Your Business?

To push your product into retail store shelf space, many distributors consign products to the retailer, collecting payment after the inventory has sold. The advantage of doing this is the retailer has a low upfront investment typically determined as a pricing arrangement with the distributor to cover lost or stolen products. This makes keeping track of merchandise for each store imperative and could potentially add additional cost to a distributor with managing the consignment process. You need a user-friendly system to handle consignment inventory.

Most accounting/inventory systems don't handle consignment inventory very well because of the nature of the consignment transaction. The product doesn't change ownership at the time of the delivery and requires a manual process to track what each store has, which takes a lot of time and creates opportunities for error. If this process isn't monitored, it can make reconciling your consignment inventory a nightmare.

bMobile Consignment makes it easy for a delivery driver to drop a consignment transaction, easily see at the next scheduled stop for that customer what was left and simply count the remaining items that are on the shelf. The software will automatically calculate what has been sold based on the count and an AR/Invoice transaction is created.

Using specific build-ups and par levels for each store will allow the driver to see what quantities to pick off their truck to process another consignment transaction. All this detail is part of the data communicated back to the office via the bMobile sync. Admin users can run reports for each consignment store, understand how many items each store should have and make accurate business decisions.

First Aid and Safety Supply Delivery - Made Easier With bMobile

With the need for first aid kits and safety products in offices and other workplaces, the demand to deliver these products is increasing. While doing so, you need to keep track of each item as well as pricing and invoices. bMobile offers a solution that reduces the complexity of this process to complete your stops faster.

With bMobile Route Software, you can utilize Kits to manage your customers and supplies. Using a device, you can track the location of each Kit (by customer, for example) and know which items are stocked and which items need to be delivered. You can also manage pricing by customer and product. When it is time to collect a payment, methods such as cash, check, and credit card are all acceptable. From there, you can electronically collect a signature and even print or email invoices with the grand total at the bottom straight to your customers. Due to being handled digitally, these transactions reduce paperwork and processing time.

bMobile Route Software also has the ability to keep track of truck inventory in real-time. With this feature, you have the ability to sell leftover inventory and turn it into revenue. In addition, by keeping transactions and inventory on a device, you can minimize downtime between each route stop and focus more on sales.

Streamlining the route delivery process can be achieved with bMobile Route Software. Being able to track inventory and collect payments from a device can help propel your business by increasing productivity and reducing downtime. This is no exception with the first aid and safety supply industry, which greatly benefits from these features.

Introducing and Discussing the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2

While in the field, you will want to use devices that are durable, long-lasting, and efficient for your needs. With the rapid pace of advancing technology, rugged devices and tablets breaking and growing outdated are growing more frequent. The price of upgrading and purchasing new devices may be costly for your business, and so you want to ensure that your device of choice will last you a long time - but it may be difficult trying to find the right match. In particular, Samsung recently has started to focus on the business world and offer various tablets and devices for these workforces. Today, we would like to talk about the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2 and the various features it offers.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2 is a rugged tablet that originally released in 2017 in various regions before coming to the United States in 2018. The device’s main focal point lies in its durability, with the tablet being subject to 21 different durability tests, including elements such as drops, high and low temperatures, exposure to water, and more. Whether you work in cold, heat, water, snow, or any other condition, the Active2 will suit your needs.

Despite all of the focus on durability, the tablet has a variety of features to make work more convenient. Some features include a water-resistant pen, facial recognition, and a Glove mode that allows you to work while using protective gear. It is also highly customizable with a variety of apps, software, and accessories. With all of these things in mind, the Active2 can fit right in the workspace of your business.

Some more highlights of the Active2 include:

  • 1.6 GHz Octa-Core processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB Storage
  • Removable Battery
  • IP Rating of 68 (the highest rating of protection and durability!)

Between durability and customization, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2 is an efficient device that can fit right in with your business.

The Benefits of Using Standardized Tools


This week we thought it would be great to talk about standardization. It is important that the software you use and the companies who support that software use standardized tools.  There are many software solutions out there for many types of uses, but as you look into them it becomes important to recognize the need for strong control over them. In order to achieve this, most use tools that have been accepted by the developers who create them and the staff who supports them.

There are multiple reasons for wanting to control these tools, each with their own benefits. Some of those are:

Support of the manufacturers  – This is probably the biggest reason of all. The manufacturers of the tools used to program such applications at bMobile Route Manager and other tools used to support the application provide their own patches and updates to these tools to keep them up to date. They fix bugs and other issues with their product and assure compatibility with changes to operating systems and the release of new operating systems. In our world, we see constant updates to mobile devices in the form of Android updates. It is important that we have the latest tools to make sure we are ready for any upcoming changes that might impact our application and prevent users from being able to get full use out of it.

Virus scanners and firewalls – We often see applications get shut out by virus scanners and other firewalls, including both hardware like SonicWall and software.  It is important that those tools are controllable by support staff in order to make exceptions for the applications and assure that they will continue to work with these important security measures in place. Well known and widely accepted security tools are the key to making this happen.  Often we see more obscure or lesser known products do damage to applications through the quarantine process. Always check with your application provider before putting a new security tool in use.

Easy to troubleshoot – The more standard a tool used to write an application is, the easier it is for the developers to troubleshoot issues. This also applies to database engines and other components such as the web services used to move data back and forth from device to desktop. E-commerce brings along additional components and the more those are standardized, the more control the end user has over the look and feel.

Recognized ecosystem of other applications and other integration points – In this day and age, users are interested in tying applications together to move data back and forth. Having a recognized tool to do this makes it easier to accomplish these goals and get applications to talk to each other. Having a product like Route Manager with the ability to push and pull data from ERP systems like QuickBooks, NetSuite, or the Sage line of products is invaluable. Users also look to be able to extract key data to do KPI reports and use them in their Business Intelligence (BI) tools to make sound business decisions.

Training users – Having standardized tools makes it easier to train users and also provides the benefit of having a user community that is often available online to help diagnose issues or provide training on the usage of those tools.

All of these reasons are important when considering a software solution. You want to make sure that the provider uses standard tools to create and support the applications. We know that taking a little time to make sure that is in place will pay off in the long run and make your experience a positive one.