Supply & Demand | DSD Solutions During COVID-19

Businesses nationwide felt the impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. While some benefited from the sudden surge of panic buying, others felt the pain of inefficiency and the inability to meet public demand. Having a flexible and powerful Mobile DSD Solution will ensure your success no matter the economic climate. 

With features like Mobile Invoicing with Signature Capture, Route Optimization, E-Commerce (with customer self serve portal,) and the ability to work without an internet connection in the field - bMobile Route Software is the obvious choice when it comes to streamlining efficiency, both in and out of the office. Check out this article published by https://www.bakingbusiness.com to learn how bakeries can benefit from a DSD solution. 


 
 
"Flexible distribution models help bakers navigate DSD demand during COVID-19"

https://www.bakingbusiness.com/articles/51109-flexible-distribution-models-help-bakers-navigate-dsd-demand-during-covid-19 

To see our solution in action, visit https://bmobileroute.com/request-a-demo/ to quickly request a demo.

Call (208) 331-5667 or email info@bmobileroute.com 

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?”


 What Businesses Benefit From eCommerce?

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?”

What Is The Presale Model?

Presales are orders that are typically submitted ahead of time by a customer over the phone, over email, or over fax. eCommerce can now replace that phone call, email, or fax and let a customer come in through a portal and create and edit an order coming up in the future.

How eCommerce Works

eCommerce makes it easy for your customers to order from you. It gives your customers the ability to manage their own Presale orders of your products. They can also manage their Product Guide (A list of products they usually buy from you), and they can use their Product Guide to quickly create an order with just a few clicks. Also, you can set up cut off times to anticipate delivery dates so that if a customer orders after a certain time (let’s say after 4:00 PM), delivery will take place 2 or 3 days from then instead of the next day (or however you would like to set those parameters up).

Your Customers will also be able to see their past orders and invoices and can easily use those to repeat or clone an order. Also, you can direct your customers to your eCommerce portal to view your pricing structure and any sales or special deals you are running. This gives you an opportunity to inform the customer of other products you sell that they might be interested in but don’t initially know about.

eCommerce is All About the Customer

Lastly, it’s important to mention that there’s a certain posture or presence that a company portrays by having an eCommerce portal or web ordering portal. The company is clearly stating that they care about their customer’s experience and want to make it as easy as possible for them to order products from them.

30 Day Free Trial

Lastly, we want to give you a chance to try out the bMobile Route eCommerce Add-On by offering you a 30 Day Free Trial!

Pros and Cons of Electronic Payments

Electronic payments are rapidly becoming a standardized and effective way of taking payments no matter where you are. With the integration of this new method into many business’ daily processes, there are both positive and negative changes that must be considered to determine if electronic payments are right for your business.

Here is what we see as the pros and cons to electronic payments as a whole:

Pros:

  • Pay faster
  • Decrease vulnerability of theft
  • Decrease cost of counting money, counting again, and then depositing in bank
  • Convenience
  • Customers have the ability to rack up reward points
  • Pay online

Cons:

  • Processing fees
  • Reconciliation of different card types
  • Application of payments to A/R
  • Keeping up with PCI compliance
  • Taking payment over the phone
  • On boarding a card for future use
  • Cost of hardware to take physical cards

bMobile’s response to customers doing high amounts of transactions with DSD delivery is to eliminate the cons.

Let’s take a look at each con one-by-one.

Processing fees – bMobile has developed a system that limits fees by offering the best rates for Credit Card Transactions as well as offering the ability to accept ACH payments, which come at a flat fee per transaction.  To make it even better, we are also offering the ability to assess a convenience fee using a flat rate or a % to recoup the cost reasonably.

Reconciliation -  By tracking the payment types for reporting purposes, we offer data in our reports to quickly look at payments by dates to help cut down the statement reconciliation process along with ACH and Credit Cards. This gives the processor memo information for quick reference of who made a payment and why.

Application of payments in A/R -  bMobile has given admins, drivers and customers the ability to select what they are paying for with full application in the A/R system.

Keeping up with PCI Compliance – bMobile teamed up with our preferred processors and now uses the latest hardware and software applications to keep you 100% PCI Compliant.

Taking payments over the phone – Now, payments can be taken in whatever way is the most useful for you and your customer, whether it be by phone, web or in the field with your delivery driver.

On boarding a card for future use – This can be done by someone over the phone (long way), by the customer using the web payment portal, or by the driver with a Bluetooth device chip reader.  All three can on board, replace a card on file or use a card for an on-time charge.

Cost of hardware to take a physical card – The only hardware you will need is for the driver - office personnel will use the bMobile Desktop and customers will use the web portal. If cards need on boarding, or need to be charged one time, or you would like to offer Apple Pay and Google Pay, your driver would need to have a Mini Genius at a cost of $60 per unit. If your drivers do not need to on board or take cards for one-time charges, they will not need a Mini Genius Device and can charge a card on file.  They will need an Android device with a data connection to do this instead.

bMobile can help start your experience with electronic payments. If you are interested in integrating electronic payments into your business, don't hesitate to Contact Us!

Call: 1+(888) 900-5667

Email: info@bmobileroute.com

Increase Sales in the Field with bMobile

Selling products in the field is the heartbeat of any company delivering products. Whether you are a company with a group of PreSalers, or a group of salespeople selling directly off the truck. The efficiency goal is to give either model’s salespeople the tools they need to succeed with minimal interruption and speed. The more manual work in their way, the less they are selling. This article highlights three areas in which sales can be impeded when creating an order or an invoice.

1. Handwriting or Typing an Email
It sounds antiquated, but companies are still using 3-part forms and hand calculators to write an order/invoice. This efficiency gap is easy to dissect. Simply put - the time it takes to calculate the numbers, coupled with repetitively writing redundant information, leaves too much room for mistakes to happen. Not to mention, the ability to lose the order or not enter it in the system in a timely fashion can prolong the lack of efficiency. Another method we have seen is using a form of electronic entry through email. In theory, this method has a greater appeal and could certainly help with the timing aspect, but there is still the matter of processing the order.
Electronic order entry through a mobile app that is integrated into your business operation eliminates the consequences of remaining in a dated system. Prices are calculated automatically with promotions in place, the use of a guide or scanner can help create the order/invoice quickly without several points of entry, and when processing is complete you collect a signature, print the receipt and send it back to the admin staff for electronic review.

2. Reminder to Sell Things You Have Sold to the Customer Before, Or to Sell Again
To exemplify, let us say a customer wants to try a new item you have not sold to them before, or it is a seasonal item. If you are writing orders manually, this can easily be forgotten on the subsequent visit, or if a new salesperson takes ownership of the account time is wasted by having them review order history or refer back to the office to get information about the account. Alternatively, the customer may have to remind your salesperson of the prior conversation about the new item and frankly, that could reflect poorly on your company.
With a mobile application, this process could be simplified by having a reminder set up in the salesperson’s guide to add items automatically that they have purchased before, as a visual reminder to sell to the customer again. This is helpful for seasoned salespersons and can easily help with offering insight to a new salesperson regarding an account they are not familiar with.

3. Everyone Loves to Sell, but Not to People Who Do Not Pay
Collections for short term credit accounts is key when salespeople are building their customer base but recording information in a timely manner is vital to maintaining the health and viability of the sale. We have seen people selling to accounts for months only to later discover they were not informed by the office regarding the customer’s payments until it is too late.
Offering this information quickly to the salesperson is crucial. When they arrive at the customer’s location for delivery, it will benefit the salesperson to have access to all open invoices, along with the ability to reprint copies for immediate payment. If your company does not have this ability, you are costing yourself both in admin time and sales, and even more in possible write offs.


bMobile Route Software can offer your company solutions to these efficiency gaps and pain points. With features like customer forecasting, mobile invoicing and printing with signature capture, and truck inventory control, our solution helps you bridge these gaps and increase sales quickly. Our solution works untethered in the field, so your sales team will always have full access to the information needed. To see our solution in action, contact us today at (888) 900-5667 or info@bmobileroute.com or visit www.bmobileroute.com to schedule a demo!

Solutions During Uncertain TImes

The uncertainty in these unprecedented times has forced many businesses to change the way they operate daily. We understand that, as bMobile Route Software’s solution was built to help businesses adapt to changing environments quickly and efficiently. Nevertheless, our customers have understandably expressed concerns in regard to gaining control over redundant entry, truck inventory, customer collections, and reconciliation during this time. This week’s post is intended to help answer those concerns.

Redundant Data Entry

The first topic to address is decreasing redundant entry. Our solution makes it easy to manage the flow of data beginning at the order taking process, all the way through the invoicing process and finally through the accounting system for A/R purposes. In a paper-based system, the margin for error is far greater as variables are undoubtedly more difficult to track. Situations such as not having enough product, having to sell some of the allocated product to another customer, or the customer refusing part of the order can all cause significant strain on record keeping and productivity. With bMobile Route Software, you can quickly collect the order via phone, ecommerce, or device and enter the information into your system one time. Drivers can then see the order information via their device in the field and quickly make any necessary edits to the order and have it synced back to the accounting system for A/R processing, eliminating mathematical errors and customer service challenges. From there, the customer simply electronically signs for the delivery and a receipt with their signature is printed immediately for their records. Additionally, offering your customers the ability to place their own orders and electronically agree to prices and delivery schedules is another great way to maintain point of entry for orders.

Control Over Employees, Productivity, and A/R Balances

In addition to managing orders, our solution also makes it easy to gain greater control over employees, productivity, and A/R balances. Regarding employees, in an ideal world your driver would take the allocated product in the morning, run the route, and record every sale (and credits where applicable) and/or variance that affected the amount of product on the truck. During end of day reconciliation, all transactions would be accounted for and there would be no errors to dispute. However, this ideal world is not reality. bMobile’s solution helps you gain control over potential discrepancies by using the data to create a route balance report for supervisors to review. This quickly highlights variances in inventory and money collected. In regard to A/R balances, we see the new world needing more control and availability of customer balance information. This includes the customer, the office, and the drivers. Payments also need to be easily taken in many different forms – including cash, check, and credit card/ACH. With bMobile, using our e-commerce, it gives access to the customer to review their open invoices and make payments online. For the office, balance information and payments can be seen or entered on the bMobile desktop. For the drivers, information for balances are available on the device. Including historical invoices for reprinting if need be and the ability to take payments and apply them. bMobile Route Software offers solutions to your ever-growing pain points. If you find yourself stuck in the vicious cycle of redundant data entry, or if you would like to have greater control over inventory and employees – contact us today! Let’s discuss how we can help streamline your efficiency and increase profits. (888) 900-5667 or email info@bmobileroute.com

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!

https://bmobileroute.com/solutions/route-fleet-optimization/

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.

Security

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.

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