This is the first in a series of feedback articles contributed by businesses in the Direct Store Delivery(DSD) and Van Sales sectors. All these organisations want to see improvements in their processes and have identified such areas within their existing solution. MESL will be incorporating these changes in its platform upgrade in the coming months.
Too Much Paperwork
Regardless of the size of the organisation, paper-based systems take up more time and effort than any business can afford to spend.
The feedback that we have confirms that regardless of whether you are a wholesale delivery or van sales business, the administrative over-heads of dealing with paper-based systems is impacting on profit and performance. The feeling seems to be that if processes like generating Delivery Documentation, Goods Received Notes, Invoicing at the Point of Delivery could be automated and then electronically documented in real-time,then the savings in time, effort and resource utilisation will reduce overhead costs considerably.
A number of our existing clients who have offered to test and become early adopters of some of this new functionality, are commenting:
“Our business would be revolutionised with this enhanced approach to a new innovative electronic proof of delivery and van sales system. Our processes will become more efficient. Most importantly, profits will soar when we will be able to remove manual, error prone and time-consuming paper based processes.”
We requested an anonymous list of areas where our first beta release affected their business and the following was supplied:
1. Saving through Technology (Direct Store Delivery Customer)
Using paper-based delivery notes, writing invoices manually and scheduling collections and deliveries on paper are all time consuming, inefficient and very frustrating.
Having a digital system eliminates repetitions – allows us to capture an electronic signature with the option of adding a photograph to the signed proof of delivery and then seeing this automatically updated across all our systems immediately, is a major benefit.
We as a business are able to see real-time status updates giving any user or customer full visibility of every delivery with no need to manually confirm delivery status. This will save time and money.
2. Immediate Invoicing (Van Sales Customer)
Accurate and timely invoicing is essential for our business. As a Van Sales Business, we found manual invoicing a burdensome and expensive activity which if we could automate would make a major difference.
On adopting your existing platform, we experienced the speeding up of our invoicing process a real advantage and we are hoping to see this improve even more by the adoption of your new route accounting system. We are now confident when our sales reps create an electronic invoice from their mobile device, that invoices are always correctly priced and calculated.
This has allowed us to add three additional van sales routes without adding any additional office staff and has allowed us to grow both sales and profits.
3. Improve your Operations & Increase Sales (Van Sales Customer)
Since adopting a Route Accounting System, we have improved our operational efficiency and reduced costs between 30-50%.
As a van sales business, we are finding our sales reps make a minimum of 2 extra customer sales per day.
These small changes and process improvements were very easy to implement, and the impact has shown the potential to improve and grow the business.
4. Business Efficiency
One of our biggest issues was the need to duplicate data entries on multiple systems.
This used up expensive office resources that could have been used more productively in other areas.
Since the adoption of your Route Accounting Solution,
"Duplicate data input has been removed and we found the automatic updates reduce errors and significantly increase accuracy."
Daily tasks like creating and processing paper delivery notes and re-keying van sales invoices have become a distant memory;
every POD and Invoice is processed, filed and then easily accessed by our internal system.
We have also recently implemented an ERP system which has now been integrated with your Route Accounting System, the integration of these two systems with real-time updating is saving us many hours of office resource every day and providing quicker information to our managers.
5. Stock Control - Easier, Better, Faster
Our biggest issue to overcome involved our stock management - knowing where it was, stock not being rotated, and stock losses. These were major concerns from our business managers and seriously eroded our profit margins.
We have now found that by automating stock control using your Route Accounting System, the loading of stock on to vehicles and monitoring its usage are simple tasks.
6. Access to Our System - Anytime, Anywhere
We found that having our old system installed in our main office only allowed information to be accessed or updated from one location and only when our drivers and sales rep came into the office.
Your new solution being cloud-based, can not only be accessed from any location but stays updated in real time after every transaction.
We no longer need to make decisions based on data from 24 hours ago but on sales and stock movement from the last 5 mins.
Our staff can access real-time information that helps with stock production, sales trending and the current stock position on every vehicle when they need it.
7. Save Trees, Go Green - Save Money!
We were conscious of trying to maintain a green approach to our business, it was not a deciding factor but the ability to lose both the cost of paper processes and the cost of the paper helped to sway the decision.
We calculated the cost paper had on the business which included printing costs and the filing and storage required, and it was mind-boggling.
By going digital and taking up paperless workflows, we now see cost saving going directly back onto the bottom line and a reduction in the storage of conventional paper records.