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.
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:
We requested an anonymous list of areas where our first beta release affected their business and the following was supplied:
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.
Accurate and timely invoicing is essential for our business. As a van sales businesses 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.
These small changes and process improvements were very easy to implement, and the impact has shown the potential to improve and grow the business.
This used up expensive office resources that could have been used more productively in other areas. Since the adoption of your Route Accounting Solution,
Daily tasks like creating and processing paper delivery notes and re-keying van sales invoices have become a distant memory;
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.