|By Kevin Benedict
|July 11, 2012 02:22 PM EDT
Mobility Expert Alok Pant, CEO of Unvired, shares his insights on mobile DSD (direct store delivery) in this guest blog.
In a world of fast changing tastes and instant
gratification, my can of favorite beverage had better be on the shelf.
If not, the retailer and supplier will have lost a loyal
customer. Direct Store Delivery (DSD) is a vital process that brings foods and beverages to the shelf.
Mobilizing the DSD process makes the supply chain
much more efficient, and ensures that the shopping experience is a pleasant one. In
the world of enterprise mobility, mobile DSD is not a luxury—it is a must have.
While SAP and other companies have solutions for DSD, the
Mobile DSD (MDSD) area remains ripe for innovation. During our implementations of DSD and MDSD
Solutions, customers have shared with us valuable feedback. The usability of MDSD solutions can be
improved to enhance sales and productivity of the delivery drivers. The User Interface can be simplified for data
entry and screen navigation. In many cases, there is a need to re-engineer the
process flow to meet our clients' needs.
One area to improve is in Sales Order creation. Immediate Sales Order replication to SAP can
trigger the follow up leading to faster order fulfillment. Another area to
improve is Customer Surveys. During the store visit, the supplier personnel
collect customer data via surveys. This survey data can be integrated with CRM
systems like SAP CRM, which can be fed into BW and analytics can be utilized to
make better decisions.
Another insight from our customers is that it would be good to
integrate the MDSD application with Asset Maintenance/Plant Maintenance systems
to create and access Notifications.
Many times, the drivers are doing multiple things —taking orders,
merchandising as well as conducting maintenance and repairs on a variety of assets the supplier has deployed at the retailers - think refrigerators as an example.
Some customers have unique requirements for mobilizing DSD,
and only a custom MDSD solution will work. In these cases, we utilize our domain expertise and deliver a custom MDSD solution. We also give our customers the option of either an on-premise or in the cloud solution.
Mobile DSD in conjunction with DSD has benefits for both the
CP (consumer products) manufacturer and the retailer. The
supplier can better monitor demand on the shelf, be more responsive, and better control merchandising and promotions. New products can be introduced
better and innovations increase. The retailer in turn benefits from lower
capital outlays and always having fast moving items in stock.
So the next time you grab that beverage, thank the process
that enables you to quench your thirst - Mobile DSD.
Kevin Benedict, Mobile Industry Analyst, Mobile Strategy Consultant and SAP Mentor Alumnus
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.