Did you know that 11 of the top 15 retailers in the world use direct store delivery for their businesses? Direct store delivery or DSD can offer the chance to deliver products to their clients without needed warehousing, making it crucial both for established companies as well as those just starting out.
But what is DSD and how can you make it work for your business? Read on to get an in-depth look at some strategies that can hike up DSD sales.
What Is DSD?
DSD is a distribution model that allows you to move away from warehouses and centralized distribution centers. It gets your products to stores without having to go through the extra step of sending them to the store’s distribution centers.
In a traditional distribution scenario, the manufacturer would send products to the store’s central distribution center, which would then send them to the individual stores or customers. With a DSD model, the manufacturer would send the products directly to the stores or customers.
This means fewer costs for the manufacturer as well as for the retailer, who would not have to pay for warehouses anymore.
Benefits of DSD Sales
Direct store delivery offers benefits for the manufacturers and suppliers, as well as for the retailers.
For the suppliers, this model offers more flexibility in delivery schedules and other logistics, while also lowering costs. It also reduces the handling of the product, which can be important for more fragile items.
For retailers, DSD means much quicker delivery times, which saves money and increases client satisfaction. Instead of having to wait for the products to get to the distribution center and to move through the logistics there, the retailer can get deliveries right to the store. DSD is popular in the food and drinks industries for this reason.
Retailers are also better able to maintain an accurate inventory with DSD sales, and chances of lost items or thefts are much lower.
Best DSD Practices
If you have implemented or are planning to implement DSD models for your business, there are some strategies you want to know about. They can allow you to increase DSD sales and lower costs.
Keep Your Field Staff Informed
You do not want only your sales representatives to know about your products. Your drivers and delivery people should know about them, as well.
When you inform your field staff, you are making it easier for them to address customer issues on the field without having to reach out to other representatives.
Give your staff e-catalogs with descriptions, product specifications, and pictures. They should also be able to access customer data and sales histories to make it easier for them to handle concerns, and it can even equip them with what they need to finalize sales.
You can also drive up sales by offering special promotions your delivery people are able to offer. By doing this, you can transform your field staff into sellers, too, maximizing your products’ exposure.
Connect Your Data
When you have delivery people making deliveries, you want to make sure they have all of the information they need in one platform. This is where DSD software can make a difference.
A DSD sales app will allow your entire team to access sales information, distribution operations, payments, invoicing, inventory, and anything else they need. Many of these apps also allow team members to edit the information, giving everyone live updates on changes to orders.
Some important software options to consider are enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), a communications platform that allows managers, drivers, and retailers to stay in contact throughout the entire process, and an app to track stock.
Optimize Route Accounting
Route optimization is vital for DSD and route accounting software can make it easier to achieve.
Instead of having to input delivery locations manually, drivers can use software that connects to the best map apps. They will be able to see their deliveries and pull up a map to help them get to the location.
The most efficient way of doing this is to use a platform that can be integrated into a variety of devices so that your staff can install it on their own property.
The platform you opt for should have offline functionality to make it easier for staff to access it no matter where they are.
It is not enough to have updated sales and product information. Distributors and manufacturers also have to have a system for tracking activities, staff locations, and completed tasks.
With a system of this kind, you make sure managers have up-to-date information on route staff, allowing them to make last-minute changes to deliveries. Managers should also be able to monitor the store delivery process to avoid any errors.
One of the biggest challenges in the DSD model is keeping track of all of your stock. Stock keeping units work to keep this information up-to-date, but how can you manage all of those units?
There are apps and software options that allow you to add and reconcile many barcodes at the same time at all route addresses. It can help you keep track of the stock-keeping units without requiring expensive add-ons like barcode scanners.
Get the DSD Software You Need
To manage DSD sales, you need the kind of software that can make tracking orders, updating stock, and keeping your field staff informed much easier. Advanced DSD Sales Apps like OrderTaker can offer the ability to give you staff real-time updates on products, prices, promotions, inventory, invoicing, accounts receivables, past purchases, customer CRM data, route accounting DSD optimization, route planning, trade promotions and more both online and offline to give your sales reps the power and flexibility to grow revenues and provide optimal field services.
Contact us to learn more about OrderTaker!