The concept of direct store delivery or Van sales is an age-old ready-stock distribution model. It is a success model which still runs for sales of perishable products.
As a practice, manufacturers or sellers load the stock in their vehicle every morning, follow a beat and try to sell it all throughout the day. With the advent of technologies, the shelf life of perishable products has increased significantly. However, there are daily consumer products like milk, bread, butter etc. that still run on Van Sales. The introduction of automation has brought a major change in this field.
If your business runs on wheels and you are looking to get better ROI from it, then you are at the right page. Here, we are going to decode all the aspects of DSD operation, discuss the challenges you face running them, along with possible solutions with van sales automation technology.
What is Van Sales for FMCG brands?
Van Sales is an end-to-end sales and delivery operation on wheels that start from loading inventory from the manufacturer’s warehouse and ends at retail outlets bypassing the regular distributor led channel. Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies use this channel for supplying perishable products that have a shorter shelf life.
Van sales reps have to play multiple roles where he is the distributor, payment collector, inventory manager etc. This has surfaced many challenges for running Ready-stock Sales Operations that requires a comprehensive solution.
Challenges FMCG companies face running their Ready Stock Sales Operations
Van sales operations are a better way to supply the perishable items to the stores faster. But it requires a lot of effort to run these operations. It depends on one person to manage it all and there is a risk of not realizing revenue potential in their assigned beat. Some common challenges in the present van sales model are listed below:
- Market coverage for direct store delivery can be tricky if the stores are scattered and far. If the routes planning are unoptimized and it can leads to low coverage by each van.
- For direct store delivery, the reps book orders, deliver, do the invoicing and collect payment on a daily basis and taking orders from all stores and keeping record of it requires high order management skills.
- Van Inventory management is a huge task when done manually. At every store one needs to keep a record of products sold and stock still present in the van.
- In this model of sales, delivery, payment collection has its own complexities regarding the mode of payment, cash reconciliation, invoicing and more.
- They are the sales rep for each store and even if they observe the presence of a competitor brand, it’s difficult to report directly to the managers so that they can run better offers and schemes.
- Mostly, van sales reps have set individual revenue and sales targets that might not align to company level goals. This results in low per store sales, sales of new products and schemes utilization.
How Van Sales Automation Optimizes your Ready Stock Distribution?
In the above section, we understood the challenges faced by the van sales operators doing their day to day SOPs. So, how can you make their lives easier? How can you automate manual tasks to help them focus on sales?
Van Sales Automation is the solution to all these questions. This solution enables sales reps to take up multiple roles and carry out their SOP’s in a streamlined manner allowing them to focus on their actual role of i.e sales. It is similar to a sales force automation solution with added capabilities to cater the pinpointed needs of van sales operations.
Let’s see how!
Advantages of Van Sales Automation Application for your Brand
Van sales automation helps you increase profit from the sales of your perishable products more efficiently while making it easier for you to mobilize stock. This solution is capable of transforming your on the go sales and delivery processes in the following ways;
- You can utilise automation softwares such as BeatRoute to optimize your van coverage efficiency by creating van routes acounting real time constraints as traffic, closed store, available resouces etc. Thus creating the most efficent route possible to cover a gorup of stores in a teritory.
- Van operators can use this solution to easily collect and fulfill orders on the go. Our AI based order maximization engine recommends the most ideal order basket based on the stores buying pottential and featuring in schemes and offers that omits the need for salesman to remember.
- Reps get easy real-time van inventory visibility automatically. On the basis of SKUs sold, the app shows him the present van inventory. This helps the reps or operators to have clear idea of stock he is carrying after every sale.
- Billing and payment is much easier with our solution too. The rep can produce paper bills which he can print at spot or digital bills via social media or bluetooth. Van sales automation also helps in transparent payment methods- cash, digital payment, cheque, UPI, etc. On this platform, the sales reps can also add credit notes for cash reconciliation.
- Using this van sales solution, reps can also notify visual merchandising campaigns of the competitor brands on the ground
- It comes with configurable input based goals that keeps them motivated to achieve the goals set and gain rewards.
Van sales is considered as the backbone for sales and delivery of goods with shorter shelf life for FMCG companies. The software optimizes your sales reps’ beat plans and improves your invoice-to-cash cycle. At the same time, it reduces operating costs per route of each vehicle. It is majorly used for perishable products for fast delivery at stores. This significant mode of trade had major challenges which found its solution through Van Sales through Automation.
If your business needs this solution, take a look at our Van Sales Automation solution and know more about its features here.