Merchandising Service Organizations who are still using outdated technology...STEP UP YOUR GAME. To stay competitive means doing anything you can to serve your clients.
That means you’ve got to be ultra-responsive.
What does that take? Real-time information. Why wait until end-of-day to get reports from the field? You want to know about out-of-stocks, missing shelf tags, and incomplete visits while reps are on site.
Getting store execution perfect 100% should be the goal, right? Well, it’s achievable...but you need to rely on real-time information.
Among the key information sets you need are…
Scheduling updates: Successful merchandise servicing begins with assigning work. How many reps per store are you carrying? Who is available on a given day or week? Can they make every visit scheduled? If you don't have a way to manage scheduling in real time then you risk missed, unscheduled, or incomplete visits…and you can’t quickly replace a rep if and when it’s needed.
Visit information: Getting reports at the end of the day can’t be acceptable any longer. Why can’t you have updated reporting throughout the day? YOU CAN. With the right mobile workforce management system, you have visibility into every project, including map views and in-store photos, as it happens.
Shelf-level data: Your team should be able to report on product availability, completed projects, damaged goods, audit data, missing tags, and more…down to the item (as authorized per store). You shouldn’t have to worry about which shelves are sitting empty as time goes by. Reps using the right system can submit photos, instant messages, visit scripts, and other details before they leave the store.
Team management: How many reps do you need to make every store perfect? Who do you need to send? Who has the right skills? Who is managing the team? And the team should NOT need technology if all they supply is labor. Your mobile solution should allow a team manager to do all team reporting with the tap of a finger!
Managing a field force is important to ALL MSO'S AND MANUFACTURERS with a field team, so a little improvement can go a long way in staying competitive. You can gain that edge with real-time metrics.
Real-Time Alerts and Actions: By connecting your team’s mobile devices to a central dashboard, you can keep on top of any urgent or critical need a store may have. You should be able to receive alerts, assign best practice actions, and update store-facing instructions without waiting for a phone call or email.
You need to be able to:
- Track field activity in real time. You've got to capture information while reps are in-store and share information to your team immediately in order to keep store performance optimal.
- Respond quickly to client issues. Have the tools and processes in place to immediately react to in-store and supply-chain disruptions.
Retail is an every-second-counts industry. Even when things are running smoothly, you've got to be incredibly fast at fulfilling client demands. This takes a retail workforce management system that can instantly give you the picture you need of every store, every rep, every visit.
Real-time, GPS-driven workforce management systems drive your operational efficiency, too. Studies have shown that GPS technology produces savings of 11 percent in labor costs, 13 percent in fuel, and 13 percent in vehicle maintenance and repair for field service fleets.
On top of that, field service managers have found that workforce management software can increase field productivity by more than 10 percent and dispatch efficiency by over 20 percent.
Real-time data enables you to GET RID OF waste in your store coverage activities while preserving 100% execution of mandatory and high-priority optional tasks. You’ll free up budget by driving down cost-per-store. By implementing real-time analytics, you can keep your team focused in a way we like to describe as "first things first and second things never."