Consumer goods distributors have to rely on multiple ways of getting products to retailers. They also need to be on the lookout for new and better ways of making this happen. It is for this reason that many distributors decide to implement a direct store delivery solution. A DSD solution makes sense. It opens up a new method for selling and delivering products. It allows a distributor to have a closer relationship with retailers and to better understand the struggles that they face in selling various products. However, it is essential for distributors to understand that simply implementing a DSD solution is not enough. Certain steps need to be taken to ensure that the implementation is successful. Here are 6 tips that every distributor should follow to guarantee a DSD solution’s success.

1. Strengthen Infrastructure

The success of a DSD solution is not solely reliant on the DSD software. Distributors must also make sure that everything the software supports is in place. This means that every system and process from start to finish should be as efficient as possible. Distributors should be able to get trucks loaded and off the dock quickly. This will enable the drivers to spend more time with retailers every day, making more sales and building relationships. The distributor should also concentrate on building a bigger fleet of trucks and expanding to more physical warehouses. The more trucks there are, the more sales there are. The wider the expansion of warehouses, the more drivers can concentrate on specific retailers.

2. Optimize The System

Every year, wages must go up and the price of fuel increases. Because of this, distributors need to optimize how they use these resources. Two of the best ways to do this is to optimize routes and optimize the inventory in each truck. A good DSD solution will provide excellent route visibility, but it is up to the distributor so ensure that the right ratio of inventory is in each truck. Enough inventory should be in each truck to allow retailers to see the variety of products that the distributor offers, allowing drivers to up-sell and cross-sell. However, inventory quantities also need to be specifically calculated to allow drivers to restock all inventory that a retailer already carries, otherwise significant sales could be lost and retailers could be left feeling unsupported. In short, it is a balance that needs to be perfected.  Until now there has not been a solution powered by AI to automate the process.

3. Sales Planning

Quality DSD solutions will provide excellent sales data. The route or sales manager can skim through route schedules, key performance indicators, sales reports, and more. They should use this information to structure a solid daily plan for every sales representative, allowing each rep to know what they need to prioritize for the day. It is also necessary to provide training for any new products that are added to the inventory and provide comprehensive information about any new customers that will be on the route. If every rep has a clear plan when they leave the warehouse, they will know the best way to approach individual retailers and they will sound knowledgeable when they speak about the products, having the ability to know which products would best fit into a store.

4. DSD Solution Training

DSD solution software is powerful. It can help distributors to transform their businesses and open up new sales opportunities that were either never thought possible or never before seen. However, the software can only do this if it is used correctly. Drivers or sales representatives, as well as sales or route managers need to have a comprehensive understanding of how the software works. The most effective way for distributors to ensure this is by providing comprehensive training. This training could be completed in-house or it could be outsourced. Either way, though, every individual who could benefit from the software’s data and tools should know how to use it. There should also be occasional re-training or training when the software is updated.

5. Fully Utilize The Software

Distributor leadership, while they do not need to know all of the ins and outs of how the software works, should encourage sales managers to inform them of any ways that the software can be enhanced and what is needed to accomplish the enhancement. The best DSD software will help distributors eliminate paper. Catalogues showcasing products will be digitized on the device, as will any promotions and new product launch information. Distributors can take this digitization to the next level by developing videos for every product. These can be shown with the driver’s device and they can enable retailers to see how the product works, where it would fit in their store, and any additional information that could encourage the retailer to buy-in.

6. Integration With Other Systems

DSD software is just like any other business software in that it can provide valuable data. However, this data is at its most valuable when it is shared and can be integrated with other systems, such as the ERP and any accounting system. The integration will enable two processes. First, it will allow leadership to get a better view of how the organization is operating. They will be able to identify where inefficiencies are and where additional investments should be made. Second, if the DSD is integrated with the accounting system, it will make the sales representative’s job and the accounting division’s job much easier. Everyone will always be on the same page and have all of the numbers that they need right at their fingertips.

A DSD software solution allows distributors to reach whole new markets and the right solution will provide all of the necessary tools to take this distribution to a new level of profitability. Ivy Mobility offers this solution. Using their DSD software, distributors can manage collections, sales returns, and orders, as well as complete vehicle stock audits, track delivery containers, and much more.

Contact Ivy Mobility today to get more information about how a DSD solution can be effectively implemented into your business, creating increased profits and reducing customer attrition.