Distribution Software Solutions
January 1, 2006
Distribution Software Solutions
Technological advancements for performance management
Routing and distribution software and technology providers in the beverage industry continue to make advancements in platform design and capabilities. As the demand for efficient and cost-effect systems that do everything from loading trucks to tracking shipments increases, companies are turning to distribution software experts for their logistics needs.
Beverage Industry compiled a list of what leaders in routing and distribution software are offering to wholesalers, bottlers and distributors. From reducing costs and lag time to improving sales and delivery efficiencies, software options are out there for beverage companies across all categories and business sizes. The following information provides a snapshot of technology for every need and user.
6001 36th Avenue West
Everett, Wash. 98203
Intermec’s direct store delivery solutions enable mobile workers to concentrate on making sales and servicing customers. Intermec provides hardware and software to access key product and account information, provide up-to-date special pricing offers, take orders at customer locations, and store and update route books electronically. Solutions include rugged mobile computers, application software, mobile printers, wireless communications, accessories and professional services. Beverage industry systems include:
Intermec 730 mobile computer, a compact, durable handheld equipped with local area and personal area wireless radios, as well as a linear imager that delivers high-speed barcode reading performance. Ideally suited for on-premise environments, the 730 is also equipped to handle the rigors of outdoor use.
The CK60 mobile computer provides everything demanded by the tough route environment, including battery capacity to work all day long, a rugged design to provide years of reliable service and non-volatile storage to protect data.
Intermec PB20 and PB40 direct thermal portable printers with Bluetooth offer the convenience of a personal area network for receipt printing for route accounting, logistics, home delivery and pre-sales applications. Drivers no longer need to go back to the truck to print a ticket or wait for a ticket to print while selecting products to deliver; they can print from 30 feet away.
203 Colonial Drive
Horseheads, N.Y. 14845
Salient Corp.’s Margin Minder Max is a performance management solution that enables high-volume businesses to see faster, easier and more clearly how business decisions affect profit and growth. Margin Minder Max organizes and integrates data from many sources and provides a perpetual, real-time audit of profit, growth and efficiency. Margin Minder Max offers:
Instant visibility of sources and drivers of efficiency in near real time. This information is available within and across processes and up and down the demand/supply chains, to the individual performer, relationship, asset and event. The solution provides immediate, complete feedback on every business decision.
Precise alignment of role players to strategic purposes. Every person, process and function is completely aligned with the goals of the organization and the individual success at achieving those goals can be easily reviewed and changed or amplified in the current business cycle to enhance profitability.
Immediate ROI and lowest TCO. Clients typically improve their operating margins by more than 3 percent within three months. The Salient solution deploys in weeks and works with existing systems.
120 Randall Drive
Canada N2V 1C6
GBG’s DSD software suite integrates tools that:
Empower sales reps so they maintain and win new placements with advanced ordering, shelf planning and sales analysis tools that have been designed for beverage sales reps by beverage sales reps.
Monitor competitors, promotions and prices at the store and gain understanding of the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Save as much as an hour and a half on each sales rep’s day while increasing sales by as much as 10 percent.
Plan the optimal loading of trucks and then synchronize picking with truck loading plans, streamlining work and reducing overtime
Provide for the latest in data collection technologies in the warehouse such as touchscreen kiosks, handheld computers and voice-based picking to improve data accuracy in warehouse transactions by as much as 75 percent.
Create streamlined delivery processes that include signature capture and proof of delivery management.
Settle delivery routes faster and easier – save as much as an hour a day per driver while improving accuracy while providing online access to all driver reports for office staff, eliminating the need for cumbersome filing systems.
GBG’s DSD suite:
Store management and ordering – Virtual Cooler, Pocket Cooler and PowerTools
Driver sell, delivery and customer service – Pocket RouteXpress, Documenter
Marketing management – Survey Manager
Warehouse, inventory management, loading and shipping – DDE, Distribution and Delivery Engine
Data synchronization – DME and Data Management Engine.
Insight Distribution Software
222 Schilling Circle, Suite 275
Hunt Valley, Md. 21031
Insight Distribution Software’s Routescape/RS2, a route accounting application based on Microsoft Windows Internet browser technology, uses finders, drop-down menus and other standard Internet browser features to make data entry and navigation quick so delivery fleets, warehouse personnel and back office operations are more efficient. Advantages of RS2 include quick order entry, robust settlement functionality, simple drag-and-drop dispatching, out-of-stock allocation and reallocation, easy-to-use pricing and discounting setups, and user-defined product and customer attributes.
Playbook eliminates the need for cumbersome spreadsheet-based performance tracking and calculation, making the never-ending task of evaluating sales performance quick. Managers create and assign objectives and goals to salespeople, schedule team and individual selling activities and evaluate selling data using Playbook. Flexible payout options, the ability to reuse previous goals and objectives and user-defined time periods make assigning targets less complicated.
Developed to work directly with Routescape/RS2, Routepad and Pocket Routepad, Insight’s mobile computing programs, are an integrated part of Insight’s total solution. Routepad is one of the first Windows-based full-screen mobile computing programs for the beverage industry and Pocket Routepad is designed to meet the needs of those distributors who prefer the benefits found in a smaller Pocket PC device.
MobileTech Solutions Inc.
19111 N. Dallas Parkway
Dallas, Texas 75287
MobileTech Solutions provides a total solution for DSD operations consisting of hardware, software and interfacing into whatever host system and decision support system a company prefers. The applications address the pre-sales, delivery, route sales and vending functions within the beverage industry. Increased accountability, productivity and sales opportunities are the goal. MTS was recently acquired by Trimble Navigation — a leader in global positioning systems and positioning technology. The company says the convergence of positional information with DSD transactional information provides the next level of mobile workforce management tools and information.
One Mifflin Place
Cambridge, Mass. 02138
For a large supplier, out-of-stocks cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually. These problems are caused primarily by inaccurate inventory counts. The primary issue for DSD sales representatives is not being equipped with the right information at the right time. Without the visibility to seasonality and price promotion impacts, there is too much opportunity to order the wrong quantity.
With Eleven DSD, sales reps can:
Ensure new SKUs are cut in and on the shelf in coordination with promotions.
Create optimal order sizes based on history and trade promotion activity.
Cut inventories in the backroom and reduce out-of-stocks.
View their performance scorecard to ensure focus on selling.
Increase sell-in success rates.
Eleven DSD provides integrated selling, forecasting tools and promotion details to ensure sales distributors have the information they need to maximize sales performance, increasing growth and accelerating product penetration. The intelligent scanning utility streamlines in-store-inventory counting and increases accuracy. Real-time connectivity and back-end integration cuts order fulfillment times.
RAM Systems Inc.
224 Causeway Blvd.
La Crosse, Wis. 54603
RAM Systems provides stable, cost-effective, comprehensive, flexible and customizable beverage business software and automation features. Providing solutions for route and distribution management, RAM is a full circle source for beverage software, mobile computing, PC, server hardware and communications. RAM considers the host route accounting software system as the nucleus of information. Data is captured, created, processed, stored and retrieved at extraordinary speed. Data feeds in and out, providing crucial, accurate and timely information to management, sales, accounting, customer service and supervisors. RAM data can easily be fed to EPR, CRM, analytical applications and general accounting/payroll programs.
RAM’s highlights include fully integrated Route, DSD, presales, automated EDI and DEX processing, settlement and commissioning, full-featured accounts receivable, including electric fund transfer and credit card processing, electronic billing and statement automation. RAM includes inventory control, sales analysis and logistics, vending, equipment tracking/billing and service history and parent company/chain sales electronic reporting, as well as a full customer service system with call logging, messaging and automated cell/paging options.
849 Fairmount Avenue, Suite 400
Baltimore, Md. 21286
UPS Logistics Technologies offers software solutions for beverage distribution, delivery and tracking, to help companies reach greater results in service, efficiency and profitability. UPS’s Roadnet Transportation Suite provides customers with a choice of software solutions that lets them take control over every aspect of the order-to-delivery process — through comprehensive territory planning, street-level route optimization, automated warehouse loading, real-time delivery management and GPS tracking. Territory Planner is a strategic tool for planning, balancing and managing route sales, pre-sales and standard route operations, while lowering related delivery costs. By considering all relevant historical data into individual territory solutions, Territory Planner is effective in helping analyze, modify and optimize sales, merchandising and delivery operations with the capability of viewing multiple scenarios by seasonal demand or other criteria.
UPS’s Roadnet offers a routing tool to optimize daily delivery operations in minutes. By transforming today’s orders into tomorrow’s routes, this solution locks in the highest number of efficiencies to improve time window performance while reducing transportation costs, especially in regard to excessive windshield time. Additionally, FleetLoader streamlines every step of companies’ loading processes by designing loads (including pre-building, staging and exclusions) that integrate seamlessly to final loading and routing.
With its advanced mobile resource management capabilities, MobileCast lets customers see where all of the vehicles actually are, and if they are following their respective route plans in real time.
8610 N. New Braunfels
San Antonio, Texas 78217
Information Technology Partners route accounting system includes fully integrated settlement, inventory, A/R (national, direct, etc.), A/P (integrated f/s commissions), G/L, financial and sales reporting modules. Parent company reporting interfaces also are included. An integrated commission structure allows the calculation of commissions to customers, sales reps or third party vendors. Included is also a document viewer that instantly retrieves images of any document generated by the handheld on the route (invoices, orders, POA, inventory, check-in report complete with signatures) and the image can be e-mailed, faxed or printed.
The handheld software is a true object oriented/event-based/user-defined application for beverage distribution that has been deployed successfully and is running on routes today. Time is saved on every route by specifying exactly what information the company and the company’s customers need.
Configuration can be at the branch, route or account level, making the possibilities endless. Available functionality includes wireless integration, pre-sales, delivery, peddle, signature capture, DEX, full service, sales histories, discounting/pricing, return pricing, CDA processing, payment on accounts, image uploading, route book, build-to, close-dated product, surveys and competitive displays.
Portable Internet Inc.
21-00 State Route 208 South
Fair Lawn, N.J. 07410
Portable Internet Inc. provides software, delivered as a service over the Internet, to help manage and enhance the performance of merchandisers, sales, drivers and service/repair technicians. Soft drink, dairy, wine and spirits distributors of all sizes have chosen Portable Internet’s solutions to improve productivity, drive revenue and profitability, enhance customer service and increase employee safety. The company’s products and services provide wireless GPS Tracking, Workflow and Navigation, and are proven to help beverage companies reduce labor, mileage and fuel costs while improving customer service.
Portable Internet’s GPS Tracking, Workflow and Navigation solutions help beverage companies:
Reduce and control merchandiser mileage reimbursements.
Ensure punch-in/outs are at customer locations.
Eliminate trips to office to sign-in/out or get new instructions.
Resolve customer issues by proving merchandising duration or delivery arrivals.
Receive orders, back-haul requests, and logs immediately without error-prone transcription.
Compare actual performance vs. route plans automatically.
Safely provide auditable, written instructions to drivers, merchandisers and sales without returning to a company location.
One Symbol Plaza
Holtsville, N.Y. 11742
Symbol Technologies specializes in delivering products and solutions that capture, move and manage information in real-time at the point of business activity. Symbol mobile solutions integrate data capture devices, RFID technology, mobile computing, wireless infrastructure, management software and services.
Symbol offers the MC9xxx series, which provides beverage companies a rugged mobile computing platform designed for the full service and delivery distribution environment. Working with Sprint, the new Symbol MC9097 mobile computer, a member of Symbol’s flagship MC9000 family, is the first rugged mobile computer certified to operate on the Nextel National Network. Symbol’s MC9097 mobile computer provides mobile workers access to Nextel Walkie-Talkie service, wireless voice and data services and two-way messaging for real-time access to people. Additionally, the MC9097 mobile computer features GPS capabilities, enhanced voice and data convergence and multi-mode wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, for access to information and business-critical applications virtually anytime and anywhere. With this combination of voice and real-time data communications, and quality partners like Apaches Corporation and Eleven Technology, route drivers and pre-sales reps can send back orders based on business need, not system limitation.
Symbol also most recently introduced the MC70 Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA), which can be used for pre-sales order management and merchandising. The MC70 EDA provides sales representative with the industry’s first rugged EDA and helps to manage account activity, perform surveys and provide real-time order management for customers.
6114 Fayetteville Road
Durham, N.C. 27713
TMTsoftware’s Transman is a maintenance management software solution, developed to provide easy- to-use information about every aspect of the maintenance operation. TMTsoftware offers consulting, development, training services and dedicated customer support.
Its Windows and AS/400 products contain shop, facility, units, warranty recovery, parts inventory, fuel management and barcoding. Mechanics Workstation, Shop Planner and Invoicing Management are some of the available modules. With touch screen technology, Mechanic Workstation creates a paperless shop environment by placing the system in the mechanics’ hands. Mechanics charge parts and services real time during the repair order process, as well as, access unit history or run a PM due report. Shop Planner is a service writer program enabling companies to better manage workflow in the shop like forecasting work requirements and labor needs, scheduling campaigns and generating cost estimates for work to be done.
Reporting from the systems can be drilled down to track specific customized metrics to include costs per mile down to the a single case of beverage. TMTsoftware is also an Application Service Provider for those who prefer to run Transman via the Internet. BI