Distributing beverages would be a far more difficult task without the developers who produce software that handles the logistics behind the operations. The systems can reduce costs, improve sales and delivery efficiencies, and are available for any size business. Beverage Industry asked the leaders in distribution sales and marketing solutions to share the latest software and handheld equipment advancements.

Salient Corp.

Horseheads, N.Y., 607/739-4511, salient.com
Salient Corp. offers Margin Minder, a system for processing the data of everyday business activity in one place. With Margin Minder, managers receive a self-serve toolkit for sorting through sales data to find problems and opportunities. The system graphically shows how profits and growth are affected by promotional discounting, product mix, deal duration and frequency.
Margin Minder is powered by Salient UXT, which automatically scores the relationships of investments to the net value created by the investments, down to the individual customer relationship and up to the highest responsibilities.
The newest way clients are using Margin Minder is with Pay for Profitable Performance (PFPP), a formula for balanced growth, the company says. When sales volumes do not meet profit expectations, Margin Minder can measure the performance equation: volume, growth and margin contribution. This allows wholesalers to build compensation and bonus plans based on value by person.

UPS Logistics Technology

Baltimore, Md., 410/847-1900, upslogisticstech.com
UPS Logistics Technology offers FleetLoader, a system that analyzes and optimizes loading of both bay and bulk beverage vehicles. Multiple loading strategies can be employed to meet the needs of all delivery types and warehouse requirements, the company says: FleetLoader provides:
- Accurate and quick load design for multiple route types: Each type requires a different loading pattern. n Multiple loading strategies: The software creates picking efficiencies by grouping SKUs. This minimizes the number of bays a driver must visit at each stop.
- Pre-build order: Load orders to be picked, built and pre-staged during the day, while continuing to have them allocated to the correct route and truck for final loading.
- Load design to reduce product breakage: Fleet- Loader’s algorithms allow for correct mixing and stacking, reducing breakage.
- Reports: Final load sheet, driver check-out, load validation and picks sheets are provided with the solution.

Intervolve Inc.

Raleigh, N.C., 919/828-5727, intervolve.com
Intervolve Inc. provides mobile and Web solutions to help companies in DSD beverage distribution automate the collection, analysis and dissemination of sales and distribution information to reduce operating costs and gain competitive advantage. The company’s Route Accounting System (RAS) and DistributionSuite are two solutions designed to help beverage distributors.
RAS integrates sales order management, inventory management, financial accounting, reconciliation and route maintenance into a real-time, enterprisewide mobile computing environment for sales, delivery and warehouse activities. The system is built on a Java technology platform and offers a range of mobile applications to automate sales and delivery teams. The pre-sell and driver-sell application automates the sales process, and includes integrated sales history, pricing, discounting and messaging.
An electronic routebook automates the selling process. Sales representatives can see how much inventory is available on the truck or in the warehouse. With the Route Accounting System, pick orders can be synced and physical counts can be conducted by zone and code date.
To automate delivery operations, Intervolve RAS Mobile Delivery is available for Windows or Pocket PC, and Intervolve RAS Import/Export Manager works by integrating suppliers within the system.
The company also offers DistributionSuite, an on-demand Web and mobile solution designed to help beverage distributors optimize sales organizations. DistributionSuite also automates the collection, analysis and dissemination of market data, turning transactional data into market intelligence.
By using the Account Profile Wizard, part of DistributionSuite, managers can create surveys, action items and objectives based on retail or sales information. Mobile users can view retail reports, quota status and execute a sales strategy.

Zebra Technologies Corp.

Vernon Hills, Ill., 800/452-4056, zebra.com
Zebra Technologies Corp. offers the ability to increase route efficiencies by printing on the road, in the truck or at the customer’s location.
The company offers the Zebra RW 420, a mobile printer for printing delivery receipts and invoices on the go. The design allows users to choose among wireless options, card readers and integral accessories such as vehicle mounts for simple route printing, the company says. The printer also has charging options, as well as user interfaces and angled displays.
The RW 420 is a Bluetooth-enabled printer, and it meets the IP54 dust and water resistance rating. The printer can be hand-held or truck-mounted. It can withstand the demands of a number of route accounting and field service printing applications such as delivery receipts, service estimates, sales orders and inventory management. Customers can sign for deliveries the printer’s delivery screen and drivers can instantly generate a delivery receipt.

Rutherford & Associates

Holland, Mich., 800/270-7558, eostar.com
Rutherford & Associates provides eoStar, a software system for beer and wine distributors. The eoStar system manages a range of capabilities required by distributors in sales automation, delivery automation, inventory control, analysis, supplier reporting and route accounting automation.
Functions of eoStar include advanced tap handle management as well as conditional promotional pricing management. With the tap handle management built into eoStar, on-premise brand distribution and analysis provide solid windows to market penetration of the distributor’s inventory, the company says. The conditional promotion management is able to manage incentive programs while staying compliant with supplier pricing rules.
An enhancement to the product allocation management feature of eoStar also is available. It allows limited release products to be more effectively marketed and managed.

BMobile Technology

Eagle, Idaho, 888/900-5667, Bmobileroute.com
bMobile Technology offers Route Manager, a mobile software system for DSD and route sales that connects the warehouse to the driver or salesperson in the field. Route Manager includes routing features, predictive ordering and presale functionality. The system also focuses on route accounting and mobile inventory tracking.
At each stop, the software provides the driver with the presold order, the company says. After verifying the customer’s needs, the driver can add or remove items from the order. Back at the truck, items are scanned as they are placed on the hand truck, which updates the digital invoice. Invoices may be voided, but with Route Manager, the information is recorded and reported.
For keg and vending delivery, Route Manager allows item identification, location and delivery date to be recorded for reporting and follow up.
When all items are delivered from the truck, payment is collected if necessary and the driver obtains a signature from the customer. If an account is past due, the driver is notified to act accordingly. With the software, the driver also may issue credits on-the-fly and track deposit returns.
Route Manager can operate on small PDA phones and continues to have functions such as signature capture, barcode scanning, mobile printing and DEX capability for larger and more rugged mobile data collectors.

Highjump Software

Eden Prairie, Minn., 800/328-3271, highjump.com
HighJump Software provides software solutions for beverage distribution needs, such as HighJump RoutePad, Playbook and RouteCenter.
HighJump RoutePad is a full-screen order management, account management and delivery software solution. Features of RoutePad include robust customer management, order management, information-based selling, work orders, sales reports and running totals. For delivery, ticket payment and collection, invoice printing and end of day settlement are available.
HighJump Playbook is a retail sales execution, objective management and survey software solution. Features of Playbook include Sales and Distribution Goals (performance review, distribution goal types and automated tracking); Objective Management, which allows managers to create objectives for user-defined attributes, such as timeframe, salesperson, account and product; and Surveys and Reporting offers the ability to create custom surveys and historical reports.
HighJump RouteCenter provides solutions for daily processing needs, including full and split-case processing, flexible price and discount set-ups, electronic commerce transaction processing, out-of-stock notifications, pick tickets, invoices, load sheets, return load analysis, load reporting, DEX support, route settlement and interfacing with third-party software.
RouteCenter also is equipped with the Inventory Manager module, which enables tracking and reporting of warehouse inventory. BI