Direct-store-delivery (DSD) solutions no longer are the clunky order-entry devices of times past, notes David F. Giannetto, senior vice president of performance management for Salient Management Co., Horseheads, N.Y. Instead, systems today allow managers to be away from their office and still maintain control over the company’s distribution systems, putting the pertinent information into the hands of the right person at exactly the right moment, he says. Distribution managers can use such devices to stay in communication with employees in the field in order to shape the employees’ behavior and conduct while providing the information and feedback needed for efficient and accurate deliveries. Incorporating devices such as smartphones and tablets allow the manager to make sure the conversations flow in the proper manner and touch on what management deems is most important, he says.
Supply chain managers also can use DSD software solutions to track stock levels in retail locations, merchandise product, take purchase orders and collect consumer data, according to Erin Friar, the marketing journalist at Boston-based Repsly Inc. Managers also can use the software to better organize sales territories, view representative activities through GPS tracking, schedule client visits, use communications features to update representatives, and analyze field data to get a clearer picture of consumer and retail trends, she says.