In the high-tech age of Industrial 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), traditional manual route planning techniques simply cannot keep up. Real-time events affect today’s enterprises in our highly competitive, and very demanding, global business environment. Even the most proficient manual route planning techniques introduce an inherent series of supply chain obstacles and challenges to manufacturers, dealerships, and distributors. These delays make planning a route analogous to managing assets “by the rear view mirror.”
Optimized Asset Tracking and Security Throughout the Supply Chain
Today, supply chain management (SCM) is an advanced science, and Crave InfoTech has the digital business solutions to keep you on the cutting edge of SCM digital technology. In this post, we’ll look at the benefits of digital transformation for asset tracking and route planning with Crave InfoTech’s Direct Store Delivery (cDSD) software solution, and how integrating cDSD and real-time analytics into existing business software can streamline SCM across the board from the delivery driver to the warehouse manager.
The Science of Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Supply chain management was defined in 1982 by the Booz Allen consultant Keith Oliver who said, “Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the operations of the supply chain with the purpose to satisfy customer requirements as efficiently as possible.” The links in the supply chain are interrelated and businesses can benefit immensely when they recognize the need to manage the sub-areas of the supply chain in an integrated, coordinated manner. The critical sub-areas in SCM are:
- Forecasting and Planning
- Purchasing and Procurement
- Inventory Management
- Customer Service
Crave InfoTech’s Asset Tracking and Direct Store Delivery (cDSD) mobility solution can help address the challenges businesses face in all of the sub-areas of Supply Chain Management listed above, and we’ll go into the benefits of cDSD in more detail below. First, let’s examine some of the burdens that businesses which are stuck with manual route planning logistics must overcome.
Business Burdens Caused By Manual Route Planning
In today’s brave new industrial age, with fast-paced Just in Time inventory management on the supply side and an extremely high standard of expectations on the customer service side the standard for SCM has never been higher. Old-fashioned delivery and distribution methods such as manual route planning are quickly becoming obsolete. Manual route planning carries with it a host of inherent operational inefficiencies including:
- 3 or more hours are frequently spent each day on meticulous manual route planning, which still can’t account for real-time variables such as route availability, vehicle issues, or short-notice demands from customers.
- Lack of a daily guided vehicle inspection protocol can result in unnecessary delays over time and may cause issues with driver safety as well as maintenance and operational costs.
- Lack of a consolidated up-to-date delivery list with details can lead to inefficient vehicle loading, haphazard routing and dispatching, delivery delays, and increased mileage, overtime, and fuel expenses.
- Customer dissatisfaction occurs when they are locked out of the tracking loop with no updated knowledge of the delivery arrival time.
- Delivery acknowledgments are difficult to digitize and track without Electronic Proof of Delivery which are especially significant when customer complaints must be resolved.
- Lack of real-time transparency can cause inventory mismatches and delayed invoicing due to the lag time between updates when job and inventory status are entered in the central system only after the job is completed.
Now, take the list above and multiply the problems identified by the number of vehicles in the enterprise’s delivery fleet. We can easily see how these avoidable burdens can have a negative cumulative effect on each individual sub-area of the supply chain from Planning and Procurement and Inventory Management, to Customer Service and every important SCM link in the chain. The good news is that these challenges can be met and overcome with the digital tools available with:
Crave InfoTech’s Asset Tracking and Direct Store Delivery Mobility Solution
Our cDSD software integrates the best of the IoT technology to give manufacturers, distributors, and dealers the tools they need to track vehicle and material movements along their assigned routes and achieve the highest level of asset security and supply chain transparency. The paperless process increases customer satisfaction with reliable on-time deliveries while enhancing driver and vehicle efficiency and safety. The key to our cDSD solution is real-time integration with existing ERP software and enabled Google and ESRI maps. The cDSD is available on SAP HANA for database and business object reporting.
With cDSD, no supply chain detail has been overlooked. Our Electronic Proof of Delivery software provides:
- Tracking for deliveries, returns, and new sales. Field representatives can easily add new sales to assigned deliveries upon customer request.
- Up-to-date truck inventory. Over-deliver, under-deliver and customer refusal options available to the driver increase customer satisfaction.
- Guided vehicle inspection procedures begin each day by detecting and avoiding potential problems before they occur.
- Guided procedures generated for loading and material stacking for optimized delivery and route efficiency.
- Barcode, RFID scanning, or manual entry for managing truck inventory.
- Mobile inventory reconciliation and material shortage reporting.
- Automated Routing and Dispatch, Mapped job locations, and built-in route optimization reduce depot time.
- Delivery confirmation, delivery image capture, signature capture, and customer feedback.
- Sends customer receipts and updates the system automatically.
- Full integration with ECC, SAP Business One, and Payment Gateway.
Additional Returns on Investment With Crave InfoTech’s cDSD
The supply chain transparency made possible with Crave InfoTech’s Direct Store Delivery solution has some very significant advantages for overall business operations which go beyond the obvious enhancements to the enterprise’s supply chain management processes. These reduce operational overhead in several ways which may not be readily apparent, but certainly have a positive effect and should be considered as significant returns on investment.
Reduction in Customer Claims
Electronic signature capture capabilities include name, timestamp, and location provides indisputable documentation of what has been delivered and signed for by customers. This results in far fewer customer claims. Your company can also reduce the number of customer queries and time spent resolving them.
Improved Fuel Efficiency and Vehicle Performance
The cDSD application improves vehicle performance with map-based delivery schedules to optimize routes for maximum fuel efficiency. Disruptive breakdowns are avoided by the guided inspection and maintenance schedule features. Up-to-date vehicle information simplifies decisions about maintenance planning and vehicle replacement.
Superior Workforce Performance
Every detail of the optimized delivery route and schedule is monitored and recorded by cDSD, which provides a deterrent to negative employee behavior such as diverting from the assigned route or negligent driving practices. Guided loading procedures minimize manual labor and fatigue during a long series of deliveries. Once the route is completed, cDSD generates a list of all deliveries and the status of each if rejected, returned, or failed for any reason.
Increased Customer Satisfaction With Crave InfoTech
Last, but certainly not least in the ROI category for our cDSD solution, is customer satisfaction. A complete electronic record of every delivery, support, and resolution of customer issues is a powerful tool for increasing customer satisfaction when addressing issues concerning damaged items or missed deliveries. The versatility which company representatives have in the field gives them the capability to accept returns and add new sales to scheduled orders on the spot. Item tracking available on handheld devices with automatic updating reduces administrative paper-handling cost and time and ensures that company representatives have immediate access to the information they need to answer customer queries and respond to their needs in a professional timely fashion.
You can get more details about the Crave InfoTech Direct Store Delivery Application, including KPI variance reporting, alert types, and the driver managed data capabilities in our informative document at the link above.
About Crave InfoTech
At Crave InfoTech we work with businesses of all sizes in a wide range of diverse industries such as Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Oil, Gas, Utilities, and Healthcare. We’ve made it our mission since 2007 to help our customers around the world achieve the digital transformation they need to compete in today’s demanding business environments. Don’t hesitate to contact us for the software solutions you need to succeed.