An efficient distribution system is the core of every successful retail/FMCG supply chain. Sales beat plans or Permanent Journey Plans are designed for on-field sales executives to reach out to retail stores for order collections and replenish stocks at pre-defined frequencies. It is therefore essential to plan sales beats intelligently in order to reach retail outlets well in time, maintain the right stock levels, and fulfill the end customer needs.
Sub-optimal Route Planning: The first step in sales beat planning is Territory Segmentation. Depending on the product offerings and buying personas, managers usually plan the frequency and volume of distribution to retail outlets in different regions. Logistics managers must then come up with the most optimal route for sales executives to cover the list of outlets as planned. Manual route planning is error-prone and time-taking, leading to suboptimal PJPs.
Human Dependency leading to inefficiencies: Conventionally, beat planning is done manually by retail and consumer goods enterprises. While it may be enough for small-scale operations, it is difficult when there are hundreds of product categories to deal with across multiple delivery hubs, varying fleet capacities, and dynamic on-ground constraints. Greater dependency on human intelligence in planning Permanent Journey Plans often leads to inefficiencies and under-utilization of on-field staff.
Lack of on-ground visibility: Logistics managers spend hours working out a sales beat plan but often lack on-ground visibility. There is little or no control over how the sales reps actually execute the permanent journey plan on the ground and to monitor real-time constraints such as delays due to traffic or other gaps in the execution.
One of Indonesia’s leading FMCG distributor companies was struggling with sub-optimal PJPs due to manual sales beat planning. The company supports over 4,00,000 direct coverage outlets across Indonesia. Manual sales beat planning across multi-category, multi-SKU, multi-channel scenarios was complicated and led to inefficiencies in execution and higher distribution costs. Also, there was a lack of visibility across the distribution supply chain which needed to be addressed.
The company partnered with Locus to achieve complete sales beat optimization and greater transparency through their supply chain across Indonesia. Locus provided FieldIQ, an intelligent beat planning software for higher sales productivity in FMCG.
The solution takes into account business rules such as type, size, and category and automates outlet classification. It also considers rider skills, geographical knowledge and historical information to assign beat duties to the right personnel. Locus also deployed end-to-end tracking of sales reps and enabled real-time alerts in case of any deviance.
Locus FieldIQ: FieldIQ is a Smart Journey Planner and Sales Beat Optimization Software for higher sales productivity. The solution automates sales beat planning for mobile workforce leading to increased profitability, resource efficiency, and time savings.
Dynamic permanent journey plan: Automated Permanent Journey Planning and end-to-end on-ground PJP tracking with insights and analytics for unparalleled visibility.
Control Tower Application: Unified control tower for a hawk-eye view of the entire distribution supply chain.
On-ground resource utilization: Efficient utilization of on-ground resources with more systematic and organised sales beat daily planning.
FMCG, Retail Distribution
Geocoding and locality detection to automate shipment sorting processes across the distribution supply chain
Automated fulfillment operations and reduced secondary freight costs, for 3PL service providers and distributors
Control Tower Application - Traffic prediction, road constraints, outlet timing for unloading, etc. considered for optimal daily dynamic route planning for distribution fulfillment
Real-time fleet tracking, ideal and executed route comparison and instant alert on delays to help with more visibility of the fleet
Reduced dispatch planning time and easy accommodation of unplanned on-demand orders on the go
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