Ever wondered how Google map guides us with the most preferred route to our desired destination? It guides with the shortest and fastest route, real time traffic scenario and many other considerations as per our journey requirements. It guides us in case of newer places and helps us travel like a pro as if we know the locality well enough.
For FMCG and distribution companies, sales persons’ time and travel expenses form a major chunk of Cost to Service (CTS). And for sales personnel, time is the key success factor. Spending endless hours in car, finding parking and operating around random parts of the territory is exhaustion of time that could be spent on potential sales and higher incentives. To top it up, any sudden aberration like vehicle breakdown, unexpected traffic etc. would impact business results without a course corrective alternative. As per legacy practice, all such critical distribution strategies were done manually which used to be a laborious task and was often inefficient.
However, using a concept similar to Google Map for FMCG and distribution companies, “Route” is the basic building unit for sales and distribution which arms the sales army to achieve targeted meetings in minimum time, minimum distance and with minimum cost of fuels. Productivity and efficiency is hence enhanced using technology to its optimum.
The features of ‘Route’ are created by a team who knows the geography and demography very well. New age technology using global positioning system (GPS), mobility and machine learning make it much faster, efficient and course corrective. The application thus recommends a coverage sequence of retail stores like new leads, priority sales etc. that ensures maximum number of store visits and other business priorities.
With the improved capability and scale, cloud computing prowess, mobility and analytics integration, the route optimisation solution is undergoing massive enhancement. From a traditional focus on cost saving, distance and time saving, to a more advance solution, route optimization is changing the game by helping companies sell efficiently and sell more. FMCG and CPG companies are set to increase business efficiency by 10% from route optimization. The advanced algorithms help in suggesting the right zones and proper clusters that optimize market proximity from distribution centres.
Technology led Route Optimisation solution consists of two key components- static route optimization and dynamic route optimization. While static route optimization suggests ideal routes and coverage sequence; dynamic route optimization is triggered from mobile solutions. It offers recommended sequence at any given point of time, considering real time situation and business priorities.
With the increased pace in how route optimization is helping companies enhance business efficiency, route optimization will surely be disruptive in shaping the distribution functions in FMCG and distribution companies, not just to save cost but increase business revenue.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house