Direct Store Delivery
Direct Store Delivery (DSD) is a method of selling or distributing products for a variety of industries like Food, Beverage, Personal Care, etc. SAP offers a full-fledged module on the DSD part of SAP ECC/ERP. DSD has tight integration to SAP SD, MM, FI & Logistics. This makes it one of the preferred solutions across the world which meets most of the requirements of customers’ out-of-the-box. SAP also offers a mobility offering as an optional module for customers who like to avoid the manual paper-based approach. There are a few considerations when implementing Mobile DSD in an enterprise.
1. Is the current business process good enough to implement SAP DSD
SAP DSD has some key considerations to get the best results in implementations. These are things like usage of Bill of Material (BOM), Empties management, Single Sales Area for each route. Without these, you may be required to limit yourself to some features SAP DSD provides out-of-the-box or have to do custom development to achieve those.
2. Mobile DSD or Paper-based DSD
Over the last 6-8 years, there is a lot of demand for mobilizing the DSD process in enterprises. Mobilization completely takes away the manual effort of entering vital order/delivery, cash collection, stock & money checkout, check-in. Customers can be issued with real-time legal invoices with electronic signature capture, PODs, cash receipts, etc. at the customer site itself. Mobilization leads to on-the-fly determination of promotions, seasonal discounts which are powerful features of an ERP like SAP ECC. In a summary – faster sales & logistics execution and eliminate pilferage completely.
3. Which scenarios are meant to be driven via Mobile DSD
SAP DSD supports Delivery Driver, Van Sales, Pre-Sales & Mixed scenarios. In an ideal situation keeping a single Mobile DSD solution for all these scenarios give the best benefits and hence ROI. Many times there is an overlap in-term of functions the workforce can perform. Integrating customer, product surveys, and checklists have huge advantages to captures vital information in the field via the same sales workforce. Integration of some field service functions is also a key.
4. A right technology platform to Mobilize DSD
While mobilization is a key in reaping the benefits of a DSD, it’s very important to choose the right platform to enable mobilization. The key parameters are scalability, multiple device types with native support, offline capability, high volume data handling in the mobile devices, roles/group management, a platform for instant alerting and notifications, geo capabilities, central device administration & remote troubleshooting, the seamless online-offline capability of device software.
5. A right device to mobilize DSD
This is a very important decision in an implementation. Typically the thumb rule is to leverage existing device hardware to run MDSD on it because there is a big cost factor associated with the hardware. Especially in an MDSD world, a ruggedized form of device is considered, which is much more expensive than a non-ruggedized device is. In an enterprise where devices have to be acquired, you will end up with a few choices today. For a delivery driver usage scenario, a ruggedized device needs to be considered. Here the choice is either an enterprise-ready Windows Mobile-based device or an Android device. Even though Windows Mobile is considered to be outdated, it still has an edge over android in-terms of enterprise readiness and easily available peripheral integrations like barcode scanning and printing. Android, on the other hand, could be giving better results in terms of application software usability experience. Even custom ruggedized Android tablet hardware is an interesting option. For non-delivery driver scenarios, there are a plethora of choices today; from iPhone to Windows Phone and tablets. Here the cost of the device would be a primary criterion and a Blackberry device could a good choice as many enterprises have plenty of blackberries rolled out to these workforces and hence it’s all about reusing the existing hardware.
Note: This blog also appeared as a guest blog on Enterprise Mobile Strategies.