Technology Trends 04 Jun 21 Nikhil Aggarwal

If you break it down to brass tacks,  an FMCG company’s success can be gauged by the speed with which it reads the market, places the right inventory with its distributors who then supply stocks to the right shelves at the Kirana stores. Take a popular, everyday product - for e.g. Spices. The Sales Director of one of the biggest spice companies in India - let’s call him Rajeev- has millions of retail outlets across the country and thousands of distributors who make sure his spices reach their customers. If Rajeev doesn’t get daily visibility on which are the hot-selling masalas or which are the ‘focus products’ he needs to push, his business is going to tank!  The distributors will be saddled with slow-moving inventory and his retailers will end up with masalas that no one’s buying!! 

Just at the right time, Rajeev invested in a robust DMS, along with an equally strong SFA that makes it very easy for him to optimize his sales supply chain processes. Let’s know what all he has achieved :

Automating processes for faster operations

With well-defined SOPs for distributors like  Minimum Order Quantity required at the distributor, auto-generation of PO for balance quantity, etc, Rajeev can rapidly improve the efficiency of his inventory management and order placing process.

Improving real-time communication with Distributors

For. e.g. if his competitor is running a particular scheme till day 5th of the month, Rajeev’s brand can quickly create and activate a new scheme on the DMS and send alerts to his distributors, so he can implement the scheme in real-time. 

Integrating with SFA and ERP

Rajeev’s distribution management system seamlessly integrates with his existing SFA and ERP system which solves a lot of his pain points from the perspective of data flow between finance, logistics, and distribution. 

If your company has not adopted a DMS yet, you’re missing one of the biggest weapons in your sales ammunition. But if you’re looking to identify the right DMS for yourself, then we suggest doing what Rajeev did - ask these 4 simple questions, and we promise you, you will never go wrong!

4 Questions for DMS

1. How Smooth are the Integrations?

If a DMS doesn’t offer any of the 3 integrations mentioned below, do not even consider it. But even if it does, don’t stop there. Go beyond. Expect more. In the FieldAssist DMS, seamless integrations are a standard, basic capability. Our distributor management system modules are designed in such a way that they fully support the following integrations to give you a scalable solution to keep pace with your future roadmap:

Inventory management

By optimizing stock at the distributor level, you can avoid inventory issues like stock-outs or surplus stock at the retailer level. Using this data, your on-field sales team can nudge distributors to achieve a faster offtake and minimize loss. 

Claim modules

Claims redressal takes up a big chunk of grievances that CST teams in DMS companies face every day. FieldAssist’s DMS offers proper claims workflows, making it very easy to raise, as well as process claims.

Schemes and Promos workflows

Earlier, brands would have to wait an entire day for data to flow back from the field to respond to competitor activities or demand patterns. With FieldAssist DMS, you can easily define your distributor schemes and promotions in the ERP, which then flow seamlessly through the distribution management system for the distributor to implement, simultaneously ensuring that scheme executions are authentic.

2. How Strong is the Customer Support?

Making your distributors happy about using the DMS is half the battle won! 

Training the Distributors

FieldAssist organizes very comprehensive training programs for the distributors, both virtual as well as offline to make sure that adoption happens at the ground level.  There is a library of videos as well as a highly responsive support mechanism during the initial phase of implementation to help them move smoothly to Phase 2.

Consultative approach

In our experience, first-timers are more reluctant and scared about the success of DMS, so for companies implementing DMS  for the 1st time, we engage deeper with them, hand-holding them through the entire process, and lay extra focus on driving the change with industry best practices.

3. How Simple is the UI/UX for Distributors?

Having a user-friendly DMS can greatly increase your adoption rate, even in those distributors who are a little hesitant because of their lack of higher education or technical knowledge. What’s made things better is the second-generation distributors who are young, educated, and happy to adopt technology that is easy to use and increases profitability. Hence, the simplicity of our product is our core focus. Our color-coded tabs make it easy for the user to visually know which section he is in, and complete transactions within minutes:

a. E.g. One-click invoicing, bulk invoicing, one-click purchase order, Retailer side credit limit visibility, secondary order validation in sync with Sales Force Automation, etc.

b. Even claims settlement, which requires a lot of paperwork and takes nearly 3-6 months to process manually, is done smoothly and quickly on the DMS. 

c. Easy access to the Brand catalog 

4. How Scalable is the DMS solution?

Choose a technology partner that lays emphasis on regular feature upgrades and module developments, so that the solution is in lock-step with your business growth. At FieldAssist, we’re constantly upgrading our features and improving the user experience. 

Psst! We’ve got a whole bunch of features planned for the coming months that can transform your DMS experience and ‘tech it’ to the next level. Here’s a teaser of things to come:

We won’t blame you if you think all DMS  solutions in the market look more or less the same. That’s why you need to dig a little deeper and see how a solution stands in terms of functionality, robustness, scalability, future-readiness, and customer service because that is what makes all the difference.

 We at FieldAssist are disrupting the market with not only an outstanding product but also with our world-class customer support. In our next blog, we will bring you the exact checklist you need to consider before picking the right DMS. Reach out to FieldAssist today and see what a feature-heavy, tailored DMS can do for you. 

Nikhil Aggarwal

Driven by his passion for growth through automation, Nikhil takes pride in embarking his clients through a transformational journey and helps them be a more resilient, agile, and future-ready brand.

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