By Archel Aguilar, Managing Director, StayinFront Group Australia
With the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, the drinks industry has been completely shaken up. Due to the closing of bars, and the reduction of field reps completing their daily tasks, we have found that our clients are more focused than ever on data to be their eyes and ears in the field.
Our clients have also begun focusing more on territory call optimization, which involves management determining the right mix of on/off premise locations allocated to give reps the best territory call route for maximum ROI when businesses re-open.
We already see this occurring with liquor companies re-deploying field efforts to off-premise due to on-premise locations being shut, and it clearly looks like that we are indeed in a “new normal,” and re-adjustment, re-directing and re-deploying of field resources will be key factors in returning to business.
Traditionally, route planning is a rigid process. Companies decide which locations to visit and assign reps a visit frequency and visit duration. Visits are grouped into sales territories split up evenly across the field force, ideally sequenced in a way to minimise travel time.
However, these plans are usually reviewed annually at best, and are not designed to adapt to unforeseen circumstances such as COVID-19. StayinFront’s Dynamic Routing directs field reps to the right store at the right time, allowing companies to maximize their ROI from field force activities. Instead of adjusting routes annually, Dynamic Routing takes store level data, analyses it, and assigns resources to the stores where the greatest impact can be made.
This analysis can happen as quickly as overnight, and the optimal route can be sent to the field reps’ mobile device every day before their day begins, taking into account any changing priorities and enabling them to get to the right location at the right time, in the quickest way possible.
Dynamic Routing can also be integrated with Scan/EPoS data, allowing companies to take the optimised route and see how it compares with the predicted value of a rep’s day of work. Companies need to be ready to re-deploy quickly when restrictions ease or alter.
With Dynamic Routing, companies can take the data they have been gathering during the shutdown, and immediately turn it into actionable insights that will enable them to hit the ground running.
Importance of wellness checks in a crisis
Once field reps are allowed in the field, a Wellness Check can be integrated and enabled in StayinFront’s TouchCG software, with back office reporting enabled.
The Wellness Check allows the representatives to easily communicate their wellbeing at the beginning of each workday by answering automated customisable questions, and the rules and procedures set by the organisation are clearly listed for the reps in the application for quick access, that can be reported on for safety measures.
Field reps cannot complete their work until the questions are answered. The solution also captures the data provided by the reps, enabling Human Resource departments the ability to follow-up and provide information if needed for legal purposes.
To learn more about the benefits of Dynamic Routing and Wellness Checks in TouchCG and to learn if it’s the right solution for your organisation, feel free to contact us for a consultation.
Contact StayinFront at Sales_AU@stayinfront.com or call +61 2 9900 1100
StayinFront is a Corporate Partner of the Drinks Association.