A Look at Software Solutions
Because distributor and c-store operations have become increasingly complex, finding the right software tools is imperative.
BY PAMELA MILLS-SENN
“Sales Insights provides sales reps and management with key sales metrics that focus on account profitability,” Maginnis explained. “It has a seamless connection to DAC and allows users to drill down into any element to see the underlying data. Gauges show sales and profit—current, last, month, YTD—in a quick view and color-coded to illustrate performance. Nowsight’s business intelligence solution also offers always-on machine learning to scan data for insights.”
Features include analysis of profitability per delivery, profitability by a defined timeframe, sundry sales per delivery, cigarette manufacturer market share by delivery and timeframe, return percentages, among others. Sales reps/teams/territory managers can view their performance in real-time on mobile devices, comparing this to sales reps/teams in other regions. They can also see how accounts are performing against each other and against company targets.
When Southco Distributing Co. in Goldsboro, NC, decided to evaluate its customer base for profitability, they drew two conclusions: they wanted to stop spending resources on customers who didn’t value the relationship, and they wanted to pay greater attention to those who did, said John Garver, wholesale business manager. This shift from a sales-only mentality to one focused on profitability resulted in “a surprisingly nice” ROI, he said. But the effort came with a downside.
“The challenge we encountered was that we had to manually enter data then go through reports, which we found unsustainable and inefficient,” Garver recalled. In response, Southco implemented CDR’s Nowsight into the operations side of the business first, utilizing measures like warehouse puller efficiency, stocking efficiency and out-of-stock inventory, among others. Then it unleashed the software on the sales side, allowing the company to automate the customer evaluation process through features, such as analysis of profitability, profitability by defined timeframe, sundry sales per delivery, return percent and more.
“This software allows management and the salesperson responsible for the account to know exactly how the account is performing, from their latest delivery to their eight-week history,” said Garver. “The clarity has given everyone real-time KPIs and made conversations regarding the account’s performance transparent. We’re currently finishing the second phase, which will focus on gross profit and gross margin by sales territory over month and year over year.”