The success of DSD operations is directly dependent upon the performance of front-line sales reps, supervisors, and distribution workers. Companies can achieve success by providing their employees with the software and hardware tools that help them do their jobs and ensure their best performance. Handhelds, mobile computers, scanners, tablets, smartphones, and mobile printers are all hardware devices that can potentially be helpful tools that companies can use to equip their employees.
Selecting the proper mobile hardware devices can be confusing with all the options available today from phone network providers, internet websites, big box stores, traditional DSD manufacturers, and resellers. It can be difficult to decide which is the right device or device to select for your employees for not only today but for the future.
Unlike in the past where a “one size fits all” approach was used for DSD related devices it has become clear that the best approach in many DSD operations today is to provide the devices that are the best suited to the roles, workflows, and specific activities that are to be done. A single mobile device will likely not be the right choice for all sales reps, merchandisers, delivery drivers, presales reps, supervisors, and distribution workers.
It is important when moving to new tools for employees to generally go through a progression in the following order:
- Identify the users, specific workflows, and activities that will be addressed
- Characterize the users’ work environment
- Identify the efficiencies, improvements, and performance goals to be achieved
- Select the workflow specific software that best addresses your objectives
- Chose the mobile devices that are well suited to the software and users’ work environment
For selecting mobile devices example considerations include:
- Runs the workflow-specific software well—supported operating system, fast processing, etc.
- Well suited to the users’ environment — extreme or moderate temperatures, high or low likelihood of drops and bumps, large screen for presenting to customers, etc.
- Current and future wireless connectivity
- The total cost of ownership
- Whether multi-device chargers and holders are required
- Available maintenance and support
Harvest has extensive experience with perishable food industry operations and available software and mobile devices. Harvest can assist companies by providing guidance through the process of determining the best software and hardware devices for DSD operations. Harvest also supplies DSD software and offers multiple mobile device options.