AFS Direct Store Delivery (DSD) 2.0 for Android Has Arrived
By Gennadiy Vaksman, VP, SCM/RE Global Operations
This is the story of how AFS’ Direct Store Delivery system 2.0 for Android -- based on five generations of AFS DSD mobile solutions -- was enhanced by drivers for drivers, and how it helps them deliver products on time, eliminating many work challenges.
Hello. My name is David. I’m a driver for the G&V Food Distribution company. Every day for 10 years, I’ve delivered products to G&V clients. These include stores, schools, plant cafeterias, military bases, and even jails.
I just celebrated my 10-year employment anniversary. It was a great party, but that’s not what my story is about. Maybe I’ll tell you about the party some other time.
I have used different mobile systems during my driving career. But about a month ago, G&V replaced our Windows Mobile system with the Android system from AFS Technologies.
I thought nothing could wow me from a software perspective, but the AFS Direct Store Delivery system really blew me away with its intuitive user interface, attention to the smallest detail, and functionality that doesn’t overwhelm you with complexity. Instead, it is so simple that even my six-year old son Robin was able to navigate through the system without much help from me.
I must emphasize how fast the system is. In our Windows Mobile legacy system, some operations took minutes to complete, while the Android system takes only seconds. Now I spend less time waiting on the system and more time serving my clients.
The time-saving was so significant that I was able to add more customers to my route without increasing my work hours.
As you can see, I was introduced to this system fairly recently, but I’m already so dependent on it that I cannot believe I worked without it for exactly nine years and 11 months.
It seems like the developers of the system were inside my head and collected all my hopes and dreams for a direct store delivery system during all these years of delivering products. I guess somebody from the team was a driver and understands all our needs, not from reading a book, but instead, based on personal experience.
As soon as I got the system, I decided to test its GPS navigation capability.
“Why do you need the system to provide you with GPS navigation if there are plenty of other packages you can install on the Android device to get route directions?” asked my co-worker, Tom Cool.
“Great question,” I responded, and asked him, “What do you usually do to get directions ready?”
“Very simple. I insert the address of the place where I’m going and click the button ‘Go’,” he replied.
“What if I tell you that I don’t have to even insert the destination for my trip? I just click ‘GO’, and the system knows where to navigate. Can you believe it?” I asked.
“You’ve got to be joking,” he replied, intrigued.
“No, I’m not. That’s how it works. It’s as simple as 1-2-3,” I declared. “Moreover, the system alerts me about traffic and accidents. It also informs the clients and my manager by sending them an e-mail notification if I’m running late by more than 20 minutes. I don’t have to even pick up the phone and call them. The office manager told me that this feature saves tons of time for the office employees by eliminating massive numbers of calls from the clients who are eagerly awaiting delivery of their products,” I added.
“Wow — amazing,” he responded. “Tell me more about the system.”
“Sure,” I replied. “Once, while filling in for a sick driver, I was delivering products to customers I did not know well. One customer told me that he was promised an additional case of low-fat Greek yogurt by the main driver. I made him no promises, but I told him that I would check for any messages about it in the system. Thank goodness the AFS Direct Store Delivery system allows drivers to create voice notes that are saved on the device and connected to the client account. I found the voice note from the main driver about an additional case of low-fat Greek yogurt and was able to deliver it. I was very happy, and so was the client.”
“On the same trip, the AFS system delivered a real-time message from my manager telling me to change my delivery schedule and drive first to the school that was the last stop on my list. It was inconvenient, but it had to be done. I delivered without issue but then had to decide where to go next on a route that I didn’t know at all. What could I do? But it wasn’t a problem. The AFS system showed me the five customers nearest to the school. I optimized my route without using any complicated software, just in time.”
By now, it was already 6 p.m., and my family was expecting me for dinner.
“Let’s continue this conversation tomorrow,” I told Tom. “This is just the beginning. I can tell you much more about the AFS Direct Store Delivery system then.”
“Thanks; have a good night, David,” he said.
“Good night, Tom,” I replied.
It was a very productive day today. And tomorrow will
be just as productive, because I have such a great helper:
the AFS Direct Store Delivery system.
G&V Food Distribution was able to transition 50 of their drivers from the legacy Windows Mobile system to the AFS Direct Store Delivery system for Android in one week after the first driver started to use the system.
The training for drivers on the new Android system took about three hours. No additional training was required. All the drivers have observed that the system is very user-friendly and intuitive. They used the same skills that they had previously acquired using other Android applications.
Save Money & Time
G&V Food Distribution purchased 60 Android devices -- 50 main and 10 backup -- from one of the major phone service providers by paying only for the data usage. The company saved $85,000 compared to the price for their legacy Windows Mobile (WM) devices.
The advantages of using Android over the legacy WM are not only obvious in financial terms but also in terms of performance; every customer who has transitioned from WM to Android has been impressed with the improved speed of each task. Every driver saves five minutes per visit. On average, the driver makes 25 visits per day, which means the average driver saves two hours and five minutes every day. The total average daily time saved for the entire company across all 50 routes is 104 hours.
G&V has been able to add more clients to routes without adding trucks or drivers. Using the system will bring the company estimated savings of $750,000 in the first year alone.
The AFS Direct Store Delivery system for Android has many features that helped G&V save money in multiple areas of their business and improve their client support. For example: E-mail notifications about delays in delivery eliminated 30% of clients calls and saved the company about $50,000 per year by reallocating the telephone support employee to a different area of the business.
The G&V support manager has received multiple messages from customers thanking the company for notifying them about the delivery delays. Knowing when the driver is coming has helped G&V clients to better plan their receiving schedules and to minimize the line of trucks from different providers that are waiting to be unloaded and accepted.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For more information about AFS Direct Store Delivery (DSD), contact Donald Quattrochio, Vice President of Inside Sales, by phoning him at 774-278-1038 or e-mailing him HERE.
Gennadiy Vaksman has more than 25 years of experience with software development and architecture and 20+ years managing teams for SCM and DSD.
He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance and 15+ years of experience teaching software development at New York-area business schools.
AFS™ Direct Store Delivery (DSD) is a comprehensive software suite that enables superior results across critical business processes such as route creation/selling and loading/delivery, along with reconciliation of all route activities. Business processes related to pre-sales, deliveries, van sales, inventory management, route accounting and settlement are both streamlined and better integrated. AFS DSD helps to build the Perfect Store picture at each retail location by supporting merchandising activities for the traditional trade/direct store delivery channel. With AFS DSD, boost your operational efficiencies and maximize customer service while reducing costs and increasing revenue.