Article | December 13, 2012

Leveraging Tablet PCs With Mobile Printers In DSD Operations

MobileDemand

By Matt Miller, MobileDemand

By now strategically-minded direct store delivery businesses have switched to mobile computing and communications to streamline their operations and enhance field-driven customer service. But taking the next step – adding mobile printers – opens the door to additional efficiencies and new revenue generation opportunities.

Combining mobile printing with their rugged tablet PC, drivers can skip the pen-and-paper routine and print everything from orders to delivery receipts, invoices and other documentation needed by the customer right on the spot. The tablet PC automatically captures all transaction data, which can be instantly uploaded to a central database or stored for transfer at day’s end. There’s no paperwork to turn in, no load sheets or daily sales summaries to create and print.

Automating every step eliminates mistake-prone, time-wasting manual tasks, leaving time for more productive work. Drivers can make more deliveries during the day or spend more quality time with customers.

Mobile printing exploits a rugged tablet PC’s versatility.

A rugged tablet is the definition of “mobile,” designed to work anywhere, under any conditions. With powerful computing capability, wireless communication, GPS and other relevant features and applications, it’s the ideal tool for DSD operations.

A rugged tablet PC can interface easily with a peripheral mobile printer. No need for customers to waste time standing around while your driver runs back to their vehicle to print something. With a rugged tablet and mobile printing, you can:  

  • Save paper and ink. Mobile printers use less paper because they produce smaller documents, and most use ink-free ink-free imaging. You’ll save postage and related expenses associated with traditional invoicing processes, too, since drivers can literally print out and hand an invoice to the customer.
  • Eliminate redundant data entry.
  • Use properly-outfitted rugged tablet PC to capture credit or debit card payments at the time of delivery, entirely eliminating billing cycle delays with instantaneous payment authorization.Enable drivers and customers to review orders and invoices at the time of delivery, to immediately identify and resolve any discrepancies.
  • Better support your collections team, because they can also see customer and transaction information and print receipts.  

What’s the bottom line?

Sales drivers can concentrate more on sales. With a rugged tablet PC in hand, they have instant access to information and applications to accomplish their deliveries but also interact more broadly with customers. They can strengthen relationships and even upsell, using their tablet PC to suggest additional related products the customer might want or introduce your newest product or service offerings.

You can expect:

  • Higher quality work.
  • Faster, more accurate tracking or tracing of inventory.
  • Improved product rotation.
  • Improved distribution and other logistics.
  • Significantly tightened billing speeds and cash flow.
  • Higher quality customer service.  
  • Enhanced reputation

You can expand service or add more customers without adding people.

What if drivers saved just five minutes at each stop? What if you were able to eliminate much of the time and labor involved in dealing with after-the-fact issues? What if your accounting personnel saved just five minutes on each billing project?

Every little improvement you can make – and these are far from small – contributes to bottom-line savings. That improves total cost of ownership and profitability and sharpens your competitive edge. 

Learn how Heniff Transportation is anticipating savings of roughly $1,150,000 per year by using rugged tablet PCs.

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