Friday, October 31, 2014

Small Businesses are the Big Winners with On-Demand SaaS

One hardly knows all the expenses that will be incurred when starting up their own business… There is so much to think about, so much to plan: Where will the business be located, how many employees should be hired, what equipment needs to be purchased, and – most importantly – is there enough money for everything?

Normally the last thing on the small business owner’s mind will be software, if the business is not technology-related. Unfortunately, many small businesses end up loosing productivity or revenue potential due to the prohibitive cost of software licenses.

Software as a Service (SaaS) changed the game. By charging a per-user monthly subscription, it became easier for small businesses to afford taking advantage of state-of-the-art software. However, this per-user monthly subscription could still add up to a hefty amount, dragging down the business net income.

On-Demand SaaS changes the game once more. Its pay-per-use model allows for businesses to adequately tailor the software use to their size, needs and budget. There is no huge investment on a software license, and there is no need to pay monthly for users that work on a part-time or occasional basis.

On-Demand SaaS business solutions are just starting to show up on the market, and one of them is VisitBasis Retail Execution, a complete mobile data collection solution designed to build, schedule and monitor field team activities in real time. It provides tools for all types of field activities, including field sales, merchandising, field marketing, auditing, inspections, surveying, training, sampling, and product demonstrations, among others. It charges $0.20 per executed visit with no extra monthly charges, so the cost of using this advanced software solution is proportional to the size of the business using it.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sustainability and Mobile Technology in Retail Execution

"Sustainability" seems to be the word of the moment and every day more and more businesses are claiming that their processes are sustainable.

But what does this mean for retail execution? How can merchandising and mystery shopping agencies, food brokers, retail sales and marketing companies, and other businesses in the industry up their sustainability efforts and make a real difference when it comes to conserving resources?

They can start by adopting a mobile retail execution platform that meet the following criteria:
  1. Effective mobile data collection
    By allowing field reps to perform in-store activities on smartphones or tablets, businesses can virtually eliminate field paperwork and save on paper and printing.
  2. Choose a solution that includes scheduling and routing
    Route optimization will save time and gas for businesses, since field reps will spend more time in stores performing their assigned activities than on the road traveling.
  3. Choose a BYOD mobile solution
    By choosing a bring-your-own-device mobile data collection solution, businesses will allow field reps to use their own smartphones and tablets to execute field tasks and save on equipment.
VisitBasis Retail Execution is a complete mobile data collection solution designed to build, schedule and monitor field team activities in real time. It provides tools for all types of field activities, including merchandising, field marketing, field sales, auditing, inspections, mystery shopping, surveying, POS asset management, training, sampling, and product demonstrations, among others.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Framework to Make the Most of Your Field Data Collection

In these days of limited everything (budgets, time, etc.) one needs to make the most of all available resources to get as much as possible out of their efforts.

When it comes to field data collection, it is imperative to have a framework that promotes efficiency in all steps of the process, from having the right people to perform the field work to acting on the results revealed by the process.

VisitBasis Retail Execution provides organizations with a framework of efficiency that helps improve their data collection process and extract actionable information out of said collected data.

  1. BYOD – Bring Your Own Device allows organizations to have a large pool of per-job or seasonal workers available for them to choose from, since VisitBasis works on most mobile devices and is easily downloadable from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. On-Demand – VisitBasis is an on-demand solution, meaning that organizations will only pay for the visits actually executed and don’t need to waste valuable resources with software licenses or subscriptions.
  3. Bulk Assigning and Scheduling - With VisitBasis it is easy for office supervisors to quickly assign tasks and schedule visits in bulk, eliminating repetitive work.
  4. Shorter Routes – VisitBasis’ Route Planning tool allows field reps to quickly calculate the shortest route between customers, meaning they spend less time driving and more time working.
  5. Real-Time Monitoring – Office-based supervisors can see in real time where every single one of the field reps are and what they are doing, allowing organizations to quickly spot and act on incoming field information, like unexpected out-of-stocks or fraudulent check-ins.
  6. Cloud Reliability - VisitBasis runs on Google Cloud, a solid and robust environment that you can count on for the best service availability even if your company is multinational and runs in different countries and time zones.
VisitBasis Retail Execution is a complete mobile data collection solution designed to build, schedule and monitor field team activities in real time. It provides tools for all types of field activities, including merchandising, field marketing, field sales, auditing, inspections, mystery shopping, surveying, POS asset management, training, sampling, and product demonstrations, among others.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Mobile Data Collection by Itself is Not Enough

Much has been written lately about mobile data collection and how it is changing the way companies are doing business, especially when planning their marketing and promotional efforts. However, what any type of data collection leads to is normally just what its own name implies: a whole bunch of data.

Navigating though all the data obtained can be quite exhausting and unfruitful, and therefore any mobile data collection solution must, more than the data itself, extract actionable information.

This is why the way the information is presented in these systems is so important: Plot it in unfiltered spreadsheets and the user gets lost in a bunch of numbers and letters; aggregate it in excessively colorful graphs and visual tools and suddenly the looks cloud the user’s judgment, blocking his/her decision-making.

Actionable information extracted from mobile data collection seems to work best when presented in several ways:

  1. On a real-time map, allowing the monitoring user (supervisor, manager, executive) to view mobile user’s geo and time-stamped information. This allows the monitoring user to make on-the-spot decisions and properly manage territories and routes. 
  2. On a detailed user-level visit execution status window that contains all information pertaining to the data collection tasks. This window should also allow monitoring users to make last-minute changes such as assigning additional tasks for each visit (i.e. requesting POS manager input for unexpected out-of-stock). It also advises managers of excessive idle time or fraudulent check-ins among field reps.
  3. By building reports with several filtering options in order to generate spreadsheets with useful and readable data that can be transformed into charts, forms, and other printable and presentable formats.

VisitBasis Retail Execution is a complete mobile data collection solution designed to build, schedule and monitor field team activities in real time. It provides tools for all types of field activities, including merchandising, field marketing, field sales, auditing, inspections, mystery shopping, surveying, POS asset management, training, sampling, and product demonstrations, among others.

See for yourself how VisitBasis can help with your organization obtain actionable information from its data collection efforts: sign up today!