When collecting retail data great number of companies relies on traditional paper-based forms and general-purpose software like MS Word and MS Excel, Google Docs, Notes and etc. They also use traditional ways of communication with field reps – paper reports, phone calls, SMS, and email messages. At first glance it may seem economical and cost-effective, but as a matter of fact it can really be costly in terms of time expenses and low productivity.
Therefore some companies opt for paperless data collection to reduce costs and increase productivity. In this article we’ll consider in what ways paperless data collection can improve the bottom line of the company and increase the efficiency of field force management.
Retail data collection software can help to increase the efficiency of retail operations and improve field reps productivity. Here are the key benefits of retail data collection software, that some of the most experienced and sophisticated retailers adopt to become more efficient both in the field and in the back-office.
- Timely and accurate data. Through GPS-technology, track your field reps positioning and activities live on the map. See all the retail data as soon as it is collected with activity dashboards and reports. Every mobile activity is GPS and time-stamped. Fraudulent check-ins become easy to detect and dealt with.
- Less time spent on data entry. Retail data collection forms are faster than paper forms due automated task templates, drop down lists, bar-code scanner, search boxes and built-in photo-reports. Besides, field reps, who use a retail data collection app, don't have to visit the office to provide a report. All the data collected in stores is automatically synced with the corporate database.
- Streamlined retail data workflow. Retail data collection software allows you to coordinate all the stages of your data collection operations to improve your retail management and enhance the productivity of your field reps. Using retail data collection software you can easily organize the schedule of visits for any period of time and improve your field team bottom-line by reducing their time traveling to appointments, planning routes and accessing information.
- Sophisticated data harmonization and aggregation. Using retail data collection software you can instantly aggregate store data, anytime get exact data you need due to analytic capabilities and data filters, provide role-based access to information, and easily integrate retail data to your corporate database.
- No hardware costs. Top retail data collection software solutions work on newer mobile platforms such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android, which enables BYOD policy implementation. Use BYOD policy to leverage common tablets and smartphones in the field so your field reps can bring their own devices and be more effective. Field team members will save time on training by using the devices that they already know and you save on hardware costs.