Friday, October 30, 2015

Field Team Management: Improving Productivity by Keeping Your Data Organized


Every good field team manager constantly looks for ways to improve his effectiveness and productivity. Managing a team of field sales reps involves dealing with many people, at many different locations, bringing in a lot of information on many products. Field reps schedule, territory management, task execution, inventory levels, customer relationships, sales figures, and marketing data – it often looks like too many balls in the air.

In most of the companies corporate data is typically spread out over multiple channels, which means a field team manager has to constantly move from one system to another, without having a comprehensive picture of retail conditions.  Besides, field team managers often spend a lot of time solving issues at points of sales that require their attention. Adding to these the need to regularly create reports on sales figures and field team performance, we can easily understand why field team managers have no time and enthusiasm to analyze retail data to get valuable insights for strategic decisions.

The good news is that today with the development of mobile technology, Cloud storage and personal mobile devices, a field team manager can afford being more effective without spending much effort. The key step is to organize your sales data in one place, making it easy to access, manage, analyze, transfer and share. To find the right place for your corporate data, look for comprehensive field team management software solutions, which allow managing all the information on customers and products, monitoring of field reps, and field sales operations, organizing retail auditing, merchandising and field marketing activities, and analyzing various types of data to create automatic reports. The more comprehensive field team management solution you have, the more time you can save, when there is no need to constantly move from one data storage system to another.

If you want to improve the efficiency of your field team management, look for all-in-one solutions that offer the following opportunities:
  • Manage customers, products and mobile users
  • Plan retail visits in bulk and in advance
  • Create task templates for everything that needs to be checked
  • Process product orders and returns
  • Easily assign and re-assign territories between field reps
  • Monitor field team activities live on the map
  • Optimize field reps’ routes
  • Communicate through built-in messenger if necessary
  • Get real-time data as soon as it is collected
  • Get GPS-confirmation of executed visits and tasks 
  • Analyze data, captured at points of sales via built-in analytic tools

Today there is great variety of field team management software solutions on the market, which makes difficult to find the one that best fits your company. To get from the software the exact features and opportunities you need, analyze your key business operations that your need to automate and different types of data you manage. Determining what has top priority for your business is the key to improving field team management efficiency by organizing your data in the most sophisticated way.




To try a comprehensive field team management software solution free of charge, sign up at www.visitbasis.com or book a free online demo to see how it works. Check out our previous articles to get more information about field team management.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Key Benefits of Adopting Retail Audit Software


Looking for the way to improve the quality of retail audits within your company?
Start with adopting retail audit software to increase the effectiveness of your field team and reduce operating costs. A properly implemented retail audit software helps companies improve inventory control and tracking, and centralize customer management.

Key Benefits of Adopting Retail Audit Software.
  • Centralized customer management – Improve customer service through faster interactions and contact management features.
  • Efficient use of mobile workforce – Improve your field team bottom-line by reducing their time traveling to appointments, planning routes, accessing information and providing all the tools for retail data collection.
  • Improved inventory control – Maintain proper inventory levels and never run out-of-stocks, getting timely information from the field using task builders, checklists, mobile forms and surveys.
  • Field reps tracking – Track your field team members positioning and activities live on the map through GPS-technology. Every mobile activity is GPS and time-stamped
  • Real-time analytics – See retail audits results more quickly with activity dashboards and reports.
  • Reduce operation costs – Retail audit software minimizes the time to data entry, so managers can spend more time analyzing trends and developing strategies.

Ready to try the most effective way to conduct retail audits?
Sign up today for a free trial of VisitBasis retail audit software to increase your field team's efficiency! VisitBasis is a cloud mobile app for retail data collection that works seamlessly across iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones and tablets. From assigning territories to scheduling visits and GPS-tracking your mobile staff, VisitBasis is a complete, real-time retail audit mobile solution.

How VisitBasis retail audit software works?
  1. Field team managers schedule retail visits for field reps and assigns data collection tasks to be completed.
  2. Field reps perform retail audits, capturing data via mobile devices
  3. At the office, managers monitor field reps’ locations, routes, and what data collection activities.
  4. Managers create reports to analyze retail data collected in the field.

There is no limit on the number of devices each user can carry, so your field reps can bring their own devices and be more effective. VisitBasis Retail Audit App runs on any smartphone or tablet and looks and feels exactly the same.

To start using the VisitBasis retail audit software free, register account at www.visibasis.com and download free the VisitBasis App on Google Play and App Store


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

VisitBasis Data Collection Automation Solution


Retail data collection is one of the most important business units in CPG and FMCG companies, since its main objective is to generate insights for marketing strategies.
Data collection automation refers to the use of technology to collect retail data in real time using wireless devices, tablets and smartphones, to capture data. All the data, collected at retail locations, is transferred immediately to back end systems through Wi-Fi, 3G or GPRS).

Retail data collection automation avoids manual double entry data errors, reduces time delays, and enhances field reps’ productivity. Availability of retail data in real time allows planning delivery schedules and reducing inventory levels, improving customer service, and a company’s bottom line.

An effective data collection solution needs to empower field reps with real-time access to corporate data (customer database, product catalog, retail locations info and history of previous retail visits), and mobile tools to quickly capture various types of data (photo reports, automated data entry, bas code scanner, electronic signature and task templates).

VisitBasis is a mobile data collection and field representative management software for businesses with field merchandising, field sales and store audits operations. VisitBasis is a complete data collection solution: It improves communication between the office and the field so outside reps can have everything they need to succeed, at their fingertips. VisitBasis mobile data collection software allows field operations managers to oversee all stages of the store audit, field merchandising and field sales processes, from assigning territories and scheduling visits/tasks to immediately retrieving results through VisitBasis online dashboard and reports. And there is no need to invest in new hardware since the VisitBasis data collection app works on most smartphones and tablets.


Create a free account today at www.visitbasis.com to learn more about mobile store data collection! Start your own data collection automation campaign just after the registration! You can also schedule a free online demo here to see for yourself how it works.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Retail Data Collection: Outsourcing vs Insourcing





Retail data collection, including merchandising audits, customer survey and competitor analysis, are also among the activities that are often being outsourced. On the one hand, when outsourcing retail data collection activities, a company can concentrate on manufacturing and distribution. On the other hand, using a third party for retail data collection may impact company’s bottom line due to the lack of control. Check out pros and cons of retail data collection outsourcing to choose which is better for your company: in-house or a third party retail data collection.

When Retail Data Collection Activities Are Outsourced You Can

  • Receive professional approach to retail data collection
  • Reduce costs due to economies of scale
  • Concentrate on critically important aspects of your business
  • Get broad coverage of retail locations

Retail data collection outsourcing may have the following disadvantages:
  • Formal attitude to the work that has to be done
  • Loosing some important part of retail data
  • Lack of control of retail data collection activities

Big time gaps between the data being collected and reported
In general, when you hire a third party to perform retail data collection for your company, you run the risk of poor customer service, lower levels of brand loyalty and drop in sales due to weak control of data collection activities and lack of cooperation between your management and a third party field team.

When Conducting In-House Retail Data Collection Activities You Can:

  • Completely control the quality of retail data collection activities
  • Design specific data collection activities tailored to your business
  • Get retail data faster

In-House retail data collection has the following main weaknesses:
  • Having your own field team for retail data collection is costly
  • Managing data collection activities is time-consuming

Conclusion

If your goal is to ensure the quality of retail data, and you can afford to maintain your own team of field reps, opt for in-house retail data collection. Finally, the cost of in-house data collection will be paid back due to sales growth, as your products are sold better under the marketing strategy based on data-driven insights.

Today there is a great option to reduce the costs of in-house retail data collection, which consists in adopting of retail data collection software. Software vendors offer comprehensive retail execution solutions, to automate store data collection, so every company can afford in-house merchandising audits, surveys, compliance checks, getting broad coverage of retail locations and real-time data from points of sale.


VisitBasis is up-to-date mobile data collection software that requires almost no time and resources to implement. After registration at www.visitbasis.com you get free access to our data collection software and will be able to organize your first automated data collection activity in 15-20 minutes. You will not incur any costs to hardware or training – VisitBasis Data Collection App works from browser (for office managers) and can be downloaded for free on Google Play and App Store (for merchandisers). Your team members can use their own mobile devices to perform data collection activities and you don’t have to invest in training, as VisitBasis Data Collection App is intuitive and user-friendly.


Schedule a free online demo today, or find demo videos on our YouTube channel to see how it works.