Crisis “mobilization”: how mobile technologies reduce costs

The workplace, which traditionally consisted of a chair, table and computer, is gradually transforming into a work environment: we can work from anywhere in the world at any time of the day. Preventive measures taken in many countries to limit the spread of coronavirus will multiply this trend. The demand for technologies that help organize remote work, provide control over employees when working outside the office, and increase the efficiency of their activities is growing rapidly. The demand for the development and implementation of corporate mobile applications for various industries will increase.

Sales Agents and Merchandisers

At the moment, mobile applications are relevant for companies that employ sales representatives and merchandisers. Mobile solutions allow you to do the same amount of work better and with fewer staff, optimizing staff and, therefore, business costs.

First, they provide an opportunity to better plan the work of staff at all levels of the supply chain – from executives and middle managers to field employees. Only this effect is capable in a short time not only to fully recoup the implementation, but also to bring additional profit.

Second, mobile apps can provide analytics based on the performance of managers. It is a powerful tool for motivating an employee and managing his life cycle in the company and, as a result, increasing the effectiveness of his work.

Third, these solutions improve the quality of customer interactions and the productivity of mobile and office staff. On the employee’s smartphone, all information about customers and a specific outlet is available: sales history, prices and discounts (promotions), current inventory balances, a matrix of the minimum recommended sale (order), etc. The operating time at the point of sale is reduced due to the automation of some of the important but routine processes.

Manufacturers and sellers of goods

It is especially important today to mobilize companies that are engaged in the production, distribution and retail sale of consumer goods (FMCG): to avoid shortages and empty shelves, i.e. sell the maximum possible amount of goods at any given time. Ensuring the availability in stores of all the goods people need in the current conditions is a task of state importance.

The unified approach no longer works: the same products may be sold in different ways in retail outlets located on neighboring streets.  It is important to organize the display and form stocks in the warehouse in accordance with the dynamics of sales in a particular store.

How to implement this in practice? A mobile application with an image recognition system based on a mobile neural network analyzes a photo of a shelf and issues recommendations for eliminating deficiencies. Artificial intelligence checks the availability of goods, the correctness of the calculation, the correctness of the price tags and compliance with the current promotions and immediately forces everything to be corrected: to put the missing goods, rearrange the positions in accordance with the matrix, correct the price tags, etc.

As a result, distribution efficiency increases:
The merchandiser brings order to the shelves faster and better. This allows you to optimize the field staff. In addition, the risks of infection for merchandisers who have to work in crowded places are significantly reduced.
The technology of image recognition in a mobile device allows you to quickly collect information both about your products and about products, prices and promotions of competitors. Today, reliable and fast analytics from the fields are an essential tool for increasing sales and profitability.
The application allows you to organize monitoring of overpricing in comparison with the recommended ones. In the context of the rush demand for some goods, this is very important. The solution helps to avoid problems with the Federal Antimonopoly Service, Rospotrebnadzor and other supervisory authorities.
The requirements for the qualifications of merchandisers are reduced: with the help of a photo recognition system, a person without special knowledge and work experience will be able to maintain the correct layout.
What is important in conditions of limited budgets: such an application does not require expensive server capacities – all operations are performed on a mobile device without an Internet connection.

The ideal solution in conditions of complete self-isolation would be to organize remote merchandising in stores: employees of the outlet could take pictures of the shelves with goods and do the correct arrangement. And the supplier’s specialists, remotely analyzing the data from the stores, would make a decision on replenishing the warehouse stock.

Transport services and couriers

Comprehensive mobile solutions for drivers and couriers automatically compose routes, generate documentation, and allow you to control the delivery status and vehicle movement. As a result, the total mileage of routes is reduced by 15–20%, the cost of fuels and lubricants is reduced, and, in general, the cost of delivery is reduced. The amount of fines for speeding recorded by video surveillance cameras and accidents are also reduced, since in case of violations of the speed limit and an aggressive driving style, the driver and dispatch services receive notifications.

 

Reducing transport costs can reach 30% or more. In addition, the mobile application allows you to automatically transfer electronic versions of checks to the operator of fiscal data in accordance with the requirements of Law 54-FZ “On the use of cash registers.”

It is useful to leverage the efficiency of a mobile solution using IoT technology. For example, when delivering perishable goods, “smart” sensors are installed in the car body, which monitor the temperature in refrigerators throughout the route. In addition, the sensors transmit information about compliance with other delivery requirements, which is important when transporting fragile, expensive and especially valuable goods. This helps not only to avoid damage, but also to protect the cargo and accompanying employees from illegal actions.