iFD mTrade is the field service solution for mobile sales forces, order taking, data collection and store-checks
The mobile solution iFD mTrade is a role-based application for sales forces to take orders at customer site, present products, plan their visits, report visits to management and make store-checks.
But iFD mTrade is role based, so the modules and function can be enabled or disabled based on the roles of the user. A number of functions have been added for specific roles. iFD mTrade is used in various scenarios in retail or whole organizations with the following roles:
|Sales forces||District managers||Outlet service||Customers|
|One solution covers it all – the role based iFD mTrade – mobile sales|
The solution of iFD mTrade consists of three parts; one operated centrally to control and setup the devices, and another one running on the mobile device, performing the functions defined by the specific role of the user. The last one is the connection layer iFD mConnect.
iFD mTrade makes use of the modern technology of web services, thus allowing it to adapt iFD mTrade also to other ERP system then currently supported. For supported ERP/UPC systems please refer to the section iFD mConnect – which is middle layer between iFD mTrade and the ERP/UPC systems supported.
iFD mTrade Desktop – Central administration
This module runs centrally as a web application on the administration desk and allows the administration and control of the local devices, operating iFD mTrade.
The central administration supports the following tasks:
- Administration of the local devices and their user data
- Control of the data transmission between iFD mTrade and the ERP system
- Service functions like: automatic setup and updates of the application, history, maintenance of the database etc.
- Master data administration for customers, products, prices and price levels, sales people, vehicles etc. This data can be either maintained directly using the mTrade central functions or obtained directly by iFD mConnect from the managing ERP/UPC system.
- Status tracking of all mobile units and history analysis of tasks performed. With devices equipped by mobile data transfer, this information is initiated in real time. If not, you will update when an internet connection becomes available.
- Booking of goods to a truck for off-truck-sale. The loaded goods are booked to this “moving” warehouse.
- Unloading returned products from trucks – return to warehouse.
- Inventory control of goods in “off-truck-sales” vehicles.
- Reports on sales and movement.
iFD mTrade Mobile – the mobile application
The mobile part of iFD mTrade contains a variety of different specific functions, targeted to different common tasks in retail or wholesale organization.
As shown in the table above, iFD mTrade is designed to support a number of different user roles, allowing to use the same application in multiple areas within the organisation.
Some of the common challenges mastered with iFD mTrade in retail and wholesale are:
- Taking orders
- Search, view and present articles
- View price lists and promotions
- Check article details and availability
- Plan sales appointments , document appointment results
- View, transfer and solve tasks
- Make store checks
- Order shelf labels, order store posters
- Inventory control
Taking orders at customer site or in the stores / outlets
Of course, the most focused function is the taking of orders at customer site, but also planning and reporting back the result of the appointment is important for organisations with sales forces out in the field.
The price catalogs / lists for the customers are transferred / downloaded in the background automatically to the mobile unit, allowing your sales staff to handle different customers, and have different price lists in the same application, just by selecting the appropriate customer.
Taking his order directly, by searching articles in the customer price list or promotion, or just scanning them on the shelf, generates the order. By releasing the order, it is transferred directly to the ERP system for further processing. Most of our installations automatically release the ERP order when no mistake was found in the order in terms of article availability, bookkeeping details of the customer and other criteria, reducing the manual effort for processing the order significantly.
Automated processes in the ERP system (e.g. iFD navRetail for Microsoft Dynamics NAV ) may even provide further information on shipment and send the invoice immediately to the customer, completing the entire process and 1leading to extended customer satisfaction regarding speed and reliability.
Presenting products and details
A major task of sales people always had been to keep the customer informed about actual development in the assortment of products. We can help you sales staff to present new products, answer questions about listed products in terms of characteristic, quality or availability and eventually to recommend an alternative product if the product is out of stock or discontinued. This creates happy customers.
With iFD mTrade, sales people can easily search and present products based on different search criteria.
Customer visits planning and reporting
Especially for sales force, a precise and correct planning of the customer appointments will significantly influence the probability of success, both for your sales person and for the organization. Combined with a definition, or classification of the customers e.g. visit frequency, on their ordering history, or assortment criteria, iFD mTrade can suggest customer to be visited from the group or region the sales person is responsible for.
The sales force person can sort the list by expected visiting times in correlation with the navigation necessary for the daily route. Routing your sales calls often is customized individually for the organization as the methods used often vary and may include enhancement or customization in the base ERP system.
When arriving at customer site, the sales person notifies the central office by using the function “start visit” in the application.
Intercommunication about store environments or results of centrally initiated store checks are often functions requested for district managers as well as outlet service personal for the different departments.
They can check either the completeness of assortments presented, the format or quality of presentation as well as placement of promotions and advertising poster creation and presentations, and a variety of different criteria and can be custom made for each category or management level.
If the store-check module is active, at the beginning of visit a request for a store-check may come up, containing for instance the following tasks:
- Leave the birthday present for the market manager
- Please present the new products on screen, and leave 1 sample of each
- Please check our shelf in the market for missing products
- Enter an order for the missing products
- Make sure the all price labels are on the shelf
- Make sure our actual promotion poster is placed in at our shelf and in the entrance (see picture)
- and so on
Each of the topics have to be gone through step by step, allowing the sales people to have different options, like “done” or “not done”. In those cases, additional remarks can be simply added to the position and even a picture can be taken and attached to the position (if centrally enabled).
These functions automate and optimized the store check challenge by significantly increasing the performance and transparency of your display.
iFD mTrade Store-Checks module allows you to centrally define lists of tasks to be processed by the district managers or service personnel. The results of these lists and the information contained is then transmitted back by iFD mTrade to the central system, where separate algorithms can be used to analyze the results and to connect the data to the customer or store records.
Creating and solving tasks
Of course, often the result of store checks are that certain things have to be done by someone. We define this as tasks to be done by either central departments, sales force people, or colleagues working in the stores / outlets itself.
By implementing the iFD Ticket system product, even tasks resulting from the store-checks can be created and directly assigned to central or market employees for further processing and tracking centrally or during the following upcoming store check of the market.
This module was designed to support smaller outlets with a mobile possibility to value their inventory. By creating an inventory request, the user can scan all products in the store / outlet and to transmit this data to the central servers to be valued against the current sales price of the product to customers.
This function is mainly activated in the “customer” role for smaller stores, like e.g. convenience stores or gasoline stations with shop. Resulting documents are send back to the store / outlet email address by email for further processing in different formats like Adobe PDF Files or Microsoft Excel Files or CSV-Files.
Ordering shop advertising material
In most stores and outlets in retail, advertising material in different formats are used to promote products, promotions or services. Often organizations wish that these materials follow a defined corporate identity style, and also often, the material of supplies in pre-printed styles should be used for promotion and decoration purposes in the stores, outlets or restaurants for example.
This special add-on feature can be implemented for ordering centrally printed shelf labels with or without individual prices printed on them. Alternatively, to print the shelf labels and sending it by post, the user can request the shelf labels also as Adobe PDF File to print it locally, often on defined perforated paper, which reduces central printing and postal costs, and allows the user to save a lot of time.
Posters or banners for advertising, often in predefined designs, can be ordered based on one or more selected articles with or without individual prices, simplifying the process to get the correct and corporate identity to conform all advertising material in various types and sizes.
This special feature directly interfaces to the solution of Online Software AG named PRESTIGEenterprise, which allows a wide range of functionality of POS advertising. From printing posters in various sizes to display advertising messages on scales, kiosk systems or screens, material can be created based on templates and be filled with variable data.
The PRESTIGEenterprise solution has an add on module for integrating letter shops, directly allowing the transfer of order materials to be printed or packed and sent to the stores / outlets.
For more information on these services, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Special Add-On: Off-Truck-Sales
The module “off-truck-sales” allows your staff to directly sell and invoice goods to the customer while being on site. The procedure is rather simple. After “loading” the products in the truck at the central warehouse, by the central administration, the truck is acting as a logical warehouse where products are being shipped and invoiced at the time of the sale.
At the customer site, the driver / sales person can simply scan the product in the customer order. When finished, the order is released and either locally or centrally the delivery note and invoice is printed and handed out or send by email or postal service to the customer. The reception of the products is acknowledged by signing directly on the touch screen. During his trip, the driver / sales person has always an overview about his current stock.
Normally all sales are directly transmitted via mobile data transmission from the mobile unit to the central ERP systems.
Middle layer interface iFD mConnect
Most of the installations are driven by the data of an ERP system. To connect an iFD mTrade environment to an ERP system, like Microsoft Dynamics NAV or SAP Business One, the interface layer iFD mConnect is used.
iFD mConnect is installed on a central web server system, providing a set of powerful, scalable and secured web services, communicating with the various different mobile devices of the iFD mTrade environment using the either corporate network, VPN (virtual private networks) or the World Wide Web, depending on the communication and security policies of the individual organization.
Or if you wish, we can do this for you. iFD is offering the hosting and interfacing to corporate ERP environments also as separate software and as a service solution, if the organization prefers to operate the interface layer in the iFD own data center.
IFD mTrade is available on different mobile platforms
- Windows Mobile™
Individual online product presentation ?
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