Magazine Article | July 13, 2007

GPS-Based Delivery And Sales Force Tracking Improves Productivity

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, July 2007

New York-based Oak Beverages, Inc. needed a method of monitoring the productivity and locations of its 100 remote salespeople and 40 delivery drivers. Oak Beverages was challenged with the fact that it couldn't accurately monitor salespeople's time sheets and the salespeople consistently left their designated territories, making it difficult to track productivity. On the delivery side, the company faced the challenges of customers consistently refusing delivered packages, getting delivery verification, excessive overtime hours by drivers, and the inability to validate COD (cash on delivery) collections and obtain productive delivery routing.

The management of Oak Beverages knew that they needed to enable their drivers to become more efficient by offering clear and concise driving directions, time-saving ways to report deliveries, and the ability to verify the collection of CODs. By having drivers verbally communicate with the home office, they knew there was no means of validating everyday tasks. Oak Beverages installed Comet Tracker by ActSoft on employees' Sprint Nextel GPS (global positioning system)- and Java-enabled smartphones with the initial intent to track the location of delivery drivers. After learning more about the features Comet Tracker had to offer, within a short time they were tracking the entire sales force. Oak Beverage implemented other features of Comet Tracker, such as location and task tracking. Location tracking allows Oak Beverages to identify the locations of drivers and clients in order to configure efficient routing, reducing driving time from each drop-off. Through task tracking, Oak Beverages alleviated back office paperwork and instantly validated the collection of CODs.

Through another feature called time tracking, employees can clock in and out of shifts in their designated territories, enabling Oak Beverages to efficiently manage their sales force. Through the feature of geofencing, Oak Beverages was alerted any time a salesperson left his or her territory. Knowing exactly where members of their sales force were at all times helped Oak Beverages improve efficiency and increase productivity.