By Sarah Howland, Field Technologies magazine
Time is money. Overused cliché? Definitely. But true, nonetheless. And, nothing illustrates the concept better than a mobile sales force, for which downtime is a double-edged sword — you're paying an employee for unproductive hours, and losing out on revenue that comes from field sales reps' customer-facing activities. If your field sales force utilizes mobile technologies to perform their daily duties, providing them with a reliable solution is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent wasted time and, therefore, money. U.S. Foodservice recognized the need to improve the mobile tools the company's field sales reps use, and in doing so, has recovered 1.1 million hours of productivity per year.
U.S. Foodservice is one of America's largest food distributors, and disperses food and related products to more than 250,000 customers including restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, and government institutions. A field sales force of 5,000 territory managers oversees these 250,000 customers based on a geographical assignment within one of more than 60 divisions, and is also responsible to prospect new business in their territory. The territory managers visit current customers in person on a regular basis to discuss new
products, consult on ingredients and menu options, and review current promotions. Customer visits often result in orders, which territory managers have to submit by five o'clock for next-day delivery.