Sales personnel are assigned a specific number of retail outlets, which they visit and service on a daily basis. This is based on a predefined monthly plan.
Manjilas implemented SAP to integrate all their processes at their corporate office. A 12 member back office team supported their field staff. This was primarily for processing orders, invoicing and delivery despatches. Apart from order picking, the field staff collect payments, gather competitor information, product complaints, etc. from the retail outlets. On an average, each field staff visits around 40 retail outlets a day. Field information was communicated to the back office via phone or fax.
The sales personnel used to take orders in a paper form, call up the back office and update the information. The back office staff would manually input the details into SAP to fulfil the order, raise an invoice and create a despatch slip. As the business expanded, this methodology posed a series of challenges:
- Miscommunication: Resulting in wrong invoices, stock returns and high operational costs
- Errors: Typing errors by data entry operators while posting on SAP
- Service levels: Long waiting time between orders placed, invoicing and delivery
- Lack of information: Customer receivables and warehouse stock position were not readily available to field staff
- Tracking : Improper tracking of expenses of field staff
- Sales returns: Inefficient process to track product returns from Customers
- Price fluctuations: Field staff needed to be individually updated on rate changes