Direct store delivery is a retail solution for optimizing delivery routes of perishable goods directly from the producer to the retailer. DSD distribution essentially skips over other steps on the supply chain, like warehouses and storage centers, and goes directly to the point of sales (PoS) or point of consumption (PoC).
Direct store delivery (DSD) software is a way to automate route optimization between manufacturers or suppliers and their PoS/PoC retail partners. This method of route accounting is used as an alternative to more centralized distribution methods. DSD software is usually used by food producers and manufacturers to deliver fresh perishables, though other suppliers may also benefit from implementing a direct delivery system.
DSD is best suited for distributing to:
A type of real-time distribution software, DSD focuses on replenishment along the final stretch of the product supply chain. Big vendors with high consumer demand merchandise are behind most DSD systems, though smaller distributors can be involved as well.
There are many benefits to utilizing a DSD system with your delivery operations:
The biggest challenge for all food distributors is getting food products to consumers before they expire. By using a DSD software to optimize routes, you can speed up deliveries of goods which might expire if first sent to warehouses or storage centers. And new orders can be fulfilled within 1 to 2 business days, a much faster turnaround than going through a third-party or centralized distribution center. Your retail partners can enjoy fresher products which can be passed on to consumers, building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction simultaneously.
Certain foods simply cannot be held in storage, even for a short amount of time. Whether these foods go bad in a warehouse, delivery truck, or on a shelf, it’s a loss for the distributor and the retailer. DSD with route management tools accommodate for specific product storage requirements by creating efficient delivery routes. In turn, this minimizes the days a product spends in transport along a multi-stage supply chain, maximizing freshness for the end consumer.
Many goods need to be stored and transported in controlled temperatures. While this primarily applies to food and beverage, other products like sensitive electronics also need to be stored in carefully controlled environments. Direct store delivery software makes it possible to track temperatures when transporting goods. This makes it possible to maximize inventory without risking product stability.
For example, ice-cream needs to be kept frozen from production through delivery. A grocery store only has so much space in their frozen food section. Making a premature delivery can mean there’s not enough room for new stock. DSD software helps the store and supplier know when there’s room for more by examining sales data and forecasting future deliveries through pre-sales.
One major benefit of DSD software is having a direct source of product replenishment. Instead of using resources on an inventory management system, the supplier is responsible for keeping track of their individual stock at a store or restaurant in order to reduce on-shelf shortages or overstock situations. This gives the retailer more time to focus on other sales tasks. Additionally, this cuts down on their labor costs for scanning products and checking shelves.
Traditionally, manual inventory practices take time and can delay orders for new stock until there’s already a shortage. Replenishment delays can cause disappointed consumers to shop elsewhere, hurting both brand and store loyalty.
Fortunately, DSD software helps distributors tighten their delivery windows with lean or “just-in-time” inventory practices. Consistent route sales reduces waste and costs by only stocking products as they are needed. This saves the distributor, manufacturer, and retailer from the expenses associated with additional inventory storage, especially those associated with one-time, high volume seasonal goods.
Finally, direct store delivery systems help reduce expensive shrink from merchandise theft and inventory errors. DSD solutions provide real-time visibility which reduces the opportunities for loss. Since the distributor is in more control of how their products are delivered with this platform, there are fewer opportunities for mistakes from delivery staff.
DSD solutions provide GPS tracking applications as well, so suppliers can always know where their drivers are at all times. Proof of delivery and inventory tracking can be performed on specific hardware or iOS or Android smartphones with on-the-go signature capture. Barcoding scanning of the products confirms the delivery as well. Any unusual activity or changes to predetermined route sales can be immediately identified. For example, if a truck is stolen GPS tracking can allow the company to begin recovery efforts instantly.