It is not unusual to see sales representatives using tablets to show prospects and customers the latest and greatest products that they can provide. However, are tablets ready for route sales? You may not think that a tablet can survive the rugged activities that your mobile sales teams may encounter in the field; however, tablets may soon become the new standard for route sales – that is, if it isn’t already.
You are likely familiar with the traditional ruggedized Windows Mobile devices often used for route sales and direct store delivery (DSD) activities. These bulky devices are built to take a beating and offer fairly limited features such as bar code scanners for quick order entry. They can certainly be reliable since they are harder to break and have traditionally been the go-to device for off-line capabilities. However, they are not known for speed or being user friendly. In addition, ruggedized devices are not convenient to use for emailing, texting, or online research, if they even have those capabilities. These ruggedized mobile devices were created for one main purpose – delivery.
Technology continues to advance and mobile devices have become smarter and more flexible. In addition, route sales and DSD activities are constantly changing to meet increasing customer and marketplace demands. Your workforce is likely comfortable using smartphones or tablets for personal use or other business tasks. Now you can extend that convenience by replacing ruggedized mobile devices with tablets.
Tablets are better suited for sales presentations, capturing field data, customer surveys, and order entry. The larger screens offer users the ability to view more data than on the traditionally smaller screen that is available on most ruggedized devices. In addition, with internet capability, tablets can offer a direct connection with the office and colleagues. When integrated with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics® GP, you can use tablets to enter, access, or analyze business data with greater efficiency and accuracy.
There may be a time and a place for ruggedized mobile devices; however, now you have options. Contact jLAN to learn more about the tablets and ruggedized devices that are best suited for your route sales and DSD teams.