In addition to their fixed sales outlets, many small and medium-sized businesses in the food trade also sell their goods from their vehicles on sales tours (“shops on wheels”). How can companies determine whether these sales tours are profitable and what options are there for optimizing these tours without sacrificing customer satisfaction?
One way to answer this question is to use digital tools for route planning, route documentation (“digital logbook”) and fleet management support. In order to familiarize companies with IoT (“Internet of Things”) solutions that can be used for this purpose, the qualification project “Optimization of profitability through digitization of sales tours” was launched. Supported by the “Digital Innovation Hub OST” (DIHOST) program of the Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and coordinated by the Food Cluster of Lower Austria, experts for IoT and customer-centric solutions make their knowledge available in the form of workshops for SMEs.
Particular attention is paid to how an optimal route can be planned with digital support and events on the sales trip can be recorded. The link to an electronic vehicle file is the basis for efficient vehicle management and the integration of the POS software allows the location information to be linked with the POS receipts in order to determine the yield of a route. In this way, information about the “point of sale” is also obtained, which can be used to further develop the respective business model and make it more customer-centric.
Filling in gaps in operational efficiencies and making sales tours more customer-centric is a fine example of how digitized solutions can bring practical benefits to SMEs in the food industry. The workshops held by the qualification project provide the companies with the knowledge they need to implement such solutions.
Food Cluster of Lower Austria
+43 664 601 19673