Thoughts On Sales & Logistics 101
While casually chit-chatting in a recent gathering with friends I knew this young entrepreneur who had just landed a contract with a local toy importing firm to sell and distribute assorted toys to pharmacies along an area up some 75 miles away, mostly thru secondary roads.
He only owned a small fleet of vans so he was looking for an efficient way to bring costs to the absolute minimum… His mind was almost set on a strategy but he wanted to hear what I would say “logistics wise”.
I said… Well you have 3 choices:
You can send sales personnel in your vans to fulfill your orders, then come back to main offices to fill again and present signed delivery papers of all orders.
This is the simplest way but each van will consume fuel on the trip back and the time spent to and from main offices is lost time to sell… And that is what salesmen do… SALES.
But there’s also another way, you could set points closer to their areas of delivery where cargo could be stored and picked up by the vans as needed, maybe rent a small warehouse and orders could be faxed or better yet… sent by text.
But of course, every salesman would need a key to the warehouse, and then you have to make sure all orders faxed or texted back be filled perfectly.
Now the last one, my favorite, set one day a week and send a truck filled with the toys close to their area of operations, this truck will include a supervisor which can check all orders and iron out questions… the sales orders could be sent via fax or text (the original picked up by the supervisor) Fuel costs & vehicle wear would be a minimum and the salespeople would be making sales.
He nodded to my advice and we eventually change the subject to other matters like soccer or the latest action movie…
But of course you want to know which path he chose… Well… First… Which would you? Maybe a different approach?
In the end he did not trust his sales force so they had to travel once a day every week to fill up on orders and resolve the usual paperwork (almost no sales were made this day) gas prices as we know varied from one month to the next, one vans was involved in a serious accident and after that that he just sold the company and went overseas to start anew.
As my closing statement, if you own a sales firm, you have to let the salespersons sell… If selling is your business, then its got to be your priority.