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Our client is a B-2-B Cement Distributor, who collects cements directly from manufacturer’s factories & delivers to construction sites using specialised trucks. The trucks have to pass through a temporary warehouse of the distributor at the outskirts of the city, for documentary processes, after which they directly reach customer sites for unloading. Once unloaded, the trucks have to make return trips to maximise the number of deliveries in a given period. Any delay in loading, transit, documentation & unloading will cost the company cutting into the margins.
Challenge : The Documentation Process
Every truck loaded with cement from the manufacturer carries the manufacturer’s invoice with details of cement type, grade & quantity along with pre-fixed price and taxes.
The invoice document thus received by the personnel at the distributor warehouse is emailed to the central office. The sales team decides which particular grade cement has to be unloaded to which customer, based on the sales orders. The accounts team then raises a customer invoice with agreed price as per sales order which is mailed back to the warehouse. This invoice & way-bill is printed by the warehouse personnel which is handed over to the truck driver who drives to a particular customer & unloads the material.
This vital documentary process that also serves statutory needs takes undue time that affects the delivery cycle. Added to this, the fixed office working hours & holidays at central office will make the trucks wait at temporary warehouses overnight & sometimes even days to receive proper invoice copies. The trucks have to wait for manual processing of documents to proceed to the client’s place where materials are awaited irrespective of weekends or holidays.
Solution : Ease the process that saves time & money
As the first solution, the client had tried implementing Tally with a multi-user environment. This meant Tally trained users & stable internet connection at the warehouse. The effort proved futile with missed communication & manual errors.
The client reached us to come out with a Technology solution that can serve statutory needs as well as speeden the delivery cycle. Our team of experts went through each stage of the process & came out with a solution, which is detailed below.
The heart of the solution is an Online Billing Application, that is connected through a mobile app at warehouse & is integrated with Tally at the Central Office. When the truck reaches the warehouse, the personnel using his mobile phone captures the truck number plate, invoice copies. He also feeds information like manufacturer’s invoice details along with other information like cement, quantity etc. The Online Billing Application based on the Sales Order information automatically assigns the stock to customers in the queue ( based on priority set by the Sales Person in the backend while entering the order details ). The invoice is auto-generated as PDF & printed in a few minutes at the warehouse itself. Voila ! The truck is all set to leave the premises to the client’s place even without switching off the truck engine. At best, the driver can have a hot cup of tea, while the entire documentation process is completed, whether it’s day or night, work day or holiday and proceed for unloading at the customer’s place.
There’s more ! While this is happening at the warehouse, at the accountant’s office, now there is no need to raise any more invoices manually in Tally. The Online Billing Application keeps updating the Tally backend with the invoices, keeping track of the invoice numbers. The entire invoice raising process at the central office is cut to zero.
Separate dashboards are created for the sales team, accountant to track the status of arrival & delivery of cement loads. The management was provided with a customised dashboard that is dynamic, with many more critical data points which was earlier exported from Tally as a time consuming process.
Gain from Technology Transformation
- Low cost of warehouse operation with semi-skilled person
- No of accountants at Central Office reduced from 7 to 1 as invoice raising is removed from the process.
- The team has been moved to collection followup, increasing the recovery cycle adding to increased cash inflows.
- The entire invoice process has moved from person dependent to process dependent, reducing frequent interventions & decision makings.
- The information as it happens is available in the form of dashboards.
- The delivery cycle of trucks increased to 2.4 times saving a significant amount of hiring costs.
- Increased customer satisfaction especially during peak demand time by faster delivery
A design thinking approach to solve real time challenges always excites us as PixElites. We are open to discuss your business challenges ( read pain points ) that may be solved by an existing solution or a process that can bring about a new solution. Reach out to us for a casual chat & let’s discover a way forward.