There is no getting around this pandemic! The spread of the COVID-19 virus is causing major disruptions across industries and will continue to impact for some time. Food and Grocery supply are considered as “essential, critical infrastructure” and FMCG distributors are working hard to ensure availability of products at retailers’ shelves. Grocery Distribution operations is a high touch operation and their workers visit millions of retail stores around the country to take orders and deliver products. They are truly on the frontline of this pandemic and ensuring their safety as well customers safety should be the top priority of every FMCG company. In fact, the biggest risk to distribution operations is any worker getting infected. Such a situation will likely lead to shut down of the operations. Continuous communication with Distribution workers and Retailers about Safety measures taken and supply assurance could go a long way in building the trust at this time. Below are some of the best practices which we have deployed at our fulfillment facilities or came across working with many of our clients.
Safety Above all –proactive prevention
- Awareness and Training:
- Continuous training and reinforcement of hygiene practices and protocol.
- It is very critical to ensure importance of not overreacting to situations potentially related to COVID-19 in order to prevent panic among the workforce.
- Temperature screening:
- Ensure Mandatory Temperature screening for all associates, drivers and visitors every time they enter the premises.
- Personal Hygiene:
- Mask, Gloves to be provided to every associate.
- Additionally, Hand sanitizer to be provided to all salespersons and delivery associates.
- Ensure frequent hand washing using soap and water for all associates.
- Salespersons and Delivery associates to use hand sanitizer after every visit.
- All associates must wear masks while at work.
- Continual sanitation of all high touch surfaces:
- Daily sanitization of all the high touch surfaces.
- Disinfecting delivery vehicles:
- All delivery vehicles need to be disinfected at the start of every trip before loading of goods.
- Use any non-corrosive surface disinfectant like disinfectant bleaching powder or commonly available surface disinfectant.
- Leave it for 5 mins to dry and then it is recommended to wipe the surface with warm water esp. for foods product
- Communication to Customers:
- Ensure continuous communication to retailers about Safety measures of people, goods and Supply assurance through SMS or whatsapp.
Contactless delivery – Ensuring safety of Delivery associates, drivers and Retailers
- Delivery associates including delivery of goods, collection of signed invoices or collection of cash and cheque to follow zero touch delivery process.
- Encourage all the retailers to pay using UPI or any other digital mode;
- Every Delivery associate to be provided with a throwaway plastic pouch for collecting singed invoices and cash. Don’t use this pouch for keeping fresh invoices.
- Once in store, Delivery associate must maintain at least one-meter distance from people in the shop.
- Once Delivery Associate deliver the material, ask the shopkeeper to show and drop the cash, cheque and/or signed invoice in the pouch. Avoid touching the same.
- After Delivery associate return, put the plastic pouch on a paper, fold the paper and hand over the plastics pouch to cashier who must use gloves and masks to count and process. At the end of process, throw the plastic pouch along with paper.
- We recommend to pre-pack goods at retailer level which can increase the delivery speed and reduce required # of delivery persons in the market.
Contactless Sales – Ensuring safety of Salespersons and Retailers
- Salespersons have two key roles in FMCG distribution operations – a. Taking orders and b. Collecting payment.
- Maximize alternate mode for taking orders like tele-calling, mobile app; We are experiencing that Retailers are keen to avoid salesman visiting stores and open to ordering over app;
- Minimize cash/cheque handling and encourage digital /UPI mode for collection;
How StackBOX can help fight COVID-19
|Use case||Description||StackBOX solution|
|Merchant to Merchant Cashless collection||Digital collection using UPI whether it is Credit or Cash-on-delivery collection.||SBPay|
|Retailers Communication||Mass or personalized communication in SMS to retailers in a preferred language regarding Safety and supply assurance.||SBCrm|
|Online ordering by retailers||Place order using mobile app or a website. Order will be instantly routed to respective Distributors.||SBMart|
|Retail Execution with new associates||Companies are likely to experience very high churn of staff who may not be familiar with the area and stores. They need navigation and product identification support.||SBRetailX|
|Pre-packing Orders||Pre-packing orders at distribution point using Pick-by-order or Sort-by-Order method||SBSortie|
To help us fight COVID-19 together as Grocery distribution ecosystem, we have made all of the above solutions available for FREE. If you want to know more or use any of the above solutions – please reach out to us at email@example.com or visit www.stackbox.xyz ; In case, you are looking for any other technology solution which can help you fight COVID-19 better, please feel free to reach out. We promise to build that without any cost.
We help FMCG companies, Brands, Distributors, Wholesalers, Cash & Carry Retailers drive Route-to-Market excellence to millions of stores by optimizing Cost-to-serve, improving Sales Productivity and amplifying Distribution reach at scale using Location Intelligence and Deep Tech.