Blog > When should you upgrade or change your direct store delivery system?

If you already have a direct store delivery system or DSD software solution in place, then you should be seeing some benefits in reduced time to market and increased time on shelf, labor reductions, real-time reporting and adjustments, pricing accuracy, product and cash reconciliations, and overall operational efficiency as a start.

With the right DSD solution, you’re able to combat industry challenges such as the most pressing challenges addressed in our DSD fact sheet, that you can access here.

But how do you decide when it’s time to change or update it, given many companies are now on their second, third or even fourth generation DSD solution? Here are some tips and a starter checklist.

Common challenges with direct store delivery


A lack of visibility of field activities and inability to react immediately

Out of stocks, particularly in categories such as baked goods and dairy where SKUs are proliferating

Inability to fulfil last minute orders or changes to orders

Delivery and order delays and disputes with customers, particularly as a result of admin errors

Missed sales opportunities at store due to a lack of access to previous order data and new offerings

Routing inefficiency resulting in higher fuel costs and labor wastage

Long billing cycles, particularly as a result of manual proof of delivery

Software solutions with complex, counterintuitive user interfaces with multiple unnecessary steps

Minimum capabilities your direct store delivery system should have

At a minimum, your direct store delivery solution should solve the challenges listed above. That is to say, it should be fully capable to efficiently:


Minimize out of stocks by providing visibility of what is happening in the field and being able to fulfill last minute delivery and sales requests and short orders, particularly in high volume categories with short shelf life.

React quickly to changing customer needs and product issues through visibility of what and where something went wrong.

Accurately forecast product demand through data tracking, and manage inventory accurately to reduce shrinkage through process visibility.

Provide quality assurance handling of fragile and perishable packages.

And your DSD software should integrate your field sales, distribution logistics, inventory management, invoicing, and payment collection, be accessible on any mobile device, and be synced with your accounting and inventory systems and ERP.

DSD solution best practices checklist

You can see how some of the above translate into a checklist for what features your DSD solution should have across the ordering, delivery, settlement and reconciliation processes. A starter list to go by includes:

  • Mobile route mapping, scaling from dozens to thousands of routes
  • Dynamic delivery allocation
  • Configure to the driver, route, product and delivery customer
  • Mobile communications and monitoring: pre and post trip actions, time and location tracking, voice and text driver notes, route and NFC transfers, bin ordering, multi-load adjustments, customer location and planograms; error logging and notifications
  • Tracking: real time GPS route tracking, asset tracking, mobile field reporting, container/asset tracking and deposits
  • Monitor: delivery and sales activities to ensure compliance and safety. Monitor delays, damaged products, and late orders
  • Transaction reporting: damaged product images, POD images, store stamp documents, DEX documents
  • Reason code assignation for delivery differences
  • Incomplete tickets
  • Route and customer surveys
  • Multi inventory tracking and sales
  • Multi department and product splits
  • Electronic proof of delivery, invoicing and payments
  • Customer sales data and order history
  • Settlement reconciliation: company and independent operators. End of day reconciliation process
  • Visibility, accountability and control of all cash and inventory transactions
  • Support both company and distributor (I/O) route transactions
  • Integrate with third party ERPs and warehouse management systems
  • Single screen multi-operation (sales, credits, orders, inventory, late order adjustments)

Choosing the best DSD solution for your operation

Your DSD solution should be increasing your sales and delivery productivity between 25 and 50 percent. It should be improving your sales and order-to-cash cycle time. Your inventory shrink and losses should be reducing between 20 to 40 percent, and your shelf out-of-stocks reduced by 30 to 50 percent. Your customer disputes, chargebacks and collection issues should have reduced by 50-75 percent.

If your solution isn’t delivering these things, or if you answered ‘no’ to a number of the above checklist points, it’s time to review your DSD solution and providers.

TELUS Consumer Goods Direct Store Delivery (DSD) is a comprehensive software suite that enables superior results across critical business processes such as route creation/selling and loading/delivery, along with reconciliation of all route activities. Business processes related to pre-sales, deliveries, van sales, inventory management, route accounting and settlement are streamlined and integrated.

TELUS DSD helps to build the perfect store picture at each retail location by supporting merchandising activities for the traditional trade/direct store delivery channel.

View our TELUS Consumer Goods Supply Chain Management solutions page for more information about our DSD solution or connect with our SCM experts to request a demo.

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