Since people began telecommuting decades ago, many companies, especially those into FMCG, retail and other businesses are excited about reaping benefits out of it. They know how they can optimize their sales and distribution to increase productivity, reduce costs, and gain access to larger markets using enterprise mobility solutions. However when it comes to investing into Mobile SFA, they get stuck into decision dilemma.
Many companies are offering their mobile SFA, providing basic functionalities to very advance features and functionalities which make it difficult for their IT managers and Business heads to make a right decision for the “right” Mobile SFA. Cost of course is one part of it but decisions mostly comes out of cognitive thinking process considering cost of ownership.
Let us take a deep drive into it and discuss few other points that need to be kept in mind.
- Does the SFA solution capable of managing your company’s current and increasing needs?
Basic considerations are always there such as sales out and fast deliveries, location tracking, order management, RMA management. But do you think you also wish to have more advanced functionalities such as selling cost control, Bar-code scanning, Point of Sale (POS) Stock counting, integration with back office/legacy application, multiple language support for future, Schemes/Special Offers/Promotions management, Credit management etc very soon?
If the solution already has such advance features built in, what will be the TCO in considerations with the current processes and current cost?
- How does the mobile SFA provider will support far-off FSO users?
Does the provider have back office or some mechanism that can fix issues of the FSO (field sales officer) workers remotely?
- Is the solution provider ready to customize the mobile SFA as per required work flow?
If you are a growing company, products (SKU), channel expansion, distribution base, work flows and addition of sales people are expected on regular intervals. There might be some other changes that you feel should get fully utilized into your company/supply chain. The SFA provider should be able to customize it for you.
- Is the technology robust?
2G network is a preferred for using Mobile SFA. 3G networks, as we know are not available across geographies. So, your mobile SFA should preferably work in a 2G and also in offline field environment. Battery consumption should not be there while location tracking is on.
SFA users should not be limited to company sales persons; If the SFA is featured in such a way that even the channel partners or retailers can use it for specific functionalities, it can be a major value addition for the company.
- Is there any licensing cost?
Best option would be to invest in Mobile SFA with one time license cost which can be considered as onetime CAPEX rather than paying year on year and expand OPEX.
Think about it.