Why Now Is the Ideal Time for a Plan vs Actual Delivery Data Audit

delivery data audit

As a distributor, you’ve seen firsthand the impact the pandemic has on your customers. It’s tough to reach out to them with your usual sales message when many of them are struggling to survive, especially those in the restaurant and bar industry.

At some point, businesses will re-open and life will return to normal—or at least some version of normal. What can you do now to address your current business situation and ensure you’ll be ready when that day comes? Consider conducting a Plan vs Actual (PvA) delivery data audit. Let’s take a look at why.

Remove Your Blind Spots

You’re making the best of a bad situation. Sales volume has shifted from bars and restaurants to grocery and convenience stores. But when the current lockdowns end, the expectation is that sales volumes will start to shift again. How will you ensure profitability and customer support?

The way market reopenings unfold will dictate the extent to which you can return to normal. Some of your customers may go out of business. Others may return in a limited form based on continued social distancing requirements. A PvA delivery data audit leveraging actual historical data will arm you with the correct information to make adjustments to your previous schedule of sales calls and corresponding deliveries.

But don’t limit your changes to only what the market currently dictates. A delivery data audit can help you identify and address the ways in which, even in the best of times, your company might have been under-utilizing its resources.

For example, after running a PvA data audit, you may gain a much better perspective on how much it’s really costing you to service your customers.

  • How much time are you spending servicing customers compared with the amount of product you are delivering? It might make sense to prioritize certain customer deliveries over others based on service metrics.
  • How many geofences are you missing? We know geofences are time consuming to maintain but a critical piece to success.
  • How many routes are missed against planning? How do you know which routes those are?
  • Do you plan to miss time windows? How do you separate planned missed time windows vs actual missed time windows? How many planned missed time windows do you have? Are you really planning to miss that many time windows?
  • How is your cost per mile and cost per driver factored into planned mileage and total planned route time? For example, your cost per mile has increased 25% and your cost per hour per driver has increased 23% over the past 9 years. Although you know this, your delivery costs continue to increase and now due to COVID-19, sales volume may be down.

If you take the time to complete a PvA data audit now, you can come up with a market changing route plan for now, and have verified data to identify when and what to change as business ramps back up. And route plans will be based on real data from what is actually happening. As the economy continues to open up and your customer volumes increase, you will have a solid foundation to make ongoing changes that incrementally improve your routing.

Start Your PvA Delivery Data Audit Process Today

The great thing about a PvA data audit is that it’s not a one-and-done process that simply gives you a static snapshot of where your business is at. It’s an ongoing process that lets you see the impact of all your decisions over time. Complete that first data audit now as a baseline, and then watch your business grow and change in the months and years to come.

We’re eager to give you the perspective you need to make the most profitable business decisions for your company. Don’t wait until the market picks back up—by then, you’ll be too busy to stop and analyze what you’re doing. Contact Gridline to begin your PvA delivery data audit process today.