A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to sneak away for a day of golf. I drove the ball off the tee better than I ever had, not one of my usual ball into the trees or lake, and not one penalty stroke off the tee. My friend kindly pointed out his amazement. He was amazed because I was doing so well in one part of my game, but my putting and short game were dreadful. The result?
My usual score in the 90’s.
I left the course thinking how could this be? I should of been able to beat my personal best today. It got me thinking that in direct store delivery, like golf, you can’t have one part of your solution that is not up to par.
Over the last few weeks we have discussed the necessary components of a strong DSD solution. This includes your choice of hardware and operating system. Today, we focus on the part of the DSD solution that facilitates the DEX transaction between the suppliers hardware/software, and the retailers receiving system. This is called the DEX adapter. The DEX adapter, historically, has been a cable that allows the driver/operator to connect their mobile computer to the grocery store’s computer system. The challenge with DEX cables is that they're unreliable. They are easily lost, and are prone to damage or breaking. DEX cables are hard to find and are expensive to replace. This creates challenges for the drivers ability to effectively execute the DEX transaction in a timely manner. DEX errors cost drivers time, money, and disrupt the flow of their delivery day. A poor DEX adapter choice can disrupt your whole DSD operation.
The good news is that DEX adapters have upgraded along with the hardware and the operating systems. Many companies now offer a wireless DEX adapter that can be used with the consumer devices we have talked about previously. Here are some considerations when choosing a wireless DEX adapter for your DSD solution.
Battery Life: How long does the battery last? Does it need charging? Would you prefer a maintenance-free device, or one that needs to be managed and possibly forgotten about?
OS Support: Does the wireless DEX adapter have multi-OS support? Will it work with all three major providers (Android, iOS, and Windows)?
Connectivity: Should the device use Bluetooth, or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)? Do you want to deal with the battery drain and time to pair that comes with Bluetooth?
Compatibility: Is the adapter easy to use? Will it integrate with your current DEX-enabled DSD application? Is there already an SDK available, or will you need to spend resources on development?
Reliability: Is the adapter durable? Can it withstand the rigors of day-to-day use in DSD? Is it difficult or expensive to replace in case it does break? Does it have a warranty, or are there only out-of-pocket costs?
These are the things you need to consider, and the questions you need to ask, when you shop for a wireless DEX solution. As more and more suppliers update their DSD hardware and software, let’s not forget about the importance of choosing the right DEX adapter to make the whole operation run smoothly and efficiently. Let’s eliminate DEX errors for good.
What has your experience been with DEX errors? Want to update your DSD routes with a wireless DEX adapter? Why?