A few weeks ago I was speaking with the President of a very successful software company that specializes in direct store delivery solutions for the beverage industry. We were discussing DSD trends in both software and hardware. Specifically, we talked about the availability of wireless DEX adapters with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capabilities. He and his company have a reputation for leading and taking the industry to new heights. When we discussed the 'why' behind his passion for innovation, he simply said: “We want our customers to have the most innovative products available for their business.” I was impressed by the customer centric approach to solving one of the greatest challenges facing DSD operators: DEX Cables.
DEX Cables=DEX Errors
Although they have been used for DEX connectivity for years, cables have reliability issues and are problem-prone. Forward-thinking suppliers like our friend, are now looking at phasing out physical DEX cable connections, with interest growing in replacing them with Bluetooth-enabled wireless connectivity. These new high-speed wireless connections use both hardware and software to provide crucial new DEX capabilities: automated check-in and data collection, simplified invoice reconciliation, improved inventory and systems visibility and remote troubleshooting.
At the delivery areas of large grocery stores, cables are becoming an endangered species. For years, the DSD industry has relied on—and struggled with—cable connectivity between handheld computers and stores’ inventory systems. Cables get lost. Cables wear out. Cables break or snap. Plus, cables are often unwieldy and difficult to work with. They are expensive and hard to replace. In fact, new tablet and smartphone options don’t often include dedicated DEX cable options. Finally, it’s estimated that over the lifecycle of a DEX unit, cables must be replaced an average of four times. At more than $80 to $120 per cable, the solution is simple. Go Wireless!
Bluetooth Low Energy - Time to go wireless
Thanks to the emergence of sophisticated Bluetooth-enabled wireless connectivity, cables won’t be missed. Wireless connectivity improves efficiency and shortens delivery times. Delivery drivers no longer have to worry about old or broken cables, faulty cables or spare cables that never quite got loaded onto the truck. Even more important, with automated check-in, drivers can actually begin working before they leave on their routes by simply scanning a barcode on their DEX device. The system automatically and securely pairs the Bluetooth key fob with each mobile terminal on the day’s route, helping to shorten wait times, guard against potential data theft and optimize routing.
Is your DSD operation still using DEX cables? Made the switch to wireless DEX adapters? Tell us about it.