In my last blog, I talked about my first steps into DEX and DSD. Now, I want to go further into how DEX plays a role in a Direct Store Delivery distributor's daily work. Recently, I was asked by a new customer about the DEX process, and if I could help them understand what happens in the grocery store or Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) location. The first thing that came to mind was how early the distributors go to work.
Our day started at 3am.
Many DSD distributors still have hand-held computers that are used to create or edit invoices at the time of their visit. The DSD distributor creates the invoice once they determine how much product is needed at the store. This method of DSD allows the distributor to get an accurate count of what needs to be delivered on this visit. Once the invoice is created on the handheld device or tablet, it is transmitted to the stores computer electronically via the DEX port (a small 1/4in port, often mounted on the wall of a CPG location's receiving area). The handheld device or tablet must be connected to the stores DEX port using a DEX cable or Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) wireless DEX adapter. This DEX exchange process takes place in the receiving area of the retailer. A few more points of interest on the DEX process:
DEX allows for an electronic delivery exchange of direct store delivery information between the distributor and retailer.
DEX standard allows any distributor to send an invoice to any retailer that supports DEX.
DEX standard specifies the type of connection, format of data files, and file transfer method used by both trading partners.
Calling all distributors and retailers. What is your specific DEX process experience? We would love to hear!