Locus, a state-of-the-art decision-making logistics optimization platform announced the launch of FieldPro that automates and optimizes sales beat plans for mobile workforce leading to increased profitability, resource efficiency, and time savings especially for the FMCG companies and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) sector. A beat (route) plan defines whom to visit, when to visit, based on company’s priorities, stores category/segment for order collections, fulfillment and, visual merchandising, etc. Locus’ AI and Machine learning engine ensures reduced human dependency and scope of errors and hence optimizes the core of the sales cycle.
Deploying FieldPro results in increased sales force productivity and therefore higher sales. It takes the past experience and skills of the salesman into consideration which results in higher in-store engagement and enhanced positive experience for the shopkeeper. As a result, there is a 10%-15% increase in sales serviceability ratio, 15%-20% reduction in beat length time and about 10%-14% decrease in the total number of beats.
FieldPro will help solve significant challenges faced by most large fmcg companies – under-utilized salesmen/ marketing executives, long and cumbersome beats, overlap in salesmen routes and the sequence in which the outlets in every beat are visited. It smartly handles constraints like geographical proximity, variable walking speeds, traffic conditions and outlet availability to ensure that the same outlet is not visited by any two salesmen on the same day (known as “mirror beats”). FieldPro ensures that every salesperson gets optimal time for engaging and transacting at each store simultaneously, accounting for his operating hours and company defined business rules. It also enables salesmen to master order management, visual merchandising, tracking and helps build relationships at individual stores.
Nishith Rastogi, CEO & Co-founder, Locus, said, “I find it interesting that people think automation means removing the human element completely and simply following data. FieldPro, on the other hand, takes human inputs, considers real-life restrictions, examines historical data and then brings out the best beat plans for your business. To me that is the real benefit of AI, combining human intelligence and raw data to bring value to its users”.
FieldPro’s key features include ‘geocoding engine’ that simplifies and converts ambiguous addresses into exact geographic coordinates to help in quicker route planning and non-overlapping routes/ clusters ensuring zero repetition in the output. The proprietary algorithm is used to calculate individual level salesman scores taking into account performance on old sales beats, historical salesman data such as experience, total revenue generated, an assortment of goods sold, and familiarity with the stores. The algorithm takes into account business rules such as type, category and classification of outlets based on revenue, SKU stream sold and historical performance. Not only this, it is successfully able to mimic and improvise factors like fatigue, time of day, seasonality, revenue targets etc. that significantly impact human decision making.
Locus recently raised $4mn in pre-series B funding that will be used to continue to build IP and for global expansion.