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When I wrote about capacity planning in my article on increasing FMCG sales by leveraging technology and people, it got a lot of attention from readers, majorly on the capacity planning section. I think I may not have talked about it in detail, so in this article, we’re looking to make things right.
On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about capacity planning, how it works for FMCG organizations, what are some things you need to take care of while implementing a capacity planning schedule, and how technology can help make things perfect for you. Let’s get started.
One of the biggest leverages you’ve got with technology for FMCG teams is the ability to plan and manage your resources in the most effective way possible.
Business gurus and your hotshot consultants like to complicate this by calling it capacity planning, where you “forecast potential needs of a project, laying out processes and strategies to measure the gap in resource allocation and find alignments with demand” - really, it’s just smartly allocating your agents so you don’t have to rack your brains with untimed customer requests later on.
With capacity planning, you’re using technology and your resources to find out who’s available for what job, how well suited they are for a particular job, whether they have the bandwidth to handle more jobs, and being able to monitor them in real-time when all of this is happening. And yes, all of this can be taken care of with a single capacity planning software - welcome to 2024
Resource and manpower planning are crucial to any organization. This rings true more than anything else if you’ve got a field team, so capacity planning for your field teams is essential to managing your agents effectively.
Let’s take an example, as usual, of one of our own clients at Fieldproxy. Now this manager had a few dozen agents under him, performing the day to day sales operations across a couple different regions in the state - a small team one might confer. What I’ve mischievously hidden, however, is the fact that these dozen agents bring our client over 15 Lakhs in revenue a month. That’s a 60 Lakh INR business, with a 12-member outside sales team, and one admin.
Now when even one of these 12 agents has a work overload, or is unable to take on a sale, how much revenue will the client potentially lose? Can you offload that extra work to another agent? Which agent would be the next best choice? Are they near the client’s location to meet the deadline? Where are they currently? All of this - and more - is why you need a capacity planning software
In the simplest of terms, capacity planning involves:
Let’s take a closer look at all of these steps individually
Let’s say Maha Shivaratri is coming up, and you’re a company that specializes in puja thalis. You know that every March the demand for Puja Thalis goes up, and a couple of your agents are in good relations with thali retailers. What do you do? You can see where this is going.
By understanding that a market is going to purchase a product more in the foreseeable future, you can set up your systems such that whenever the orders for that product come in, the agents who are able to procure and deliver them at a faster rate are the ones that get those order requests more. Of course if you have a smart capacity planning solution in place, this gets taken care of in a jiffy.
This is huge if you’re planning on having a real-time monitoring solution for your field teams. What this does is use the Fieldproxy mobile app to provide managers with an up-to-date geolocation facility, enabling you to see exactly what your agents have been up to.
Using location intelligence will also give you a complete drilldown on everything your agents have been up to, logging the important stuff, and tracking everything else.
As we mentioned before, you need to also stay on top of your agents’ activities to make sure nothing is unaccounted when planning your resources. This means your agents, if you’re expecting them to handle a workload, have their expenses and leave requests logged and approved beforehand. Close any liabilities which may interfere with you meeting festival rush deadlines.
This ties in again with our previous step, where you identify the liabilities, then try and align your resources to measure how much more time, effort, and resources will be needed in successfully bridging the gap between manpower and demand.
Once you’ve identified what’s missing, you can now put a pin on what will probably not work, and drafting what needs to be done to fix that. This can be either a simple task reminder set up for your agents before the delivery date, or a meticulously drawn out step-by-step checklist that your agents can refer to when they visit the client and get stuff done.
That is how a perfect capacity planning software should help your organization grow and scale to new heights.
As businesses expand and operations grow more complex, managing field teams can be a daunting task. From managing tickets to scheduling jobs and everything in between, keeping track of everything can be time-consuming and inefficient. That's where Fieldproxy comes in - an end-to-end field team management solution that aims to simplify these tasks and streamline operations.
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Another important aspect of Fieldproxy is its job scheduling feature. With this tool, businesses can schedule jobs and assign them to field teams in real-time. This helps ensure that the right team is on the job at the right time, which can save businesses time and money.
Fieldproxy also offers a mobile application that allows field teams to generate quotes and estimates on the go. This is particularly useful for businesses that operate in industries where quotes and estimates are necessary, such as construction or landscaping. With this feature, businesses can provide accurate quotes to their customers quickly and easily.
In addition to generating quotes and estimates, the Fieldproxy mobile application also allows businesses to raise invoices and facilitate payment collections through integrations with popular payment gateways. This can help businesses get paid faster and with less hassle.
With features like customer happiness index, and historical customer data, ensure your customers are always satisfied with your products and services. Know exactly how your customers operate and provide better quality services.
Fieldproxy’s easily-presentable data dashboards and reports allow managers to make sense of all the data their field teams collect, in real time.
Create, curate, and manage different dashboards and reports to help make better data-backed decisions for your service teams.
There’s always going to be visits that clash with your agents’ schedules or that are of immediate attention. Question is, will your current route management process be prepared to handle it? If not, then you might want to consider shifting to a new system.
The old way to go about this would be taking a look at all your visits scheduled for the day and find out which agent has more time on their hands, then see if they’re closer to the client’s place and schedule a visit.
At Fieldproxy, we do things a bit different. All you have to do is, head over to Fieldproxy’s AI visual builder, ask it a question, and it will show you actionable data for you to interact with, in 5 seconds.
You instantly know who’s available and who’s not, and allocating tasks to your agents becomes child’s play. The point is, if you’re not able to prioritize your visits for your agents, you will have a hard time scaling your operations.
So why should businesses consider Fieldproxy? With its comprehensive set of features, Fieldproxy can help businesses save time, streamline operations, and improve customer satisfaction. And with a free demo available, there's no reason not to give it a try.
If you're looking for an end-to-end field team management solution that can help you manage tickets, schedule jobs, generate quotes and estimates, raise invoices, and collect payments while also providing customer feedback support, then Fieldproxy might be the solution for you. Book a free demo today to see how Fieldproxy can help your business improve its operations and customer satisfaction.