Maximize Efficiency with Direct Store Delivery Guide

 Direct Store Delivery

A supplier or manufacturer delivers goods directly to retail outlets for sale under the terms “direct to store delivery” or “direct store delivery” (DSD), as opposed to sending them to storage facilities or distribution hubs. Businesses that sell pharmaceutical medications, fresh foods, edible consumer items including baked goods, snacks, soft drinks and beverages, organic farm produce, locally brewed alcohol, etc. are increasingly embracing direct store delivery.

Benefits of Direct Store Delivery

Lower CostsImproved Delivery SpeedBeneficial for Fragile and Perishable Goods
Cost-effective optionFaster order deliverySuitable for fragile and perishable goods
Simplifies the supply chainCustomers pick up products directlyReduces damage and ensures faster movement
Reduces logistics costsEnsures better product availabilityCommon in the grocery industry
Eliminates shipping and warehousingHigher inventory turnover

Challenges of Direct Store Delivery

DSD Operational Costs

When a company uses DSD, the supplier is responsible for managing the items’ end-to-end shipping and transportation. The expense of transportation cannot be ignored, despite the fact that it is still faster and more transparent. Although the supply chain as a whole is known for eliminating warehouses and lowering labour expenses, the operational costs are still significant.

Accepting real-time order request

It might be challenging for businesses using this approach for the first time to accept real-time order requests or adjustments to delivery timetables. It is necessary to improve operational efficiency since the market has grown more complicated and competitive. Finding prospective sources of business revenue is tough due to the rigid supply chain. Tools that increase transparency, convenience, responsiveness, and flexibility are thus necessary.

Challenges in Brand-Employee-Store Connectivity

Making the connections between the brands, employees of the distribution hub, and the store is difficult. Similar to the lack of cooperation about delivery status, product inventory, and price fluctuations, improper communication can also contribute to these issues. This will have a significant effect on the company’s profit margin.

Fleet Management Challenges in Retail Distribution

For retail distribution, managing and keeping an eye on fleets traveling in several directions becomes challenging. They are accountable for making sure the deliveries arrive at the retail locations within the specified time frames and without any delays. They must also guarantee that delivery personnel carry out their tasks effectively. Additionally, it might occasionally be incorrect to manually coordinate with the workers on the ground and record delivery information. Therefore, a supply chain visibility solution is very necessary to help the suppliers with this problem.

Difference between Direct store delivery vs. centralized distribution

AspectDSD (Direct Store Delivery)Centralized Distribution
Inventory ManagementGenerally less inventory on handRegular manufacturer deliveriesInventory can run out quicklyInvolves larger inventory levelsHigher flexibilityProne to supply chain issues (e.g., during pandemics)
ResponsivenessGreater responsiveness to changing customer demandsQuick delivery to storesLess responsive due to longer supply chain processSlower product delivery
AffordabilitySuited for high-velocity goods (e.g., groceries, perishables)Fast delivery neededGenerally more expensiveBuyer handles last-mile distribution

Direct Store Delivery best practices

Importance of Organized Data and DSD Software in Retail Distribution

  • It’s crucial that you maintain your data organized and accessible from a single platform because you have so many field personnel accepting orders from customers and making deliveries at various times. 
  • This implies that you should employ DSD software that is user-friendly and accessible to route personnel, sales reps, and back-office staff equally when entering sales and order information rather than the more conventional pen-and-paper techniques. 
  • As it can connect your field sales, distribution logistics, inventory management, invoicing, and payment collection, route accounting software becomes essential in this situation. 
  • It will enable route employees to obtain pertinent information quickly and effectively, and it will also get rid of the mistakes that always occur when entering orders on paper by hand.

Route Personnel Training

  • The only people who are knowledgeable about your company’s products should not just be your sales representatives. 
  • To help them sell and answer client questions on the spot, your drivers should also be knowledgeable. 
  • Give your workers access to an e-Catalog with photographs and in-depth product information as part of your DSD sales strategy. 
  • Additionally, your personnel will require access to client order and sales history. They will be able to provide consumers with better advice and product suggestions, which will help them complete purchases. 
  • Based on what you know about customer preferences and purchase history, you may provide your route personnel “account-specific” promos to increase sales.

Field Operations Management

  • Manufacturers and wholesale distributors must have a system in place for managing field operations since so many deliveries are taking place at once. 
  • Managers should have real-time access to data regarding the whereabouts of their workers and the jobs they have performed in addition to having their sales and product information digitally organized. 
  • By doing so, they may make sure that the route crew adheres to the schedule, completes deliveries on time, and correctly handles urgent sales and delivery demands.

Digital Route Planning

  • Field personnel are no longer required to memorize delivery stops or draw out their routes on paper. 
  • Instead, they should be allowed to use the route-planning capabilities of their smartphones and tablets. 
  • Field employees can be provided with route accounting software that connects with well-known map programmes rather than having to manually enter their delivery stops into Google Maps

Mobile Access to Data

  • Mobile devices and route accounting software may easily provide field personnel access to all customer, product, and sales data while they are on the go. 
  • Instead of buying new devices for each employee, you could utilize a DSD platform that supports a number of OS systems and enables field representatives to “bring their own device” while traveling. 
  • For field personnel to access data and information when at retail establishments or other places, the platform must have offline capabilities.

Get started with direct store delivery!

StepDescriptionPreventive Measures
Start with a demand profileAnalyze sales data to identify high-demandHigh-inventory turnover products suitable for direct store delivery.Allocate goods based on vehicle capacityUse appropriate packagingMaintain real-time inventory visibility
Establish optimal routing for deliveriesImplement efficient route planning tools to ensure on-time, cost-effective deliveries to numerous stores across different locationsAccount for store availability windowsPlan routes that minimize wait times.
Have a loss prevention system in placePrepare for accidents and last-mile disruptions with preventive measures such as proper allocation, packaging, and real-time inventory tracking.Anticipate safety measures to minimize lossPrevent inventory lost or damaged in transit


How does direct store delivery work?

A supplier or manufacturer delivers goods directly to retail outlets for sale under the terms “direct to store delivery” or “direct store delivery” (DSD), as opposed to sending them to storage facilities or distribution hubs.

What are the features of a direct store delivery?

  • Lower Costs
  • Improved Delivery Speed
  • Beneficial for Fragile and Perishable Goods

What is DSD in manufacturing?

It allows manufacturers to bypass retail distribution centers and bring their products straight to the point of sale in store.

Who is a DSD buyer?

A DSD buyer is a retail store or business that purchases products directly from manufacturers or suppliers using the Direct Store Delivery (DSD) distribution model.

Who benefits most from the DSD model?

Manufacturers, suppliers, and retail stores that deal with fast-moving consumer goods and products with high demand and frequent replenishment benefit the most from the Direct Store Delivery (DSD) model.

What is the future of DSD?

The future of Direct Store Delivery (DSD) is likely to involve greater integration of technology, data analytics, and automation.

Is direct store delivery going away?

No, direct store delivery (DSD) is not going away. While supply chain models may evolve and change, DSD continues to play a crucial role in the distribution of certain products, especially perishable and high-demand items.