Route Accounting Solutions

So, What Exactly is a Data Scientist?

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What is a data scientist?

During our 2020 virtual user conference, one of our sessions went through  eoStar Analytics. During the session our very own data scientist talked about the future of data, analytics, and how to use information to make more informed decisions for your business. But there was one question on a lot of people’s minds, what is a data scientist?

The job is to the fulfill the formula of Problems + Data => Models + Insights. They are able to map expert knowledge and context into real-life solutions. An unofficial definition of a data scientist has become: someone who knows more about math and statistics than a computer scientist and more about computer science than a mathematician or statistician.

“A Data Scientist is a professional who extensively works with Big Data in order to derive valuable business insights from it. Over the course of a day, the Data Scientist (DS) has to assume many roles: a mathematician, an analyst, a computer scientist, and a trend spotter.” – IntelliPaat[1]

Data Science is a rapidly changing field, so anyone that takes on the role of data science needs to be able to keep up with the latest research and techniques. Due to the cloudiness of what exactly a data scientist is and does, there is an increasing overlap between data science and machine learning. Machine learning includes things like computer vision, speech recognition, neural networks, etc. The person that implements the models and insights data scientists come up with is traditionally called a Machine Learning Engineer (MLE), but this can be interchangeable with “Data Scientist” at a lot of organizations.

A typical workflow for a data scientist or machine learning engineer is as follows:

  1. Scoping
    1. Working closely with the product team, the DS will gather the requirements around a particular business problem and determine if a solution is possible given the available data.
  2. Research
    1. This process involves gathering the necessary datasets, cleaning them, and experimentation on the data. This is the phase where the DS really gets to understand the relationships within the data as well as outside of the data. Research also goes into figuring out which approach will be best to solve the problem.
  3. Modeling
    1. Once a few approaches are selected to explore, the DS fits the various models to the data and benchmarks are calculated to determine which system will work best in a real-life scenario. The goal of this phase is to converge on a single approach to deploy.
  4. Deployment
    1. Finally, the model or system is deployed and put into production so that it can be integrated into the existing software ecosystem.

As the beverage industry continues to evolve with new SKU’s, expanded product offerings, and tightening inventory, data and analytics are becoming more essential than before. At eoStar we are fortunate to have a team focused on turning your data into insights and helping you turn those insights into action. To learn more about how our products are using data and analytics to improve your business, talk to one of our sales experts.


[1] https://intellipaat.com/blog/what-is-a-data-scientist/

Route Accounting Solutions

Ryan Kroll: Business Support Specialist

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eoStar is more than just a software. Between route accounting, warehouse management, streamlined business processes, and much more, eoStar provides complete distributor support. As a matter of fact, eoStar increases pick accuracy, increases fulfillment speed, and helps its clients become more competitive overall. 

How does eoStar maintain its multifaceted business support, and how does it keep up with high industry demand? A big part of the answer comes from people like Ryan Kroll, who joined the team about three years ago. We spoke to Ryan recently to get his point of view on eoStar, how he joined the team, and some of his favorite things about working for the company. 

Joining the Team 

Ryan works as a business support specialist, making sure that clients get what they need from their eoStar products. Ryan achieved something that’s getting increasingly rare in today’s economy — he got the job right after graduating college. Thanks to some family connections, Ryan found his place on the eoStar team, and he’s been a valuable asset to the company ever since. Thanks to his flexibility and quick learning abilities, he’s brought energy and a fresh perspective to the workplace. 

eoStar’s Commitment to Client Satisfaction 

Thanks to Ryan and other Business Support Specialists, the eoStar team can maintain its commitment to client satisfaction. At eoStar, the customer matters above all else. The eoStar team knows that their clients deal with high demands, tight deadlines, and several other pressures on a daily basis. 

Ryan and other eoStar team members maintain close connections with the clients. Because of people like Ryan, there’s no guesswork involved in eoStar product development. Instead, eoStar uses the insight from Ryan’s customer connections to build specific, multi-layer solutions. 

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa 

We asked Ryan two specific questions about his eoStar project involvement: 

  1. What was your most recent project with eoStar? 
  2. What eoStar project were/are you the most excited about? 

Ryan had the same answer for both questions: Coca-Cola Beverages Africa. Ryan and the other team members are currently wrapping up the first wave of the CCBA project. 

CCBA is Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler and the 8th largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world. eoStar is working with CCBA on each step of their production, from order generation to distribution. Ryan’s part of the job was to support the financial aspects of Coca-Cola bottling at CCBA. 

For Ryan and his team members, part of the project involved travel. “We got to go to South Africa twice,” Ryan told us. “It was the opportunity to learn about the culture…to learn about a different business model…There’s a lot of development we had to do on our end to bring eoStar to where it needed to be to work for them. There were a lot of interesting learning opportunities within that.” 

Travel opportunities may have dwindled for everyone recently, but Ryan will always be grateful for this particular experience, and he’s brought what he’s learned into his day-to-day job. 

Customization for the African market is just one example of how Ryan and other eoStar employees make sure that their clients get exactly what they need. The eoStar team believes that their products should always fit within the client’s business model, not the other way around. Having people like Ryan on the team is exactly how eoStar makes that goal happen. 

As the CCBA project ties up its loose ends, Ryan will continue working on the financial side of the project. Once that’s done, he’ll transfer back to support. 

Off the Clock

So, what does Ryan like to do when he’s not working? He enjoys watching sports, he told us, including football, basketball, and baseball. He also enjoys playing golf and video games when he has the time. These activities help Ryan maintain a solid balance between work life and home life. This way, when he goes back on the clock, he’s ready to give his full attention to the clients who need his support. 

Learn More about eoStar 

Want to learn more about the role of a Business Support Specialist? Need more information on eoStar as a whole? The eoStar team would love to answer your questions and give you more information about our software. Contact the eoStar team today to get started. eoStar is here to help you keep your company running smoothly. 

Route Accounting Solutions

How Can Forecasting Prevent Sales Losses

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Sales losses hurt in any economy. These days, as businesses scramble to keep up with the “new normal,” sales losses can devastate those businesses. Thankfully, you do have tools at your disposal to prevent those losses. Forecasting is one such tool. Here’s how forecasting can help you keep your sales up. 

Forecasting from eoStar 

eoStar itself is a centralized system for warehouse management and route accounting solutions. One of our solutions is forecasting, which can use your business data to anticipate your inventory ordering needs. Forecasting helps many businesses, especially those that have steep seasonal differences in sales and product needs. With forecasting, managers can get the most accurate inventory and sales predictions instead of doing all of the math themselves. This way, they free their minds to focus on other things, including overall business growth and development. 

Anticipate Customer Needs 

First and foremost, forecasting helps businesses anticipate their clients’ needs. With forecasting, businesses can always keep their supply up-to-date and have what they need to meet customer demand. Forecasting also leads to faster fulfillment, since businesses won’t need to rely on backorders often. When clients have what they need, they report more satisfaction, which is always good for business and preventing sales losses. 

Stay Ahead of the Competition 

Forecasting can also help your business rise above the competition. Your clients have more convenience at their fingertips now than they’ve ever had before. 

Plus, your clients have their own clients, and those clients have also gotten used to simplicity and convenience. Few people are willing to wait long for products these days, and people understand that they have options.

If you don’t have the right inventory, then your clients may simply choose similar products to fill the void, causing sales dips. On the other hand, forecasting can help you make sure that you always have the right product in stock, so you can avoid this problem. 

Avoid Overstocking Your Products 

Next, forecasting can help you make the most of your sales by preventing overstocks. Forecasting can increase your order accuracy, which may prevent you from ordering products that you don’t need. You won’t have to compromise your prices to unload extra product, and you won’t have to spend money on product that won’t move. 

Take a Look at Forecasting from eoStar 

Forecasting has made a big difference for a lot of businesses, especially in times of increased uncertainty. If you’re ready to learn more about forecasting and sales loss prevention, get in touch with eoStar. We’d love to answer your questions and show you how eoStar can work for you. 

Route Accounting Solutions

Uncertainty During COVID-19

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COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty for businesses. If your company handles things like shipping, order forms, and inventory management, then you may have found yourself in an especially odd position. On the one hand, your business may provide an essential service. On the other hand, that service now comes with considerations that you may have never needed to make before the pandemic. 

The eoStar team provides consistent updates, and we always keep an eye on how current events impact our clients. Here are some of the ways that eoStar products have helped our clients during the uncertainty of COVID-19. 

eoMarket 

First, there’s eoMarket, a tool that we’ve designed to increase efficiency. It’s a B2B solution that simplifies online ordering for your clients. 

eoMarket offers several features and benefits. For example, since it’s a cloud-based solution and extremely user-friendly, it’s highly accessible from anywhere. It also transfers ordering power to your customers, which means that your sales force won’t need to do manual ordering tasks. eoMarket has increased revenue for many of our clients, helping them grow their businesses in a straightforward and organic way. 

How can all these features help you overcome COVID-19 business uncertainty? For one thing, accessibility is indispensable during this time. Both you and your sales team can access eoMarket from any time and place. Have a lot of your employees started working from home? Have you spaced out your workforce to increase employee safety? eoMarket provides a simple way for you and your sales force to connect to the job from any location. 

Plus, because eoMarket can increase productivity, it can help you and your sales force to make up for lost time caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

eoTouch 

Next, there’s eoTouch, which is our mobile sales and delivery platform. Your sales team can use eoTouch to keep up with their cases, packages, and other important sales data. Additionally, your drivers can use eoTouch to manage their contactless deliveries. eoTouch can help you run your business in a COVID-impacted world. For one thing, it increases your contactless delivery organization. By making this information digital, you can keep your tools clean much more easily than you could keep pens and paper clean. Also, eoTouch keeps your sales team efficient, even as your company goes through its ups and downs during this unprecedented time.

eoStar is Here for Our Clients 

Aside from offering specific products, the eoStar team is committed to being there for our clients. We offer top-quality client support, especially during this time of uncertainty. Our clients have always been and will always be our top priority. 

Contact eoStar Today 

Have questions about eoStar and how our products may help your business during the COVID-19 pandemic? Need added business support during this time? Contact us at eoStar today. We’re here to answer your questions and help you get to know our products.

Route Accounting Solutions

How to Increase Pick Accuracy with Technology

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Pick accuracy is a game-changer. Mistakes happen, of course, but when things run better, you notice the difference at every level. Pick accuracy keeps your business running smoothly, like a machine that you can always count on. So how can you make sure that you always have pick accuracy for your company? Is there anything you can do to take your accuracy to the next level? 

Technology can help, and it doesn’t have to break the bank, either. We’ve created a service called eoPick that can help you make the most of your picking process. 

What is eoPick? 

eoPick is a voice-picking technology that virtually removes the need for list-based picking and clipboards. Warehouse employees can use this picking software with a headset or Android device, so they have both hands free at all times to retrieve what they need. We created this technology after working extensively with our clients, asking them about their needs and committing to providing the products that work best for them.

Absolutely Straightforward 

eoPick removes many complications from the warehouse picking process, and that’s because it’s completely straightforward. You don’t have to be a tech wizard to figure out how to work with eoPick. Employees can learn how it works in a matter of minutes. 

The eoPick process is totally straightforward, too. The employee receives the name of the item via their headset or Android device, and then they can pull that item off the shelf. In addition to being streamlined, the process also saves time. 

Reduce Repetitions 

eoPick technology can also prevent repetitions and duplicates. It all comes down to getting rid of the clipboard. When an employee uses a clipboard for picking, it’s easy to read the same line twice. When that happens, you can send the wrong number of items to the client, or you may have to re-shelve items. Either way, these repetitions can cost your company time and money. eoPick, however, makes picking simpler and removes the possibility of reading the same line twice. 

Avoid Misreading Numbers 

Clipboards and paper can also make reading numbers difficult. After several hours in a warehouse, it’s easy to see why numbers can start to look the same, and of course, the employee has to make sure that they’re reading the correct line. Voice picking, however, means hearing numbers instead of reading them. The process can reduce number-based mistakes and improve your company’s overall accuracy. 

Try eoPick for Yourself 

Want to see the accuracy difference for yourself? Let eoStar help. Book your demo today, and feel free to ask as many questions as you like. We’d love to help you take your picking process up a notch. 

Route Accounting Solutions

Chris Stepek, an Integral Team Member at eoStar

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When a company like eoStar values growth and client satisfaction, then having a Business Support Specialist on board is a must. That’s why the eoStar team is thrilled to have Chris Stepek as a team member. Chris brings a lot to the table with his work as a Business Support Specialist, and his expertise has been vital in building relationships between eoStar and its clients. Recently, we sat down with Chris to get his perspective on eoStar, his job duties, and how he’s put his skills to work. 

Joining the Team 

As a Business Support Specialist, Chris works directly with our clients, making sure that those clients get everything they need from their eoStar products. Chris listens to clients, figures out what they need most, and then tests eoStar products. Through this process, Chris helps fine-tune eoStar products to help them meet customer demand. 

Chris also works with the operations side of eoStar software, including warehousing and inventory, as well as testing the newer products that eoStar has in development. Just like with general product testing, this part of the job puts Chris in direct communication with eoStar’s clients.  

When asked what he’s most proud of when it comes to his job, Chris answered: “I’m pretty proud of all the WMS projects.” “WMS” stands for “Warehouse Management Systems,” and these projects put Chris at the front and center of some of eoStar’s most important warehouse work. He provides management for all kinds of warehousing activities, including stocking and picking. It takes a lot of effort, but Chris has found that his skills and personality are suited to the work. 

In his time with eoStar, Chris has proven to be highly qualified for Business Support. In fact, Chris routinely works with some of the most difficult support issues, and he does so with aplomb. 

The Journey to eoStar 

So, how did Chris join the eoStar team? Part of the journey began at Coca-Cola Refreshments. Chris worked in their IT department for five years, working on operations projects. 

However, when Coke started selling pieces of their company to independent buyers, Chris’s division found itself under new ownership, and as a result, Chris and many others were laid off. Fortunately, Chris was quickly hired by eoStar, where he’s made a difference in the company ever since. 

Outside of Work 

Outside of work, Chris enjoys activities that let him work as a leader, a team player, and even an adventurer. Among other things, Chris enjoys hiking, fishing, and similar outdoor activities. Chris also enjoys some time indoors, too, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing protocols have changed the way people interact with each other. “Lately, it’s just been a lot of computer games,” he laughs. Still, Chris keeps his leadership and team player skills up to date with eoStar. 

What Does Chris Bring to the Table? 

What makes Chris such a valuable addition to the eoStar team? Due to his skillset, years of experience, leadership abilities, and his willingness to be a part of the team, Chris has become a vital part of eoStar’s overall reputation for client satisfaction. Thanks to Chris, clients at eoStar can get exactly what they need from their products. They also know that someone on the eoStar team is always on their side, helping them to improve their business structures and keep their own clients satisfied. 

Chris also plays a big role in eoStar’s warehouse organization. Without employees like Chris, warehouses can go from a well-organized machine to a source of chaos, and that change can happen fast. However, Chris helps warehouse teams keep up the pace, and he does it while simultaneously juggling multiple responsibilities. 

As a result, Chris has quickly become an asset to eoStar, and his positive impact on the company continues each day. 

Want to Learn More about EoStar? Contact us Today

Curious about eoStar’s employee structure, the role of a Business Support Specialist, or eoStar in general? The eoStar team would love to answer your questions. Contact our team today to learn more, or take a look at some of eoStar’s product options. In any case, we would love to hear from you.

Route Accounting Solutions

Why is Electronic Picking Necessary?

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Warehouses don’t have to be chaotic. Sure, they may look intimidating at first glance, but you know your warehouses, and you have a system. With electronic picking from eoStar, you can make your warehouses even more efficient. Electronic picking saves time, money, and effort, leaving room for company growth, high employee morale, and customer satisfaction. 

Electronic Picking Means More Order Accuracy 

eoStar’s electronic picking system uses a headset and voice to tell warehouse employees what to pull off the shelves. It removes the need for a piece of paper and clipboard by bringing the instructions right to employees’ ears. 

When employees must constantly look up and down at a piece of paper, it’s easy to look at the wrong line. The headset, however, removes the risk of reading the wrong instruction, thus reducing the risk of human error. 

You’ll get better order accuracy from an electronic picking system, and better order accuracy means more satisfied clients. It also means saving money on returned orders. Overall, a more accurate system can mean a healthier bottom line. 

Save Time and Increase Productivity 

The paper and clipboard method can slow down your warehouse employees as they work and try to avoid mistakes. Again, with a piece of paper, warehouse employees can easily read the wrong line, which is why many employees spend a lot of time double-checking the paper. Electronic picking removes the need for second-guessing, which lets your employees finish what they need to accomplish in a shorter amount of time. 

This saved time can mean saved money and/or company growth, and it can help smaller companies that don’t have a lot of employees to fill their orders. 

Decrease Employee Turnover 

Employee turnover can cost a lot of time and money for a company. Electronic picking can help. The voice picking method can make warehouse jobs simpler, decreasing the learning curve for new employees. This way, your company can keep employees satisfied, retain hires, and maintain a thriving business. 

Electronic Picking with EoStar: eoPick

Want to see what electronic picking can do for your company? eoStar can help with eoPick, our electronic voice picking solution. With eoPick, companies report more efficiency, fewer errors, and other benefits. See how eoPick can help your company’s bottom line. 
Have questions? Ready to get started? Contact an eoStar rep  today to learn more. We’d love to help you transform your warehouses and help your company thrive.

Route Accounting Solutions

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Pty) Ltd chooses eoStar and Microsoft to replace SAP

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Holland, MI, September 16, 2020: eoStar announces it has integrated with Microsoft to provide Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Pty) (CCBA) the opportunity to meet sales and delivery needs across their value chain from order generation, picking and distribution throughout their organization.  This digital transformation project modernizes the way Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Pty) (CCBA) uses technology across its entire IT landscape.

CCBA is Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler and 8th largest in the world. With 35 bottling plants in 13 countries, serving over 600,000 outlets, the need to streamline sales and distribution was essential. eoStar is a Route Accounting Software that will manage all the sales, distribution and advanced warehousing for finished goods, while D365 covers the financials, manufacturing and human resources functionality.  This integration between eoStar and Microsoft allowed CCBA to completely replace SAP.   

“CCBA will be leveraging eoStar to mobilize our sales and distribution workforce, increasing their effectiveness in the trade. eoStar will be deployed across our internal sales force, our own primary distribution capabilities and as the system of choice for our Official Coca-Cola Distributors (OCCDs) and our Logistics Distribution Partners (LDPs)”, according to Joshua Motsuenyane, Chief Information Officer for CCBA.

The challenges of adapting the eoStar software to successfully navigate an international market provided the company the opportunity to expand eoStar’s already robust skillset to accommodate international weights and measures, as well as the multi-currency pricing (MCP) present in Africa.

Paul Rutherford, President of eoStar, commented that, “eoStar is incredibly excited to partner with a world class bottler like CCBA, who are innovative and on a tremendous path of growth.  Leveraging eoStar’s sales, delivery and warehousing solutions ensures they will be equipping their amazing team of employees with the tools to execute at the level necessary to take their business to the next level.”

Route Accounting Solutions

Benefits of Route Accounting Software for Your Direct Store Delivery

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Does your direct store delivery organization need route accounting software

DSDs work differently than most other distributing solutions. As a result, they have particular needs. The right route accounting software can help meet those needs. 

Route Accounting Software Provides Real-Time Updates  

For the most part, direct store delivery organizations handle perishable items like milk, bread, and other things with a relatively short shelf life. Route accounting software makes an excellent choice for the companies that deliver these items. 

Out of necessity, DSD deliveries happen much more quickly than warehouse deliveries. Perishable items have to spend as little time as possible in transit so that the consumer can maximize the shelf life of their items. 

Because DSD deliveries happen more quickly than other types of delivery, DSD companies sometimes need more updates along the way to make sure that their items get where they need to go. Route accounting software provides those updates, eliminating a lot of product-related anxiety. 

Optimize Your Routes 

With the right software, DSD organizations can quickly find the easiest way to get from point A to point B. Not only can DSDs find the most efficient initial routes, but the real-time updates we mentioned earlier can help DSDs change routes if an accident or weather pattern makes another route more efficient in the short term. 

Much like the benefit of real-time updates, route optimization helps companies that primarily carry perishable items. The less time your deliverables spend on the road, the faster they can get to their point of sale, which means more product freshness and better-end user satisfaction. And of course, when the end-user experiences more satisfaction with the product, your client will experience more satisfaction with your deliveries. 

Customization and Flexibility 

No two DSDs are the same. Each one has its own unique structure, clients, routes, and needs. If you have the right route accounting software, then you’ll have a powerful tool on your side to meet your company’s needs. 

The best route software will give you plenty of room for customization and flexibility. Your software should fit into your business seamlessly. 

Productivity Enhancement 

Route software can improve productivity for DSDs just as well as it can improve productivity for non-DSD logistics services. How? By removing unnecessary lulls from the supply chain. With route accounting software, you can keep up with virtually every aspect of your supply chain from inventory to payment monitoring. When all of these steps are fast and simple, you and your team can work as efficiently as possible. 

Boost Your Sales 

Remember the customer satisfaction we mentioned earlier? That customer satisfaction can increase your business reputation, which in turn can increase your sales. 

How else can your route accounting software increase your sales? It all comes back to your increased efficiency and productivity. When your team works more productively, you have time and space available for business growth. Plus, because route software can make your sales easier, you can make more of those sales without unnecessary hassle. 

Save Time on Reconciliation 

At the end of the day, when you go over your receipts and inventory, it’s important that the numbers add up. If anything falls out of place, you could spend a lot of time trying to figure out what happened. 

Your accounting software can change that. With the right accounting software, you can keep track of your stock, reloads, sales, and more from a single platform. Because the software keeps track of all of the important factors, your numbers will add up more easily at the end of the day, and you can save even more time. 

Advanced Analytics for Better Insight 

With the best route accounting software, you’ll get analytics to match the current job demands. In recent years, your orders and deliveries have probably gotten a lot more complex and difficult. These complexities can make it difficult to track and analyze your data for future use. 

The right software, however, can apply advanced analytics to the increasingly complicated sales process. From there, you can tailor your client experiences based on the resulting insights. 

Route Accounting Software from eoStar 

Ready to make sure that your route accounting software provides all of the above and more? eoStar’s software is proven to provide a competitive advantage with faster fulfillment and faster reconciliation. We help our clients save time and avoid hassle so that they can provide a better experience for their own clients. 

With eoStar, you can simplify your oversight and planning from the moment you implement your new software. Want to learn more? Contact us today to request your demo. We can’t wait to show you how eoStar software works and how it can work for you. 

You know that your clients deserve the best. We believe the same about ours.