UK’s leading FoodserviceCo monitors & controls food temperature in transit to improve customer service with Enterprise Mobility Solution

FoodServiceCo, established in 1988 is the leading supplier of food and non-food products to renowned hotels, restaurants, pubs, schools, cafes and local authorities in the UK. In 25 years of its operations, it has bridged the gap in the food industry and has established an efficient food and drink supply for eateries. A majority of its orders are through its website (63% at present and growing) and it delivers 60,000+ orders monthly from its 11 distribution centers. However, FoodServiceCo faced certain challenges that shrunk its profit margins and stagnated the quality of customer service. Here are the challenges it was presented with-

1. No real-time visibility of supply chain

FoodServiceCo’s fleet manager was unable to monitor the supply chain in real-time. It was a major issue since the company delivered 60,000+ daily orders of perishable & frozen products with no visibility on their temperature data. It affected communication during deliveries and data reporting. There was no way for fleet managers to communicate with truck drivers while in transit. They remained unaware of the vehicle location, food condition in transit, food condition while it was delivered and customer feedback. The fleet managers and drivers had to spend 2-3 hours daily for manual data collection and entry. This inventory reconciliation process took place hours after the deliveries. This increased the daily paperwork and reflected stunted productivity.

2. No offline communication

FoodServiceCo’s fleet managers had no way to monitor and track the vehicles and drivers in transit. It was a prerequisite for an efficient supply chain. If there were mishaps or other challenges in transit, the fleet managers seated at central warehouses had no way to resolve them. It was especially an issue when the drivers were in remote areas with low connectivity issues. It proved to be a real challenge as 30,000+ customers including renowned hotels, pubs, restaurants, cafes, schools etc depended on FoodServiceCo’s deliveries.

3. Process inefficiency & increased costs

FoodServiceCo experienced process inefficiency as it took up an extra 600 hours daily from 300 drivers to update its system with delivery information. The fleet managers remained unaware of the vehicle location, driver status, delivery status and condition of the food whilst in transit and post-delivery. The drivers’ shifts lasted 12 hours and fleet managers required another 2-3 hours from them to collect and store data. With manual data processing, there existed a possibility of entering inaccurate information and subsequent impaired decision making. This made the operational process inefficient and increased resource costs.

The Solution: Enterprise Mobility

FoodServiceCo needed to communicate with its supply chain in real-time whilst the drivers and vehicles were in transit. For this real-time communication, a Mobile Application was developed using the Xamarin Platform. The drivers could communicate with each other as well the as fleet manager using this app. The freezers and chillers in the vehicles were equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Temperature Sensors which could also communicate with the drivers and fleet managers in real time. Connecting 500+ mobile devices with the app, monitoring and controlling the temperature of food products in transit was achieved.

Windows mobile application development

This Enterprise Mobility Solution can store temperature sensor data offline and display itself upon the availability of internet connectivity. It even generates invoices of the products delivered by communicating with the Bluetooth Printer. The drivers can now deliver quality controlled food products hassle-free. There is no risk of no communication or miscommunication whilst in transit. With the number of products returns reduced, FoodServiceCo is able to offer differentiated delivery services to its customers. It has enhanced its customer satisfaction by attaining real-time visibility of the supply chain. This allows its customers to serve their customers better.

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