Learn how U.S. Foods., one of the largest foodservice distributors in the United States, plans delivery routes with customer quality in mind. Senior management describes how the company has created a new way of servicing customers by using Descartes Perform ™ for Food to enable drivers to receive routes, orders and manifests electronically.
Descartes Perform™ for Distribution/Food is a web-based mobile solution that provides customers with real-time information across every step of the distribution process by eliminating paper-based processes. Companies use the solution to help achieve “clean invoices,” accurate orders, and outstanding customer satisfaction while minimizing customer disputes and write-offs related to overages, shortages and damages (OS&Ds).
US Foods is one of the largest foodservice distributors in the United States. We distribute all the supplies that a restaurant, hotel or any other type of company in the food service industry may need. US Foods has 60 distribution centers with more than 5000 drivers, going out every day using the Descartes Perform™ for Food system, which helps us maintain a high level of quality in our deliveries.
Back in 2009, we had only paper-based deliveries and drivers were leaving with their preprinted invoices to deliver to our customers. The disadvantage of having manual practices were multiple so, with an automated process like the one we have with Descartes Perform for Food, we are able to eliminate paper practices and be more accurate in our invoicing to the customer.
Delivery Confirmation at Customer Site
US Foods is very committed to its customer base. We have created a new way of servicing our customers. We try to make it as easy as possible for our customers to understand their adjustments and to have a clean invoice, so that they will not need an adjustment on the back-end and can avoid having additional documentation that can contribute to cumbersome back-end processes. This helps our customers and makes it easier on their side.
Another way Descartes Perform for Food helps our customers is by confirming that the delivery of the product has been made. They know that we have actually scanned the case on their side so they can confirm that the delivery has been made. This allows our customers to focus more time on the kitchen and less time on receiving the product.
What is the Driver Delivery Process at US Foods?
Every day, drivers sign into the system at the beginning of the shift, proceed to check their routes and confirm that they will be downloading the routes by scanning the routenumber into their manifest. Throughout the day, they go to each of their customers, verify that the product has been delivered or what was planned to be delivered has actually been delivered. After all the stops have been completed, they return to the center. At that point, Perform helps us on the backend system with driver check-in, making a summary of specific returns or payments that the driver may be bringing back with him or her into the center. This is the completion of the day in the life of a driver.
Descartes Food Perform Helps Manage & Reduce OS&Ds
Descartes Perform for Food helps us manage and reduce OS&Ds because it helps us better manage activities when a driver is at a stop trying to deliver the product. They can understand exactly what they are missing, or what product they are looking to deliver to the customer that they haven’t actually scanned and confirmed. In this way, it helps us manage and reduce the defects on the delivery, and enhance quality at the point of delivery.
US Foods is always looking for innovation. When we implemented Descartes Perform for Food, the team at Descartes helped us understand our integration needs and also our business processes needs. In summary, Descartes Perform for Food has helped us in multiple areas: with our customers to make their life easier and also in our operations and even in our accounting systems. I can honestly say Descartes is an integral part of our mobile strategy.