JAVA is a food distributor and wholesale dealer that distributes about 39,000 tons of food every year to private and public kitchens in Belgium. JAVA is number 2 in the foodservice industry in Belgium and manages a product line of 10, 000 customers, providing a high degree of quality service. With more than 200 people, 47 of which are drivers, JAVA realizes a turnover of 75 million Euros each year.
Challenge: To Improve Service Delivery and Reduce Costs
The Belgium government mandated that all food distribution processes be traceable. To meet the legislation, Java had to implemented automated production and distribution processes. This automation, and JAVA’s focus to improve customer service drove the implementation of a new route planning solution.
Solution: Automate and Optimize JAVA’s Distribution Plan
Amongst all solutions considered by JAVA, Descartes’ route planning solution best suited the specific needs of the food distribution organization, including multi-temperature compartment management, regionalized vehicles, and automated geocoding.
Descartes route planning solution leverages advanced planning and optimization technologies and was designed to be an interactive tool for route planners. The solution optimizes and streamlines the daily planning process, improve customer service and minimizing transportation costs and helps distribution companies better understand and distribution operations.
JAVA had a number of important distribution parameters and considerations, including: time windows for delivery, accessibility at client (to determine the optimal vehicle type), fresh and frozen compartments, working time and legal breaks, automatic geocoding, vehicle fill, computation of unloading times and territory assignment. Integration with the internal ERP system was critical to automate the planning process.
Comparative tests demonstrated that the Descartes route planning solution provided superior results in terms of distance reduction, working hours and vehicle reduction, compliance with client-specific delivery constraints such as time windows and unloading restrictions. Daily analysis of the optimized delivery plan results helped measure the productivity and customer service improvements.
Results: After 6 Months of Use, the Results Were in
Despite the growth of their distribution business, the number of kilometers drastically decreased and there was a reduction in the number of vehicles needed. But the most important result is a spectacular increase customer service quality, approaching 100% compliance with committed service levels.
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