As food-on-the-go, eating out and ‘as and when’ shopping all grow in popularity, it is clear that consumers are searching for more convenient shopping solutions to fit in with their busy lifestyles. As a result, increasingly more pressure is being put onto distributors supplying goods to convenience stores, restaurants, fast food outlets and supermarkets. Busy urban locations, smaller format stores and fluctuating demand mean that more deliveries are required each day or week, driving up operational complexity and costs for food service distributors.
Whether you are delivering your own products to multiple customer sites or restocking stores with numerous products, avoiding delays, maximising driver time and keeping costs low are all paramount. Implementing ePOD software can help you streamline processes and improve cost efficiency while guaranteeing ongoing customer loyalty.
How can ePOD software help food service distributors meet customer requirements?
Automate ETA communication – With urban road restrictions, opening time constraints, staffing considerations and busy periods to take into account, knowing exactly when a delivery is due to arrive is crucial to store staff. With ePOD software, you can automate ETA notifications and provide an online delivery tracking portal to keep your customers informed.
Differentiate service for customer contracts – For many distributors, operating shared-user networks can help maximise load fill, but with customers often requiring different service levels it can become difficult to manage everyone’s requirements. With an ePOD application, your drivers are presented with the appropriate actions for each delivery. This configurability helps satisfy current customer demands and can help you win new business by offering a flexible service.
Enhance on-site service – Food distributors delivering products to the same customers on a regular basis are heavily reliant on drivers to reliably represent their brand on the customer site. Replacing paperwork with an ePOD application can help ensure that your drivers appear professional and have all of the necessary details on hand to provide an efficient customer service, particularly important for your busy customers.
How can ePOD software improve operational efficiency for food service distributors?
Simplify processes for drivers – With transport operations under pressure from the driver shortage, using agency drivers is a regular occurrence. Creating easy-to-follow processes that allow all drivers to take the same approach to customer service is very important. A proof of delivery application provides user-friendly formats and step-by-step screens to guide drivers through the required actions, simplifying tasks and guaranteeing that consistent processes are followed.
Capture business specific data – Between customer demands and regulatory restrictions drivers delivering food can have a large variety of important data to collect. With a configurable ePOD system, you are able to capture whatever business specific data is necessary. For example, recycling collections can be logged or temperature readings can be recorded consistently and signed by the customer. Not only does this give better visibility to central teams, but it can also aid with customer disputes.
Provide data visibility for analysis – Electronically capturing and collating such a wide range of data can enable continuous improvement through analysis and reporting. For example, it could help identify depots that record more missing items or drivers that have lower customer satisfaction scores and may require more training. In addition, feeding arrival and departure times into other business systems can enable better plan vs actual or drive time analysis.
Get in touch with Paragon today to find out how ePOD software can help you balance customer demands with operational efficiency.