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Achieve the Perfect Order in your Food and Beverage Operations with Tablet PC

Achieving the perfect order may be a tall order, but food and beverage operations consciously working toward that goal are realizing considerable benefits. Exactly what constitutes “perfect order” may vary from company to company, but whatever your standards, meeting them depends on real-time tracking and responsiveness. That requires complete mobility, the kind provided by a tablet PC.

Learn how Ben E. Keith Beverage Distribution greatly increased their productivity and efficiency.

It also requires a plan. Instituting best practices and taking an orderly approach will help you achieve better results, sooner.  

food beverage distribution rugged tablet pc mobilityConsistency – especially accurately capturing data – is essential. Adopting a transportation management system greatly enhances your ability to achieve perfect order fulfillment, because it enables collection and compilation of reliable data that can provide comprehensive system visibility.

Establishing standardized processes also assures consistency. And across-the-board coordination – not just internally but with your external partners as well -- benefits everyone involved in the food and beverage supply chain.

This is where a rugged tablet PC really demonstrates its value. No matter where or when your people are gathering information, properly equipped tablets ensure they’re able to do so quickly and correctly, uploading data in real time for instant access by anyone else who needs it.  

Metrics matter.

Your goals are unique to your operation, and the benchmarks you choose should reflect that. So start by defining what “perfect order” means for you -- things like fill rates, on-time delivery, pick and order exceptions, order cycle times. Think about your entire operation, to avoid unintended consequences somewhere down the supply line.

Then prioritize your benchmarks. It’s a good idea to work first on things that are relatively easy to achieve and which will provide the greatest bottom line impact.

Accurate, timely information allows you to regularly evaluate progress using your metrics. More importantly, you can discover the underlying reasons for problems, which enables you to take corrective action.

Tip: focus on exceptions management.

Growing consumer concerns about food safety have resulted in increased regulatory requirements and industry-originated standards and best practices. The mobility and versatility provided by a tablet PC gives your personnel the broad, real-time visibility necessary to effectively track and trace products, day-to-day or in an emergency.

Focusing on exceptions and working to eliminate them brings you closer to perfect order fulfillment. It also helps assure products don’t wind up in the wrong place or unnecessarily go to waste. That’s because better tracking gives you better control. For example, you can ensure “still good” items are returned to the distribution or returns center, “still good but time-sensitive” items go to donation locations and rejected items are moved to a destruction facility.

Perfection is actually a process.

It’s continuous improvement, not one-time action, that will help you achieve the perfect order. That’s because business conditions and priorities change over time. Ongoing monitoring provides important flexibility so you’re always ready to respond nimbly.  

Working toward perfect order can help ensure food safety. And it can provide significant financial and branding benefits for your company, helping maintain or boost your competitive advantage and helping you avoid costly retailer-imposed penalties for mistakes.

Among the specific benefits:

  • Significantly reduced inventory.
  • Fewer stock-outs.
  • More reliable order fulfillment.
  • Virtually eliminated exceptions.
  • Shorter billing and payment cycles.
  • Lower costs.
  • Greater productivity.

It all adds up. And that means achieving the perfect order can help you achieve higher profits and increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. For food and beverage operations, that’s a pretty tasty result.

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