Efficiency is the name of the game across all aspects of the food industry. For snack and bakery companies managing varying degrees of their product distribution, including direct-store delivery (DSD) routes, streamlining operations can come in many forms, including new technologies.
“In an industry where time and temperature controls are paramount, technology that goes beyond visibility is vital,” says Kendra Phillips, chief technology officer and vice president of new products, Ryder System, Inc., Miami.
Ryder Systen developed its new RyderShare collaborative logistics platform to bring a straightforward level of visibility to supply-chain operations. Phillips notes the platform lets everyone involved in moving goods through the supply chain, including shippers, receivers, carriers, and service providers, to not only see across their supply chains in real time, but to collaborate and take proactive action to course-correct and avoid costly delays.
“The need for this kind of groundbreaking technology has never been more apparent,” says Phillips. “When the pandemic upended supply chains providing food and other essential goods to homes and businesses worldwide, early adopters of RyderShare proved much more resilient to the disruption. We had one customer, in particular, that experienced a nearly 50 percent increase in sales almost overnight. Before RyderShare, they would have had to rely on phone calls and emails to communicate changes in truckload deliveries to thousands of stores—an impossible task. With RyderShare, the technology automatically calculated the new routes and ETAs and then sent real-time tracking information to the stores, so they could plan accordingly.”
Managing the delivery of food products is complicated, says Raguram (Ragu) Venkatesan, director, trucking solutions, Optym, Dallas. “It’s not easy to plan delivery schedules in a way that meets customer requirements and minimizes miles at the same time,” says. “While route optimization technology has existed for quite some time, the solutions of yesteryear struggle when there’s disruption to the plan. Adding new customers as business grows, adjusting plans as customer needs change, plus potential impacts due to hurricanes, blizzards, public protests—not to mention all the staffing, scheduling, and protocol changes that came with the pandemic—legacy routing systems weren’t architected to effectively handle today’s dynamic business environment.”
Venkatesan notes advanced algorithms and AI are transforming the world of route optimization. “New solutions such as RouteMAX by Optym allow planners to simply set the parameters and let the software do the work, optimizing over 1,000 stops in just minutes, considering every factor that matters,” he says. “This kind of advanced routing arms planners with the tools they need to handle the ever-changing needs of the business and pivot easily to mitigate the impacts of disruption.”
Company: Ryder System, Inc.
Logistics Snapshot: According to Kendra Phillips, chief technology officer and vice president of new products, Ryder System, Inc., Miami, RyderShare connects everyone in the supply chain. Leveraging groundbreaking cloud-based technology, RyderShare is the first of its kind to integrate the data from multiple transportation and warehouse management systems into a single, synergistic platform, which allows all parties involved in a supply chain to easily see potential problems and inefficiencies and take real-time action to course correct.
Robust data analytics provides a complete repository of insights and a historical look back. Ryder operators, engineers, and data scientists capture operational data provided by the technology, analyze it, and create predictive analytics to diagnose and optimize supply chains. This allows Ryder operators to proactively optimize and engineer entire networks and provide predictive insights, as well as create new supply chain processes for continuous improvement.
RyderShare incorporates best-in-class business intelligence tools combined with a proprietary analytics solution, backed by a team of data scientists that apply predictive machine learning across supply chains. These insights and analytics inform future decisions, prepare supply chains for unexpected events, and speed recovery from disruptions – all of which lead to improved resiliency. Additionally, RyderShare features exclusive content from FTR, the leader in freight transportation intelligence, and users receive the subscription benefit of data-driven market insights across all transportation modes and industry verticals, as well as key trends and forecasts.
Ryder System notes that with RyderShare, users have achieved:
Increased productivity of up to 50 percent
35 percent labor efficiency in warehouse receiving
Improved on-time performance rating of 99 percent
Immediate revenue recognition with real-time proof of delivery
Logistics Snapshot: According to Raguram (Ragu) Venkatesan, director, trucking solutions, Optym, Dallas, with real-time asset and driver visibility, when a disruption occurs, today’s technology quickly and easily re-optimizes the remaining stops based on the current situation. In addition, driver mobile apps keep a clear line of communication between dispatch and drivers, and help drivers focus on their top job: on-time delivery. Audible alerts when the plan changes give drivers the information they need without having to pull over to read messages. Intuitive workflows, automation of tasks, and a paperless environment also make the driver’s job easier.
RouteMAX seeks to make drivers happier and more efficient—particularly when drivers are increasingly hard to retain. This helps the organization keep top talent and improve the profitability of the business.
Venkatesan notes that even with advanced route optimization systems like these, solutions don’t live in a vacuum. Every operation is going to have legacy systems that will both feed and read data in the routing solution. Top routing solutions like RouteMAX have robust APIs to allow data to flow seamlessly for real-time updates and ease-of-use.