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  July 8, 2016
Automating Foodservice Technology Trends and Maximizing Delivery Driver Productivity with Apps
by Thomas R. Cutler

Research and Markets just announced the global foodservice market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.48% during the period 2016-2020. The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global foodservice market for 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated through both commercial and non-commercial foodservice sectors.

The report, Global Foodservice Market 2016-2020, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. To accommodate this growth rate, automation is required.

Too often automation is seen as exclusively robotics for factory plant technology. In the foodservice sector automation means real-time data whether on the plant floor, distribution center, or delivery driver productivity. Foodservice is at the cusp of great growth

Sheryle Blasko, Foodservice Enterprise Account Director for AFS Technologies reviewed a company event about the direction of foodservice and some of the key drivers of change. Bob Goldin, Executive Vice President of Technomic, a leading research and consulting firm servicing the food and foodservice industry, spoke to participants a year ago and now, much of what was shared has come to fruition and continues to drive the industry full speed into new and innovative ways to drive growth.

Goldin foretold of two main shifts in an industry that historically prided itself in independent, close to chest growth; collaborative partnership and data sharing. Blasko, who attended GS1 Connects in early June, suggested the parallel can be drawn that the two things are not so different. "I witnessed firsthand how partnerships are being formed industry-wide between manufacturers, distributors, operators and even GPO's to collaborate on data standards that will ultimately result in more effective data sharing across the industry all with the end goal of servicing consumer needs for information. Although the consumer may be driving these new relationships, all parties understand the return on investment (ROI) they face with this investment, access to focused insights that will allow all partners to drive growth in a highly competitive, low-margin landscape," noted Blasko.

Food data is more broadly shared while technology plays a critical role in the successful data mining required to derive action from insights and develop short-term plans that support long-term strategies. Data quality measures and advanced analytics will require the tools and people to effectively manage the desired outcome. Data mining of this magnitude can no longer be done using standard desktop tools like excel; companies will need to invest in technology designed to let the server be of service leveraging unique algorithms to support critical business processes such as predictive analytics and consumer specific market segmentation. Ultimately data must provide personalized offers, price optimization, and laser focused targeting.

New App Automates Track and Trace While Maximizing Delivery Driver Productivity

Companies that deliver on paper are missing the key advantages of real-time communication and automation. With today's strict standards for track and trace, extending the automated processes beyond the warehouse to the time of delivery is the next logical step. Knowing the right case was delivered to the right stop at the right time is imperative to protect customers, the brand, and to maintaining compliance.

AFS Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePoD) enables distributors and wholesalers to execute comprehensive traceability while maximizing driver productivity before, during, and after the stop.

Developed for the Android platform, the software is a highly configurable turn-key solution that offers real-time connectivity throughout proof of delivery operations as well as full visibility and tracking.

Increasingly food service solutions will be delivered via apps to ensure data provides electronic delivery confirmations to reduce Accounts Receivable Days Outstanding and disputed invoices. This new app also eliminates manual processes, paperwork and administrative costs, while improving timeliness and accuracy of end-of-day reconciliation.

These lean manufacturing technology tools enhance customer service with fewer invoice errors, reduce lost deliveries, or damaged delivery complaints, while providing complete track and trace to the end-user. http://www.afsi.com/proof-of-delivery/

Joe Bellini, AFS Technologies' CEO shared, "Companies that continue to deliver on paper are missing out on the advantages that come with having an automated real-time communication, tracking, and delivery process. With today's strict standards for track and trace, extending the automated processes beyond the warehouse through to delivery is the next logical step. AFS Electronic Proof of Delivery delivers the automation that food and beverage businesses need in order to increase productivity, efficiency, and asset utilization."

This robust system provides both pre- and post-truck inspection, truck load confirmation, product/pallet delivery scan, and item locations (pallet position/temp zone) on the truck. Other features allow for delivery/scan quantity reconciliation.

Blasko noted that technology solutions providers are working at a rapid pace to change this perspective and provide organizations with dynamic mobile access to real-time data intelligence that can be utilized by a non-sophisticated user to drive business decisions with confidence and ease. Industry partnerships are furthering this end goal through the creation and implementation of standards, processes, and governance to support improved data sharing across the channel.

Thomas R. Cutler is the President & CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc., (www.trcutlerinc.com) Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 6000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. Cutler authors more than 500 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector and is the most published freelance industrial journalist worldwide. Cutler can be contacted at trcutler@trcutlerinc.com and can be followed on Twitter @ThomasRCutler. See More Details.

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