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Blog November 2021 Updated May 2022

How the agile win in food & catering transportation

Digitalization speeds up and automates processing.

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Jan Tønder

Intelligent Optimization Solution Advisor

How the agile win in food & catering transportation

Depending on the business, populations in office buildings are not expected to return to pre-Covid levels. Schools, care homes, hospitals, and onsite dining providers are adjusting to how they operate with modified service models. Fluctuating daily populations are the likeliest scenario for most of these sites, challenging food services and consequently, the businesses who transport the food.

The only certainty in this new world is that people need to eat. The key here for businesses that deliver food is to adapt to the uncertainty of what orders will be one day to the next. The ability to adapt requires agility.

Agile companies are robust, which comes from the efficiencies that improve financials. When put under pressure, the agile food-delivery business improves performance. Agility changes mindsets, igniting the spirit of entrepreneurship – even in long-established companies. Opportunities suddenly become clear.

But agility isn’t something you can wake up and decide to become. You first need the tools to enable agility.

The problem with paper

Working with spreadsheets is a recipe for stagnation if you’ll excuse the pun. It’s an incredibly inefficient way to work, leading to low productivity and higher operating costs. Manually processing information is time-consuming and error-prone. You can’t know what’s going on in your operations at any given time. It’s a waiting game for information.

What makes food transportation so complex is the need to deliver within narrow time windows to ensure the quality of the product for safe consumption. So you’ve got to follow the regulations in place within your region. The ability to plan for this, especially when orders vary day to day, makes the process complex and if not done correctly, can lead to frustrated customers and loss of revenue.

Agility is digital

Digitalization speeds up and automates processing. According to McKinsey Global Institute, switching from paper-based processes to digitalization can increase productivity by up to 25%.

With digitalization, you get accurate data in real-time. And with accurate data, you have the information right away to make educated decisions on the fly when necessary. This is what agility is all about – the ability to respond to situations as they happen. Order changes, ad hoc orders – these are easily accommodated when you can work with agility.

Agility requires end-to-end visibility into your operations

For anyone who works manually, full visibility is impossible. Only digitalization can enable you to take a true, deep dive into operations, break down silos and bring departments together to work as one, seamless whole, sharing data. Visibility increases efficiencies while reducing operational costs and improving inventory management of foods and ingredients. By paying less in fuel and wages, you become leaner with healthier margins – the very hallmarks that enable you to become agile.

Agility comes with AMCS Route Planner Plus

AMCS Route Planner Plus performs route planning and transportation optimization. Advanced algorithms optimize routes and delivery sequences every day with completely new order pools. Rush hours in zones, varying speed limits, vehicle and road constraints, and driver qualifications are accounted for so that you can hit challenging time frames. You can insert new orders into the system, even after your vehicles leave on their routes. AMCS Route Planner Plus even offers customers time slots for receiving their orders.

As an add-on module, AMCS Mobile Web – which provides drivers with route lists, delivery details, deviation handling, proof-of-delivery, and GPS – makes it possible to send updated routes to your drivers. AMCS Mobile Web enables drivers to send and receive status updates on a tablet or smartphone. They can also record proof of delivery, photograph the quality of food delivered and store documentation. Customers can even receive updates on any relevant information with the AMCS Web Portal module.

Seasonal demand is a mainstay in food delivery, even pre-Covid. AMCS Route Planner Plus enables you to create, maintain, and optimize master routes. You can efficiently insert new customers into existing master plans with ease.

Agility improves performance

Users of AMCS Route Planner Plus have experienced significant results. For example, they discovered they needed up to 25% fewer vehicles and/or driver shifts. They reduced mileage driven, driving time, and CO2 emissions by up to 30%. Replacing manual attempts to optimize routes with automated optimization saved up to 90% in time, per route.

AMCS Route Planner Plus gives you the ability to be agile in the face of any event, expected or otherwise. The flip side is being stuck in slow, outdated ways of working, unable to react quickly as changes occur. It’s your call.

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