Leading Belgian Foodservice Company Deploys Zebra Touch Computers And SOTI® MobiControl For Successful Delivery Management
JAVA Foodservice is a leading name in the Belgian fresh food delivery market. Known originally for its coffee, JAVA is a family business, founded over 90 years ago. Part of the company, including JAVA Foodservice, has recently been taken over by the Dutch group Sligro. JAVA Foodservice supplies ingredients and catering services to hospitals, restaurants, schools and amusement parks.
The food service market is a very competitive market. JAVA had previously deployed MC75 Handheld Mobile Computers and mobile printers to its drivers to manage deliveries. However, the MC75s were reaching their end of life and JAVA wanted to move to a paperless delivery solution, design its own new inhouse application and equip its drivers with smartphone-type devices. Having tested some consumer smartphones, it realised it needed a more rugged, industry standard device. JAVA turned to long-term Zebra partner PHI DATA. Based in Wemmel in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant, PHI DATA advises on, integrates and maintains Auto-ID solutions for automation and business process optimization along the supply chain and in various industries throughout the Benelux. Its solutions ensure its clients can rely on accurate information at any time, resulting in better quality and higher productivity for their businesses. PHI DATA recommended Zebra’s TC55 Touch Computer running SOTI’s MobiControl for remote management.
Drivers receive their daily delivery schedule, and contact details for every customer on the schedule, via JAVA’s own bespoke in-house Android application running on their TC55. Any updated instructions are received whilst they are en route. The driver has to register actions for each client, such as, is he or she able to deliver the goods, what kind of carriers is he delivering, for example roll-cages or pallets, and whether he can return some carriers to JAVA. The driver uses the TC55 to scan pick lists, items and delivery trolleys, to ensure he delivers all the right goods and picks up the right number of containers and boxes to return to JAVA’s warehouse. In case there is an issue with a certain product to be delivered, or a carrier to be collected, he’s able to mark it as undelivered or not available for pick up, choosing from a selection of specific causes; these trigger alerts and actions in the back office for the sales team to action. Finally the client has to sign on screen for the delivery; the client can choose a number of personnel who are authorized to sign for a delivery and the driver can scroll through the list to find their details; this way JAVA and the client always know exactly who has taken receipt of the goods. The driver no longer carries a mobile printer, so, rather than having a printout, the customer receives a digital copy of the order and an electronic POD. Drivers can take photos when necessary and also text or call into the HQ, if they need a two way conversation about a particular delivery, for example. All information is updated and processed in real time on JAVA’s back office systems. This ensures accurate, clean data is available; there are no more queries caused by illegible handwriting or damaged paperwork. JAVA has a Zebra OneCare service contract in place for the TC55s; any device needing repair is sent to the Zebra Repair Centre and replaced within 2–3 working days. Moreover, if the IT team needs to configure or update a device whilst the driver is in the field with it, they now use SOTI’s MobiControl. JAVA’s previous delivery app was regularly being updated and, historically, due to the busy schedules of delivery drivers, rolling this out to the handsets had been very slow and problematic. However, by deploying SOTI’s MobiControl, the JAVA team could quickly, easily and remotely update the handsets with the new versions of the application. JAVA was also concerned about confidential client information stored on the devices; it liked the idea of being able to remotely wipe all data from the device, if a device was left at a client’s premises by mistake, lost or stolen. This was one of the first projects where SOTI MobiControl was deployed on an Android device and there were initially a few challenges; however, these were soon ironed out with close collaboration between Zebra, SOTI, PHI DATA and JAVA.
“Our drivers are on the road for most of the day. We wanted to equip them with a smartphone-type device, but the ones we tested just weren’t rugged or reliable enough for our type of business. Zebra’s TC55 ticked all the boxes. Moreover, speed is of the essence in our competitive industry, so the fact that we can use SOTI MobiControl to manage and download our app remotely to a driver’s device whilst he is on the move is indispensable.”
Wim Heylen, ICT Director, JAVA Group
Most of JAVA’s clients are moving towards the paperless process; and, as they do so, they are appreciating the associated time savings, the reduction in paperwork and administration and the improved customer service; clean, accurate data in real time means office teams can react to and resolve any delivery issues much faster. Moreover customers and JAVA now have an electronic record of all historical data relating to PODs and orders. The drivers love the look and feel of the TC55s; being high performance and robust, they are suited for tough day-to-day usage in the logistics environment. The new paperless solution is a step forward in JAVA’s business aim of lowering its environmental impact. The new system reduces administrative work and minimises the possibility of errors. Data is transferred immediately to the back office, which cuts costs and time and improves the invoice cycle; combined with the time and costs saved managing, updating or deactivating the devices remotely via SOTI, the solution is delivering an excellent ROI. Looking forward JAVA will continue to develop the app and will include elements such as GPS tracking, in case a device gets lost and the battery has run out.
Solution(s): Field Service Management