Efficient Grocery Logistics: Pathways to Better Customer Loyalty and Profitability

Kirk KnauffPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Kaleris

By examining their logistics processes, grocers can make substantial gains in delivering excellent customer experiences – which drive preference and loyalty that help their bottom line. Several logistics operations are prime candidates for optimization with technology, ensuring products make their way from the distribution center to the store as quickly and efficiently as possible so the freshest products are readily available to customers. Operations grocers should evaluate include:

Inbound and outbound logistics: Create the best plan to pack and load both store orders and return shipments with purpose-built software that can handle all SKUs - dry goods, frozen foods, produce, and more.

Route optimization and dispatch efficiency: A grocery transportation management system can look across multiple constraining variables, including the number of trucks, available drivers, distance, pick-up time, order splits and commodity separation to assign work orders and delivery schedules to drivers, streamlining dispatch and providing drivers with the most efficient route from the DC to the store.

DC yard workflows: Using a yard management system to direct yard operations boosts productivity while also reducing operating costs. It helps grocers save money on fuel and maintenance for their truck fleets by reducing idle time. Advanced planning tools for trailer pre-cooling and waving stages for combination loads enhance profitability by preventing inventory loss from spoilage as well as stockouts that drive customers to a competitor’s store or website.