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How Gordon Food Service Made Same Day Delivery a Competitive Advantage

Gordon Food Service (GFS) delivers to restaurants, the healthcare industry, and schools across the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest regions of the United States and all across Canada. GFS is the largest family-operated broadline food distribution company in North America, employing 19,000 people with an annual revenue of $12.9 billion.

GFS provides service in three distinct areas: wholesale, retail, and truck delivery. With a long history of customer service excellence, GFS believes the customer is king. They are passionately committed to serving their customers with the highest-quality food service products and services. As a new offering to their customers, GFS wanted to be able to offer van deliveries from their brick and mortar stores to fulfill needs outside of their weekly distribution center deliveries.

GFS wanted to create an omnichannel last-mile strategy to grow their competitive advantage, and increase their speed and efficiency through last-mile optimization.

The Challenge:

“There’s a high number of restaurant and facility operations in a city that need food outside of their weekly deliveries. We want to be able to cover a lot of customers in a very small radius using vans through an optimized last mile delivery.” Al Contreras, Customer Innovation Manager at Gordon Food Service

Prior to implementing a last-mile strategy, GFS flowed products from their ports to their distribution centers and then to their Gordon stores. GFS traditionally used distribution centers to deliver truckloads of food products to their customers in food service, schools and the healthcare industry.

These customers had a need for same-day deliveries if they ran short of certain food items. GFS wanted to add the ability to efficiently deliver products from their brick and mortar stores to their end customers. Typically, the end customers would do a local grocery run to satisfy their same-day needs since GFS could not support same-day deliveries from their distribution centers. This unmet need was seen as a growth enabler for GFS and would improve their engagement with customers.

GFS wanted to offer same-day order and delivery to their customers by using their stores as mini fulfillment centers, keeping their customers in their ecosystem instead of having them run to grocery stores for last-minute needs. Planning the routes manually for same-day deliveries became time consuming and inefficient and many vans missed their specific delivery time slot windows. GFS recognized they needed predictive intelligence to create optimal driving routes and they wanted to be able to track and trace orders so customers could receive orders in the chosen time slots.

FarEye gives GFS the ability to have capacity planning with order management. Managers can see orders in real-time and where they are in the delivery process. Drivers are routed efficiently through a driver app using optimized routes in order to hit target delivery windows. Customers are also able to receive real-time updates as to where their order is through a customer app that uses track and trace.

With FarEye’s last-mile solution, GFS now offers customers individual items delivered the same day from their GFS stores. There is no need for businesses to take a trip to a local grocery store or wait for a weekly delivery to replenish items. GFS can now offer their customers more choices like a convenient three hour delivery time slot with the ability to be consistent and on-time in that chosen window.

With FarEye’s last-mile solution, GFS now offers customers individual items delivered the same day from their GFS stores. There is no need for businesses to take a trip to a local grocery store or wait for a weekly delivery to replenish items. GFS can now offer their customers more choices like a convenient three hour delivery time slot with the ability to be consistent and on-time in that chosen window.

The Results:

By adding digital last-mile capability, GFS has grown their sales in 2021 by 8.6% over 2020. Last-mile delivery from Gordon stores accounted for 36% of that growth. GFS has gained a competitive advantage over their top-tier competitors. Watch the Gordon Food Service video to learn more about how FarEye enabled GFS’s successful last-mile delivery strategy.

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