iTECH: The Key to Trucking Intelligence

Tim Van de Merwe, internal logistics manager for Associated Food Stores, has a happy tale to tell. Like most such tales, it begins darkly, with the cooperatively owned wholesale distributor in Salt Lake City struggling to keep track of the trailers in its yards.

The equipment for Associated's different divisions — frozen foods, deli and so on — was domiciled in five locations. "Our frozen foods was across the street," Van de Merwe recalls, "our deli was a half a mile away, our general merchandise was 60 miles to the south."

But that was a small part of the problem. A bigger part was the co-op's outdated, difficult-to-use software for checking in vehicles at the gate of each yard. And the coup de grace was the number of people entering the data: As many as 127 at various times, including not only receiving clerks, but drivers and security personnel. Inconsistencies naturally resulted, requiring frequent forays to establish exactly what equipment was on site.

For the full story, see the January/February Issue of iTECH, which appeared as a supplement in the Jan. 13 print edition of Transport Topics. Subscribe today.