SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Fresh Brands here has completed a consolidation of delivery times for the 101 stores it supplies, converting them from a "nice to have" schedule of deliveries to a "need to have" schedule.
"The issue of delivery frequency came up with some customers," said Mark Grasse, director of logistics, Fresh Brands. "We realized that if we were going to compete, we have to be logistically as efficient as possible."
Fresh Brands has 24 corporate-owned and 77 franchised stores operating under the Piggly Wiggly and Dick's Supermarket banners. The retailer-wholesaler began conducting delivery-scheduling evaluations with each of its stores last year.
"We looked at volume order, lead time, recent competitive activity and the dates that their ads break," said Grasse. "We said to them, 'This is what we're doing now, but we need to know exactly what you need.' They were very receptive. They understand that we needed to work together to be as competitive as we can be."
Some stores that were getting six deliveries per week are now getting five, said Grasse. Although stores took time to adjust to the delivery schedule change, they are now benefiting from it.
"The savings allow our program to be more efficient, and we're able to pass savings on to the [stores]," said Louis Stinebaugh, president and chief executive officer, Fresh Brands.