NEW DSD SYSTEM CUTS GROCER'S SHIPPING ERRORS

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. -- Officials from Superior Warehouse Grocers here said the 13-store independent chain has reduced shipping errors since switching from paper to a Web-based , digital direct store delivery system.Olivia Maldonado, retail systems manager for Superior, said the new DSD system has also proved to be more efficient for processing returns.Superior has installed a Web-based software

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. -- Officials from Superior Warehouse Grocers here said the 13-store independent chain has reduced shipping errors since switching from paper to a Web-based , digital direct store delivery system.

Olivia Maldonado, retail systems manager for Superior, said the new DSD system has also proved to be more efficient for processing returns.

Superior has installed a Web-based software solution from Grocers Support Systems, Apple Valley, Calif., along with handheld scanners from Symbol Technologies, Holtsville, N.Y.

The scanners are used to check in deliveries that come directly to its stores. The scanned orders are instantly checked for accuracy against electronic purchase orders in a central computer at headquarters, Maldonado said.

This process has not only reduced shipping errors but the retailer no longer receives goods it never ordered, she explained.

Under the former, paper-based system, Superior was unable to consistently track deliveries coming into the stores, she explained.

"Shipping errors and unauthorized products were rarely detected before they made it to the register," she said. "Once a product is on the shelves, there is very little chance of getting proper credit [for returns].

"Other companies have to send batches [receiving statements] to the corporate office in order to find a discrepancy. If something is wrong [with the shipment], that information is sent back to the store, and changes are then executed at the store level. They don't know if something is wrong until the next day," Maldonado said.

It took Superior officials about six months to install the new DSD system, Maldonado said.

Initially, the system was rolled out slowly, she explained, but that pace was accelerated to four stores a month once officials became more familiar with the process.

The cost of implementing the new system ran about $299,000, or approximately $23,000 per store, Maldonado said.

Superior chose to install a fully integrated system whereby each personal computer used for checking in scanned items is linked to a central data system at corporate headquarters.

With this system the cost of items being received and authorized for deliveries is verified immediately, eliminating the need to synchronize and communicate with multiple computers.