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CS_Wholesale_Grocers-truck_1_0_1_1.png C&S Wholesale Grocers
C&S Wholesale Grocers said migrating to one cloud-based operations platform will allow it to monitor traffic patterns and identify optimal distribution routes, in turn cutting food waste and sharpening fuel efficiency.

C&S to build AI-based operations platform on Google Cloud

Partnership with Tata to enable faster, more predictable and sustainable distribution

C&S Wholesale Grocers is turning to the Google Cloud to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance the customer experience.

The largest U.S. grocery distributor, C&S said yesterday that it has contracted with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to unify its current systems into one cloud-based operations platform, which will use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to monitor traffic patterns and identify optimal distribution routes, thereby reducing food waste and achieving greater fuel efficiency.

“With more than 104 years in the rapidly changing grocery industry, the foundation of C&S’s success has been our ability to adapt and innovate ahead of market trends to better serve our customers. It’s this legacy that drives our unrelenting focus on innovative go-to-market strategies and customer service,” Bob Palmer, CEO of Keene, N.H.-based C&S, said in a statement. “We like to challenge the status quo and need partners who can do the same. Both TCS and Google Cloud are making it possible to implement a platform that supports our operational sustainability goals to ensure a healthy planet now and for future generations.”

C&S said the new platform will enable the company to streamline operations by providing the infrastructure flexibility to support its sustainability initiatives and growth strategy. TCS, based in Mumbai with offices in New York, will help reduce the distributor’s carbon footprint by migrating its data center workloads to Google Cloud’s carbon-neutral infrastructure.

“Our collaboration with TCS and Google Cloud will accelerate C&S’s digital transformation strategy,” explained Sudhakar Lingineni, chief information officer for C&S. “It will help build new and support current critical business applications with resilience, scalability and flexibility to drive innovation and growth while ensuring business continuity. Our investments in technology demonstrate our commitment to delivering greater value to our customers and partners when they need it most. Big Query, AI and ML will help tackle the large and complex data challenges unique to our business.”

The new platform also stands to help C&S provide best-in-class tools and capabilities for its employees by bringing self-service solutions to IT and customer service touchpoints. C&S said the deployment also will bring the scalability needed to drive long-term business growth.

“The TCS-designed platform will enable more predictable deliveries, especially during seasonal peaks, helping distributors and retailers better manage their inventory while ensuring that the products most in demand are supplied on-time,” according to Amit Bajaj, president of TCS North America. “Additionally, the solution helps support C&S’ sustainability goals of reducing food waste and carbon emissions.”

Kirsten Kliphouse, president of the Americas for Google Cloud, based in Mountain View, Calif., added that the project will mark a significant upgrade for C&S.

“Through its work with Google Cloud and TCS, C&S will apply innovative technologies like AI, ML and data analytics to modernize its extensive distribution network and operations, while running its business on the cleanest cloud in the industry,” Kliphouse stated. “We’re proud to partner with C&S and TCS to help address important business challenges that lessen food waste and enable more eco-friendly operations.”

C&S Wholesale Grocers supplies more than 7,500 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions, offering over 100,000 products.

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