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C&S brings retailers more supply-chain visibility

New predictive analytics platform provides real-time delivery status

C&S Wholesale Grocers is giving supermarkets and other customers a real-time view of incoming deliveries via a new predictive supply-chain platform.

Through a partnership with Chicago-based FourKites, C&S sends retailers logic-based messages — called C&S Delivery Alerts — to track store deliveries in real time, including when a truck has left the warehouse, when it is about an hour away and when it has arrived. This provides customers “unprecedented visibility” into their delivery status, the Keene, N.H.-based grocery distributor said Tuesday.

C&S is using FourKites’ machine learning-driven platform across all areas of its supply-chain operations, including customer service, dispatch, transportation analytics, procurement and warehousing.

“It’s important that our customers have more visibility into our supply chain, which enables them to manage their businesses more effectively,” C&S Chief Supply Chain Officer Chris Smith said in a statement. “FourKites’ platform allows us to quickly communicate across our organization to better support our customers and optimize our supply chain performance.”

C&S reported that the Delivery Alerts tool has shrunk the company’s internal productivity loss by 65% and “substantially improved” the delivery experience for customers.

“It’s all about transforming the customer experience and providing superior service from orders to delivery. C&S Delivery Alerts gives our customers all the information they need to plan, from employee schedules to shopper promotions,” according to Joe Cavaliere, chief commercial officer at C&S. “When customers know when to expect their deliveries, they can make operational choices that reduce costs and drive their revenue.”

Employing a proprietary algorithm to calculate shipment arrival times, the FourKites solution is designed to make the supply chain more efficient by lower operating costs and sharpening on-time performance. The company said it operates the largest predictive supply-chain visibility platform, with a network of more than 4 million GPS/ELD devices, including truckload, LTL, ocean, rail, intermodal, last-mile and parcel transportation modes.

“When it comes to best practices during the initial FourKites implementation phase, C&S has been a true thought leader,” stated FourKites CEO Mathew Elenjickal. “They’ve deployed the platform to hundreds of active users throughout their organization, and their adoption of the technology is among the most enthusiastic we’ve ever seen.”

The largest U.S. grocery wholesaler, C&S supplies more than 137,000 products to over 7,700 independent supermarkets, chain grocery retailers, military bases and other institutions.

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