FL 100: Bouncing Back With Technology

Software, hardware and IT service providers report the food industry is still a strong vertical for them.


Cass Information Systems Inc.Cass Information Systems Inc., Bridgeton, MO
Year founded: 1906        
Number of employees: 950        
Number of food customers: 25+              
Solution name(s): Transportation Expense Management through freight invoice audit payment and business intelligence services.             
Business benefits: Technology should focus on automating the complex freight rating and audit process; conversion of carriers to receipt of electronic payments; and leveraging web based information delivery of financial and transportation data to eliminate manual processes and attain more efficient systems.


CDC Software, Shanghai, China
Year founded: 2002        
Number of employees: 1,400    
Number of food customers: 2,000           
Solution name(s): Ross ERP; CDC Factory; CDC Supply Chain; Pivotal CRM
Business benefits: Manufacturers should focus their attention on improving the individual performance of their workers. Install technology that helps the workforce take action in real time to resolve the problem or improve the outcome that ultimately will impact real costs.


CombineNet, Pittsburgh, PA     
Year founded: 2000        
Number of employees: 60          
Number of food customers: 14 
Solution name(s): Advanced Sourcing Application Platform (ASAP)          
Business benefits: Customers of CombineNet’s Advanced Sourcing Application Platform are finding the immediate savings they need to survive in these challenging economic times, helping to reduce costs of supply from the sourcing of raw materials through delivery of final product to consumers.


Container and Pooling Solutions (CAPS), Livonia, MI
Year founded: 1998        
Number of employees: 28          
Number of food customers: 95 
Solution name(s): CAPS-TRAC Suite—container tracking and management, including: APS-Scan; CAPSxchange; CAPS-Trac; CAPS-aTrac—aggregate tracking; CAPS-iTrac—individual tracking; CAPS-315 tote rental (trip or term rental of plastic collapsible IBCs); CAPS One-Way 275-gallon corrugated tote for shipping liquids;
Lifecycle Management Solutions—cleaning, repair, recycling
Business benefits: In a challenging economy, the use of technology such as CAPS-TRAC, allows users to efficiently manage and track their assets, ultimately helping them to optimize their supply chain (reduce premium freight), minimize loss, provide bill back accountability for damages and save the capital required to replace materials.


Daifuku Co. Ltd., Osaka, Japan  
Year founded: 1937        
Number of employees: 5,663
Number of food customers: 5,325+
Solution name(s): Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (AS/RS); Sorting & Picking Systems (including Sorting Transfer Vehicle); Conveyor & Vehicle Systems; Containers & Carts; Warehouse Management Software
Business benefits: Daifuku assists customers with each step of material handling from planning to proposal, design, manufacturing, installation, after-sales service and facility retrofits. Our systems streamline processes, recapture floor space and improve productivity.


Datex Inc., Clearwater, FL
Year founded: 1978        
Number of employees: 85          
Number of food customers: 650              
Solution name(s): Footprint WMS; Footprint 3PL WMS; Footprint YMS; Footprint TMS; Footprint FMS
Business benefits: Our solution provides our clients with real time visibility and traceability for the entire supply chain. Short term, the solution will reduce the manual data entry and redundancy required from legacy systems. Long term, the solution will reduce the impact of recalls and reduce the time required to research and trace LOT information.


DemandTec Inc., San Mateo, CA              
Year founded: 1999        
Number of employees: 313
Number of food customers: 200+            
Solution name(s): Retail Industry Solutions;Retail Software Services; Consumer Products Solutions; Consumer Products Software Services; Collaboration Platform; Analytical Services; Consulting Services
Business benefits: DemandTec enables retailers and consumer products companies to optimize merchandising and marketing decisions, individually or collaboratively, to achieve their sales volume, revenue, shopper loyalty, and profitability objectives. DemandTec software services utilize DemandTec’s science-based software platform to model and understand consumer behavior.


Year founded: 1939        
Number of employees: 4,000    
Number of food customers: 50+              
Solution name(s): Multishuttle 
Business benefits: The strategies we use to help design the best food logistics solution are: Reducing time wasted travelling—condense the pick face and travel faster; Moving orders to zones—let the orders move, not your people; Batching orders and sorting them out—pick multiple goods in one pass and sort to orders; Eliminating travel: split case—let the orders do the moving in a tote; Eliminating travel: full case—move cases in the best sequence to build pallets; Automating storage, buffering and sequencing—organize your reserve stock and get it in order; Free picking—pick one, get one for free with Negative-PUT; Automating picking—when picking is too expensive, heavy or repetitive; Wireless real-time logistics—bring the power of voice directed system to the DC; Warehouse control solutions—improve visibility and distribution management.


Descartes Systems Group, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Year founded: 1981        
Number of employees: 500+     
Number of food customers:  6,800+       
Solution name(s): Descartes Mobile Resource Management; Descartes Supply Chain Execution; Descartes Global Trade Compliance; Descartes Transportation Management; Descartes Routing Planning and Schedule
Business benefits: Historically, the logistics industry has operated in a “state of things untied” with many organizations working with siloed logistics solutions. As a result, information cannot be accessed in real time for all resources in motion—including documents, mobile devices, drivers or goods. Without insight into these integrated functions, any breakdown in the supply chain will affect fulfillment schedules and drive up associated costs. Using a single source solution backed by a global federated network enables food manufacturers and distributors to automate multi-party business processes and share critical information, to immediately accelerate productivity and improve profitability for the long term.


Echo Global Logistics Inc., Chicago
Year founded: 2005        
Number of employees: 1000+   
Number of food customers: NA                               

England Logistics Inc., Salt Lake City       
Year founded: 1994
Number of employees: 1,737    
Number of food customers: 676              
Solution name(s): Truckload sourcing, dry and temperature-controlled LTL and parcel, special projects engineering, global sourcing, complete supply chain engineering, warehousing, I2, Great Plains, JMC, McLeod, Manhattan
Business benefits: Technologies like texting, video blog and social network sites are key to both short and long term success. Readers are wise not to overlook the rising uses of social media outlets for short-term goals and look for newer, more effective uses of these tools down the road.


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