Case Study

JJ Food Service Ltd

JJ Food Service is one of the leading independent foodservice distribution companies in the UK, supplying over 15,000 customers, including pizza and burger bars, upmarket restaurants, schools, bus stations and underground stations etc.

Most of JJ Food Service’s business covers the UK, but they also have some customers overseas in Europe, Africa and Asia who tend to place less regular and larger orders as and when they need to.

They supply everything a food outlet could need including burgers, buns, ketchup, drinks, salad and fruit and cleaning products. Established in 1988 with just a 3000 sq ft warehouse, JJ Food Service now has its head office in Enfield and distribution depots in Enfield, Doncaster, Acton, Sidcup, Manchester and Basingstoke.

JJ Food Service, still a family-owned business, won the Grocer Gold Award for Wholesaler of the Year in 2009 and were finalists again in 2010.

They are one of the only retail service distributors to offer Collection Points similar to Argos where customers can collect their order at the depot if they prefer.

The Challenge

JJ Food Service had a growing base of satisfied customers but they were drowning under piles of paper logs for customer orders.

The process of planning routes was taking eight experienced drivers over four hours of shuffling paper around a large desk to manually plan each vehicle’s route.

This was causing havoc, meant staff had to be available hanging around to pack orders into the right vehicles, and drivers were hanging around for hours waiting for their vans to be ready for them to begin their deliveries.

Once drivers had left the depot it was then almost impossible to be certain where they were.

This made the job of customer services very difficult as they couldn’t reassure customers that the drivers were on their way or contact them since they would probably not answer their mobile phones whilst driving.

  • 140 vehicles in fleet
  • 15,000 customers
  • Approx 140 daily routes
  • 15,000 drops per week
  • To be able to interrface with mobile technologies
  • Manual route process
  • Challanging customer service process

The Solution

JJ Food Service has been customers of 121 Systems for over twelve years,

A job that used to take eight people a long time to do and cause numerous internal logistical problems is now taking a fraction of that time.

Three people now manage the routing system, and each day the routes are produced in approximately half an hour.

Packers can start to collate orders as early as 7 pm rather than 10 pm or later, as was previously the case, and drivers waste less time hanging around.

This has revolutionised the process of route planning at JJ Food Service and they estimate they have saved over £75k per year on mileage, fuel and wage bills in the Midlands alone.

Routes are also far more accurate and geographically sensible, meaning drivers are given the most direct route, are now visible at all times via their in-vehicle GPS devices and delivery arrival time estimates are far more reliable.

Revolutionised internal route planning

Time spent has decreased and accuracy and directness of routes have increased, so much so that it is hardly comparable to the old system.

JJ Food Service now has a streamlined, reliable, stable and successful system, a step they had to take to ensure they could continue to grow as a company whilst keeping customers satisfied and providing a quality, reliable service.

Huge cost savings

Impressive cost savings of at least £75k per annum in the Midlands alone have allowed the company to survive during the tough economic climate, due in no small part to the Roadnet route planning system.

Real-time visibility improves customer service

Staff are no longer suffering from information lockdown, they have real-time up to the minute data showing where every driver is along each route and can advise customers accordingly.

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