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Posted Date: 7/9/2009

ISV Helps Food Distributor Automate DSD

As one of the nation's largest distributors of fresh-dough pizza to the convenience store market, serving up product to more than 6,000 locations in 7 states, Nashville, Tenn.-based Hunt Brothers Pizza must maintain tight control over its delivery process. However, the company also needs to prevent the technology that affords it such control from taking too big a bite out of its budget. Teaming up with MobileFrame, an ISV/VAR headquartered in San Jose, Calif., has allowed Hunt Brothers to address both halves of the pie.

Hunt Brothers utilizes approximately 220 handheld mobile devices to manage direct-store delivery. During visits to convenience store clients, account managers take inventory to determine how much product is needed to replenish stock, and then pick the items from their trucks. The company previously used a bare-bones mobile application on the hand-held units, but found that it was not cost-effective because of a need to pay the vendor each time a modification was required. Additionally, the solution did not allow for signature capture, rendering it difficult to process transactions and collect payments, and had limited print functionality, making it impossible to provide customers with printed receipts.

Hunt Brothers turned to MobileFrame, which, in serving its customers, continues to leverage the expertise and sourcing ease afforded by its partnership with Ingram Micro. The ISV/VAR specified for Hunt Brothers comprises MobileFrame's MobileFrameTM Business Suite application, Motorola MC9090 short hand-held computers and O'Neil micro FlashÃÆ'Ã.‚¬Å¡Ãƒ•Ã‚ 2t mobile printers. The company liked the fact that the solution included all the elements needed to manage mobile operations and deployment, with no requirement to purchase any thirdparty applications.

"We selected (the) platform because it is not only easy to use, but robust at the same time -- and it allows us to use unlimited logic without restraint," states Mike Thompson, director of IT for Hunt Brothers. "Our direct store delivery applications contain a great deal of logic that is unique to our company, and we no longer have to rely on a vendor to make changes for us."

The MobileFrame platform eliminates custom programming through an intuitive, user-friendly point-and-click desktop dashboard. In addition to barcode scanning and real-time instant messaging, the solution facilitates remote device management and synchronization calendaring. Unlike Hunt Brothers Pizza's original solution, it also captures digital signatures when customers accept deliveries and execute payment to account managers and signals the mobile printers to generate detailed receipts. Other new capabilities afforded by the software include the capture and annotation of photographs (for instance, as proof of delivery or to clarify miscellaneous issues), the recording of voice notes pertaining to store visits and other matters, and the creation sketches on on-screen templates or blank sketchpads.

With the complete package in place, Hunt Brothers Pizza enjoys greater visibility into inventory levels at customers' stores, as well as on its trucks, according to Thompson. Inventory shrinkage is easier to identify, and immediate access to inventory and delivery data -- made possible by a fast sync engine -- ensures enhanced control of inventory throughout the supply chain.

"We wanted a solution that was more feature-rich and would give us more control over our applications," Thompson concludes. "We got it."


End User:
Hunt Brothers Pizza

Solution Provider:
Vendors: Motorola, O'Neil

Distributor: Ingram Micro

A cost-effective field sales and service automation solution

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