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FreshDirect Makes Supermarkets Passé

Published on 25 August in SAP
No time to go grocery shopping? Why not order online? What may sound futuristic to some has already become the norm in and around New York City. FreshDirect delivers groceries directly to your front door with a little help from SAP Business One.

Eating ethically is not always easy. Consumers who want to be certain that their next meal is not a product of environmentally damaging production processes or animal suffering will usually find grocery shopping a time consuming experience. Especially in big cities, buying directly from producers is often easier said than done.

This gap in the market has now been filled by FreshDirect. The concept is as simple as it is ingenious: FreshDirect works directly with local farmers, ensuring that its range of goods is always top quality. Customers can choose from 7,000 products online and have their selection delivered to them in a refrigerated truck. FreshDirect’s just-in-time business practice guarantees quality and freshness, and minimizes waste. For select districts like Manhattan and Brooklyn, FreshDirect even offers same-day delivery.

With the help of SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions and SAP HANA, FreshDirect handles thousands of online orders every single day. Each one is forwarded to the kitchen, bakery, or warehouse, where it is individually processed and packaged. Conveyor belts then carry the goods to a sorting area, where they are scanned and loaded into delivery vehicles: “Our 7,000 products, 1,500 employees, and 200 transporters generate huge volumes of data to be processed,” says Brandon Arbiter, manager of business intelligence at FreshDirect. “SAP ERP runs all our processes in a matter of seconds.”

Up to 600,000 deliveries every day

Frank Mansour, chief customer officer at FreshDirect, is also satisfied with the software’s performance: “Ultimately, SAP’s software helps us achieve our most important goal: customer satisfaction. If, for example, one of our delivery vehicles breaks down or gets stuck in traffic, our central office is automatically notified, and can respond immediately by sending another vehicle to take over that delivery. The customer therefore never even realizes that there was ever a problem.”

Thanks to SAP Business One, it is also easier for employees to work on lasting improvements to processes. Mansour explains: “Initially, we had little insight into our workflow performance. Solving problems involved battling our way through a series of complex reports. This was extremely time-consuming, and made it difficult to ascertain what was actually wrong. SAP Business Objects bridges this information gap, providing an integrated platform for all of our data.” FreshDirect now carries out up to 600,000 deliveries every day.

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http://www.news-sap.com/?p=108165

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