Our client - A Wholesale Food Dristibutor

Our Client - A Wholesale Food Distributor

This wholesale food and food-related products distributor (WFD) is a Rosemont, Illinois-based company that is one of the top ranked food service companies in the country. WFD has over 250,000 customers. They market and deliver to more than 43,000 national, private label and signature brand items and employ more than 29,500 food service professionals.

Their Problem – Losing Restaurants to Competitors: 26% Churn

Wholesale food distribution is a competitive business, customers are very price conscious and often change distributors when they find a better deal. WFD was experiencing a 26% churn rate in their customer base, which meant that they had to spend a lot of time and money attracting new business to replace the customers they were losing.

WFD found that they could differentiate themselves by providing their customers with the best service possible. They developed a group of Excel based spreadsheets for restaurant managers to help them control food costs. The Excel spreadsheets calculated food usage and profits along with generating reports. However, the Excel based system was somewhat manual and each restaurant’s spreadsheets had to be maintained by their salesperson. WFD wanted to build a database system that was intuitive and easily used by each restaurant’s manager.

Our Solution – Menu Costing System: Reduced Churn to 13%

The customized solution designed by alligatortek was simple, efficient, and intuitive. Restaurant managers now have the option to view information at the detail and/or summary level which allows them to see exactly how much recipe and menu items cost. The system also provides information about which menu items generate the best profit margins and which menu items are out performing others. Managers can also run reports using different selection criteria so they can easily extract the data they need.

Originally, the system was built exclusively for a divisional office using Microsoft Access. This simple database was so successful that the corporate office requested that the system be distributed to all divisions companywide. alligatortek then designed and built an updated version of the system in Java to run in conjunction with WFD’s online ordering system.

Since 2007 when the original application was created, alligatortek has continued to upgrade to newer technologies and better functionality. The latest release of the program adds new functionality to an already robust tool that helps restaurant managers and owners identify how to make better costing and menu engineering decisions. Due to the strength and functionality of the application, WFD has been able to reduce its churn rate to an industry-leading 13%.

Software Used: Java, AJAX, HTML, CSS, Oracle, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Access 2007, Microsoft Access 2000, Microsoft Access Runtime

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