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    C&S Sees Productivity Gains from New Transportation Software

    The Web-based dock scheduling application has given the wholesaler a better view of its DC operations.

    C&S Wholesale Grocers said it's already seeing significant efficiency gains in scheduling processes and improved visibility at its 34 distribution centers, thanks to the deployment of a new dock scheduling solution.

    The wholesaler is using the Retalix Dock Scheduling system to schedule more than 60 percent of its vendor and carrier appointments via a custom-built portal that's accessed over the Internet. C&S scheduled more than 21,000 appointments in the past month, and said it expects this number to continue to grow as the solution gives the $19 billion wholesaler increased visibility into its supply chain process.

    "We streamlined our in-bound scheduling process over a period of four months and already see a 40 to 50 percent improvement in our scheduling productivity," said Joe Caracappa, c.i.o. of C&S. "The system enabled our schedulers to receive and set an appointment in half the time required by the previous system. The Web scheduling functionality greatly reduced the overall number of phone calls and manual entries. The solution also provides much greater visibility to our warehouse, receiving, and procurement teams."

    The Retalix Dock Scheduling implementation went live at the first warehouse in March, and in less than three months, all 34 locations were rolled out. The system uses appointment-scheduling functions to optimize resources, predict labor demands, facilitate carrier scheduling via the Web, and was designed to streamline the flow of goods through the distribution center. It tracks due dates, forecasts estimated loading and unloading durations, and recommends the appropriate warehouse dock and door. By optimizing the receiving schedule, the application helps distributors plan labor more efficiently and increase overall dock throughput.

    C&S provides distribution services to 5,000grocery chains and independent stores from its distribution centers in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, California, and Hawaii.

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