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    Ukrop's Aims to Increase DSD Vendor Efficiency with New Program

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Regional privately-held retailer Ukrop's Super Markets, Inc. here said yesterday it is using Synergy Systems' DSD Vendor Program to enhance and improve vendor service in-store.

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Regional privately-held retailer Ukrop's Super Markets, Inc. here said yesterday it is using Synergy Systems' DSD Vendor Program to enhance and improve vendor service in-store.

    The program focuses on getting product to the store and on the shelf by increasing the efficiency of communication, tracking, monitoring, and scoring distributor activities in each store location.

    David Taylor, Ukrop's director of merchandising, said the upgrade should help the chain "take the customer shopping experience to the next level. The DSD Vendor Program will allow us to ensure that our shelves contain the products that our customers want when they are shopping in our stores, because we can measure the level of support we are receiving from the DSD vendor community."

    The program has two key components:

    -- Vendor Service Tracking -- Vendors check into the system via a PC or Symbol 9060 hand-held scanner upon arriving in-store and check out once all of their work has been completed. With the check-in/check-out process, store leadership can determine how much time a vendor is spending in their store, and can also track service on a weekly basis. The tool not only provides a benefit to the retailer, but also to the vendor, as they receive timely, crucial feedback regarding their level of service.

    -- Service Concerns Reporting Feature -- Should a store have service concerns, store leadership can call a 1-800 number or log on to the program Web site to report an issue. Synergy contacts the vendor regarding the service issue, which expedites problem solving and closure.

    Another component of the program is a scheduling module. Vendors schedule a time to service the store and are held accountable for arriving at that time. This allows retailers to make sure their store is being serviced, and also allows them to control how many DSD vendors are in their store at any given time.

    Ukrop's Super Markets operates 28 retail food stores, Joe's Market, a central bakery and kitchen, and a distribution center.

    Synergy Systems is also based in Richmond, Va.

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