Schwan’s Home Delivery Adopts Automated Inventory Tech

Schwan’s Home Delivery Adopts Automated Inventory Tech
New sensors will collect real-time date from some 3,000 Schwan's delivery trucks.

Schwan's Home Delivery, a Marshall, Minnesota direct-to-home food delivery company, has selected SmartSense by Digi monitoring to protect critical inventory across its delivery fleet and depot locations.

SmartSense by Digi is part of Digi International, which sells Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services. SmartSense sensors and software will collect and analyze more than 23 million monthly data points from 3,000 delivery trucks and 300 depot locations as part of this new multiyear deal.

The deal represents the further march of technology in the home-food delivery space — technology that can better protect inventory and keep associated costs in check.

Prior to signing with SmartSense, the Schwan's Home Delivery team relied upon its employees to manually monitor and record temperature­­ conditions in trucks and facilities, including facility visits after hours and on weekends.

That lack of real-time monitoring and alerts meant that inventory could become a total loss if a freezer failed or malfunctioned. Additionally, Schwan's Home Delivery detected that some equipment did not accurately measure or display temperature via built-in systems, potentially putting product at risk. Based on projections, Schwan's Home Delivery savings from increased product quality, reduced manual processes and elimination of lost product stemming from these challenges will entirely fund its investment in SmartSense technology.

“Our mission is providing outstanding food to our customers, and SmartSense by Digi will improve our ability to do that at essentially zero net cost,” said Larry Gaskin, director of national warehouse operations at Schwan's Home Delivery. “On top of those customer and bottom-line benefits, our new automated monitoring capabilities will help us deliver on an important core value by giving our employees true work-life balance by eliminating manual weekend temperature checks. All in all, we're gaining incredible operational efficiencies that bring value to our customers, employees, and Schwan's Home Delivery as an organization.”

Each of Schwan's Home Delivery's 3,000 trucks will be outfitted with two SmartSense sensors to protect product while trucks are precooling in the yard overnight.

While on the delivery route, temperatures will be logged and then automatically uploaded to the SmartSense Dashboard upon return to the yard. As well, all on-site freezers at Schwan's 300 depots will be equipped with the same continuous monitoring to ensure product is safe and of the highest quality.

Schwan's Home Delivery's use of SmartSense to continuously analyze and optimize refrigeration equipment enables establishment of more accurate baselines for refrigeration performance and implementation of more accurate resource planning.

"Schwan's Home Delivery is a powerful and respectable brand and has achieved unparalleled success in direct-to-home food service delivery. They required a solution that could provide the scalability and enterprise visibility needed to protect its operations,” said Kevin C. Riley, president of SmartSense by Digi.

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