How Food Distributors can Balance Technology and Touch-Points with Customers

Dave Foreman

As food supply and distribution companies continue to evolve in the wake of the global health crisis, they face several new, unexpected challenges. One of these challenges is finding the balance between being technology-reliant while still maintaining customer touch points, ensuring that they stay top-of-mind with their clients. By choosing to operate with Acumatica with Prime FoodService software distributors arm themselves with the perfect tool to strike this key balance.

On a recent panel discussion hosted by IFDA, John Allen of Van Eerden Food Service summed up the dilemma many companies face: “Technology should create more time and make us easier to do business with, but we work in the hospitality industry, and that’s high touch.”

Distributors won’t thrive without an agile, modern ERP solution, but have to remain conscious of remaining service-minded and staying top-of-mind with their clients. Savvy companies will use their technology to enhance their customer service experience and create new, technology driven touch points, often replacing outdated methods of interacting.

Prime FoodService through Acumatica offers companies the ability to set up alerts within the system to alert their employees automatically in the event issues such as short shipments arise, prompting them to reach out directly to the affected client. This ‘personal touch’ approach allows distributors to stay top-of-mind with clients while being more efficient with its employees time.

Another key aspect of top-notch customer service is the simple concept of availability. Due to the current global health situation many offices are running with short staff or have gone entirely remote.

Distributors operating with legacy systems find themselves at a disadvantage, as remote workers are often not able to access key systems needed to address customer concerns. Companies running on a modern, agile ERP system such as Acumatica do not face this issue, as they operate in the cloud, ensuring all remote employees still have access.

“I have never been more thankful that we are on “the Cloud”. I have spoken to many fellow food service companies that are not as fortunate as we are simply due to the capabilities that Acumatica has given us. We would not be doing what we are doing right now without it,” said Liza Palmer Gipson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Palmer Food Service, a Prime FoodService Software user.

They faced exactly that scenario after a tornado in March of 2020, followed quickly by a state of emergency being declared due to COVID-19. While many of their competitors scrambled to find makeshift solutions, Palmer’s operations continued uninterrupted.

Prime FoodService, built in Acumatica, also allows distributors to be proactive in the sales realm due to its ability to set up alerts when customers discontinue buying certain products, allowing salespeople to preemptively reach out in an attempt to maintain that business.

By employing a modern, agile ERP platform such as Acumatica featuring Prime FoodService, food distribution companies can ensure they balance the needs of their business to stay technologically ahead of the curve with maintaining top-notch customer service.

Get to know Prime FoodService Software with this on-demand demonstration or contact us today!