The Food Distributor’s Place in Restaurant ReOpening

Dave Foreman

Food supply providers are poised to play a crucial role as the restaurant industry begins reopening across the country. As the engine driving reopening efforts food distribution companies have many issues to keep in mind, the biggest being balancing the need to keep cash-flow moving to ensure their own survival with the need to extend credit to the restaurants as they attempt to re-open, as most have had no (or vastly reduced) income in recent months. With many restaurants struggling, likely with multiple debtors to pay, a key for food distribution companies will be staying top of mind with those customers. By leveraging an ERP platform such as Prime FoodService through Acumatica, food supply companies will have a leg-up in doing just that.

Ensure Each Customer Gets Everything They Need

A major key to keeping top of mind with restaurant customers is by being a one-stop shop for everything they need. Prime FoodService offers suppliers the ability to do this by the Order Guide feature, which allows users to create customizable records of what their customers typically buy, as well as other items that may be of benefit to them, such as up-sells or cross-sells. These guides give distributors the ability to easily see if a customer has failed to order a certain item, allowing them to prevent issues before they begin, as well as the ability to offer additional products that would be beneficial to them, all without the customer needing to ask. These order guides also update and reflect in real-time, allowing potentially pesky issues like shortages to be caught early enough to be addressed.

Pricing Options to Fit Every Need

Prime FoodService through Acumatica offers food distribution companies a wide variety of options when it comes to how to price their stock. Prime FoodService gives users the ability to set prices on items, families of items, and even create exceptions within those families. Users also have the ability to set prices in a number of different ways- from straight dollar amount, cost plus a dollar amount, or even a target gross margin percent. Companies can also set specific pricing rules for each of their customers, allowing them the freedom to work with struggling restaurants to ensure no business is lost, but costs are still met. As part of these customization options users can also set rules for how ‘cost’ is calculated, allowing for even finer control of their margins.

Automation and Communication

Prime FoodService through Acumatica arms its users with a wide variety of tools, including industry leading automation options. One key automation function is the ability to generate alerts automatically when events such as short-shipments or missed shipments occur overnight. These alerts trigger a to the Prime FoodService user, enabling them to reach out as quickly as possible to the customer to resolve the issue early, often even before orders are sent out for the day. The automated alerts help maintain a high-level of customer service, keeping companies top-of-mind with their customers. Another key automated feature that can be enabled is a standing order. If this feature is enabled for a customer an order is created in the system that will be automatically put in to action should the customer forget or otherwise fail to put in their order for a particular time period. These safety orders are fully customizable, like all orders, and can be changed or updated in real time.

Powering the Engines of Reopening

Food distribution providers are the engines powering the reopening of the restaurant industry, a huge step to reopening much of America’s economy. Food distribution companies face many unique and new challenges throughout this trying time, and many are turning to a modernized ERP platform to help face them. Those companies that are choosing Acumatica are being armed with Prime FoodService software, giving them a vital leg up in allowing them to stay top of mind with their clients, pushing them to success.

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