Insights

How Intelligent Video Can Deliver Bottom-line Benefits to Food Distributors

May 21, 2020

You operate in the food distribution business, with a warehouse or warehouses, and a fleet of trucks.

Customers might include grocery stores, family and fine dining restaurants, fast-food outlets, seasonal recreational facilities, healthcare, and other institutions.

Regardless of the inventory you carry or the customers you serve, accountability is crucial: the accountability of your suppliers to you and your accountability to your customers. Trust is a huge part of this business.

Accountability is a huge fracture in why delivery fleets are equipped with GPS tracking. Why that shipment of perishable products must be inspected for condition and quality by a reliable employee before you accept delivery. Why diligent stock rotation is so important.

The challenges you face in the warehouse setting are many:

Health and safety: Warehouse environments already carry the stigma of being of higher risk to life and limb than many other jobs. Are staff following the practices and procedures intended to ensure their safety and that of their co-workers?

Regulatory compliance: In that same vein, are your staff maintaining the standards required by Health Canada for food production and handling? This is particularly important if you also operate an onsite commercial bakery or production of certain house brands.

Spoilage and loss: It can take minutes for a pallet with $2,000 of leafy greens to be ruined because staff took too long to move it to refrigeration or to load it onto a truck.

Verification and quality assurance: Did your employee properly inspect every delivery for quality and completeness before signing off? Once signed, the burden of responsibility is transferred from the supplier to you

Employee behavior: It’s a simple reality in this business that many necessary jobs, such as staging produce and rolling products, employ low-skilled laborers, who may require regular supervision. If a meeting calls you away from an hour, you can’t always trust the staff at their word about what they’ve been doing.

Risks from partners: Many food distributors operate the aforementioned bakeries or other food processing and packaging on-site. These facilities are often rented out to third parties since they don’t operate 24-7. You may also have co-packing arrangements. Whatever the circumstance, when a partner’s employees are onsite, you must consider and take steps to mitigate the added risks this creates. These risks range from theft to liability for a workplace injury.

All of these concerns and considerations can be addressed by having the premises under complete surveillance by an intelligence digital video platform.

By “intelligent,” we mean a platform with features like motion search, motion alerts, and heat mapping – features that make it easy for you to find what you need, quickly, from among hours of video footage.

This doesn’t require a costly install of enterprise software, or even of new cameras, on your premises. Instead, this kind of capability can be had with a secure cloud-based platform that works with 95 percent of the commercial cameras already on the market. Since it is cloud-based, you can access your video feed and receive alerts in real-time with any connected device – smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

As far as your staff are concerned, how they conduct themselves while on the job is constantly under your watch, captured and archived indefinitely for review at a later time.

This body of evidence can serve to:

  • Reduce loss and shrink
  • Unmask employee fraud (such as claiming a workplace injury that didn’t occur)
  • Defend against liability with suppliers and customers over damaged, spoiled or missing goods
  • Ensure compliance with internal standards
  • Aid in employee training and justify the need for disciplinary actions
  • Assist with achieving health and safety certifications that your business can wear as a badge of honour

Learn more about how Solink’s intelligent video platform can help your food distribution operation.

Want to learn how Solink helps you stay connected to your business?
Take a virtual tour.