Brewing Up A New Routing & Scheduling System For Miller Distributing of Fort Worth

Miller Distributing of Fort Worth (MFW), in Fort Worth, TX, is the distributor for Miller Brewing Company and the majority of Specialty and Imported (S&I) brands, servicing primarily grocery stores and convenience stores, liquor stores, and restaurants. With 185 employees, MFW annually distributes 5 million cases of beer, including all Miller brands/products and a substantial portion of S&I beers including Corona, Guinness and Heineken brands. MFW distributes primarily in Tarrant County, TX — a large, highly populated metropolitan area.

The Need For Automation Was Clear
Flexibility is key to MFW's operation, especially when having to add trucks on high demand days each month. MFW must balance days with higher traffic as well as make arrangements for holiday and special promotions. "We couldn't change the work rules (with manual routing)," Coy said. "Manually, you can't be very efficient or consider the 'what-ifs' like you can with TruckStops. TruckStops gives MFW the flexibility it needs while still making the company financially and operationally efficient."

Implementation Allows For Replacement Of Antiquated Processes
Before implementing TruckStops, MFW used a manual routing system. Coy noted that implementation "is always more difficult than you think. The problem that most people don't realize is there are delivery standards, fixed and variable times, etc. You can't just buy a system off the shelf. There is a commitment involved." Coy added that technical support and the TruckStops Training Course were both worthwhile resources he used during the implementation of TruckStops at MFW.

Daily Operation Schedules Become Simplified
MFW has 23 presale delivery routes, two bulk routes, three "tel-sell" routes, seven driver-sell routes and four draft routes. These routes are static, (i.e., once routes are established, they typically only change with the addition of a new customer). MFW benefits most from TruckStops special codes capabilities, Coy said. "Special codes are wonderful. TruckStops is a fairly straight-forward and intuitive program," Coy said. "Special codes allow me to prioritize grocery stores with their various time windows - they all want delivery before noon."

New Software Translates Into Big Savings
According to John Coy, Vice President of Finance at MFW, the company saves about $50,000 annually as a direct result of TruckStops and is reporting more compact routes. "This (more compact routes) means we can spend more time in the trade merchandising and less time behind the wheel," said Coy.