McLane has made ordering inventory even simpler than ever with a new mobile app.
The popular Premium Order Management Suite (POMS) from McLane Co. Inc. has now been adapted for Android and Apple iOS mobile devices. McLane has now officially introduced new POMS applications for c-store and grocery retailers so that they can execute their ordering, receiving, inventory, reclamation and delivery management at ten-times the previous rate and lower cost. The applications may also increase profitability over time.
Since Grocery Mobile launched in May, numerous retail chains and independent McLane customers representing 1,500 stores have adopted the platform. Deon Johnson, McLane’s vice president of customer technology, estimates another 2,000 downloads of the software will occur by the end of the year and 3,000 additional devices will be rolled out per year over next three years. Johnson said one reason customers have been quick to embrace Grocery Mobile is because they can download it directly from the Google Play or the Apple App Store and get the software up and running in a matter of minutes. McLane has also added AirWatch mobility management software that controls which apps are downloaded to each customer device. Just like any other cell phone-based program, software updates are automatically communicated to the user’s device, meaning you always have the latest features and version.
Another driving factor behind POMS for mobile devices’ popularity is affordability because customers can use mobile devices they already own rather than purchasing specialized equipment. Customers that want scanning functionality can add smart phone-compatible scanning hardware or opt for a custom McLane mobile device, which has built-in barcode scanning.
POMS applications currently supported on Grocery Mobile include:
- Ordering: Provides product images and search capabilities enabling retailers to quickly and efficiently create accurate orders. Store employees can simply scan barcodes, products or shelf tags to create an order or review a product’s order history. Up to three past orders reside on the device for easy review at delivery time.
- Store-Level Receiving: Reduces check-in time by an average of 50% by eliminating manual entry and enabling stores to scan in both McLane deliveries and deliveries from other distributors. The app automatically validates items against their approved price books and forwards inventory count to corporate for processing.
- Physical Inventory: Counts items by category or distributor to eliminate count fees charged by third party back office vendors. Because Grocery Mobile is compatible with many back office systems, users can export count reports to their back office program for manual modification or view reports in Microsoft Excel or as a PDF.
- Store-Level Reclamation: Enables store personnel to quickly identify McLane items that can be returned for credit with real-time scanning. The app then electronically sends a file for processing so a credit can be issued.
- Direct Store Delivery: Allows for non-McLane purchased products to be checked in, credits created and even images of those products to be viewed using the same program. Data is then sent to the retailers’ back office system so double entry is eliminated.
In April, Fremont, Calif.-based Vintners Distributors LLC made the switch from a competing supplier to McLane to secure access to industry-leading foodservice offerings and McLane’s suite of cutting-edge retail technologies. A month later Vintners adopted Grocery Mobile’s Ordering and Store-Level Receiving apps for use with McLane’s SHH Honeywell CT50 at all 126 of its c-stores. Vintner’s director of marketing Randall Aycock says the company has since reduced order check in time by more than 60%.
“The average time it takes to check in an order has gone from an hour and a half to 20 or 30 minutes,” said Aycock. “We were way behind the eight ball when it came to technology. Essentially, we were still manually checking in an order similar to how people did it 50 years ago. Take the invoice, try to find the box, match the box with the invoice and cross it off.”
“Grocery Mobile and the McLane handheld device has streamlined all that. It also means our managers are actually checking in their orders, versus in the past, when not all managers checked in orders line item by line item. Now they do it because it’s so much faster,” Aycock continued.
Over the coming weeks McLane will roll out additional applications enabling customers to manage their entire supply chain in real time from a mobile device.
“Our customers are in the business to sell products, not buy or maintain technology,” said Johnson. “They want us to provide easy-to-use software solutions no one else is providing that can be taken advantage of now, not six months or a year from now. Our mobile solution alleviates some of their costs and allows them to save time. It’s a value-add for our customers unlike any other in the industry.”