IBM, food distributor partnership boosts delivery efficiency, safety

Oct. 6, 2017

A new tech provider-food distributor partnership uses IoT to improve not only deliveries, but also overall restaurant operational efficiency. The results could mean even bigger changes ahead for restaurant delivery models, according to a press release.

Two pilot projects between Golden State Foods and tech giant IBM will put the mountains of IoT data collected by IBM's Watson in order to improve restaurant operations, driver safety and delivery efficiency, while creating new business models for restaurants.

GSF selected Watson IoT for automotive to bring cognitive computing and augmented intelligence to its distribution operations, which encompass a fleet of a thousand trucks that travel more than 55 million miles annually to deliver more than 25,000s order each and every week.

Using Watson IoT for Automotive, GSF will be able to compile weather, traffic and telematics data to optimize deliveries and ensure reliability and freshness. GSF also is using wearable IoT devices and predictive analytics to make deliveries safer for drivers and others on the road. The results could also hold important applications for rapidly growing delivery operations for restaurant brands worldwide. 

Second project boosts restaurant operational efficiency

The companies are partnering on a second pilot project that allows GSF to put restaurant insights and real-time business intelligence in the restaurant owner's hands to boost operational efficiency related to energy use, equipment and restaurant-wellness management. The project will collect data from a set of sensors and combine it with predictive analytics and machine learning to drive better operational decision-making.

"Innovation in the food service industry typically refers to creating new items on the menu, but GSF is taking that same spirit and applying it to the way restaurants can use technology to transform their operations and supply chain," Bob Wolpert, GSF Logistics Corporate Senior Vice President and President,  said in company information about the new projects.

"IBM is giving us greater insights into the finer points of our business, from predicting exceptions to recommending the best course of action. It’s this level of knowledge that will allow us to set the new standard for the food service industry."

What it means for restaurant leaders

Together, these initiatives are designed to vastly improve how restaurant owners conduct daily business through better inventory planning, energy use and maintenance management, the release said. Ultimately, this allows restaurant staff to concentrate more fully on what they are in business to do — serve hungry customers.

And with experts predicting that the number of connected things will grow from the current 8.4 billion to 20.4 billion within the next three years, the data "mountains" created will quickly become a goldmine of business-critical insights.


Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Delivery, Systems / Technology

Companies: IBM Corporation


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