Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Merchants implements supply chain technology for food services in the Caribbean

Steve Rogerson
May 3, 2016
Merchants Market Group, a food service distributor to the Caribbean, is to implement supply chain planning and optimisation technology to provide accurate prediction of seasonal demand patterns, automatic analysis and precise timing of required inventory levels to increase customer service performance.
“Extreme seasonal demand patterns are one of the biggest challenges we face,” said Craig Knowles, general manager at Merchants Export. “Ensuring we can continue to meet and exceed customer requirements and service goals despite seasonal challenges and other complexities is key to our continued success.”
The technology comes from US firm Blue Ridge, which supplies cloud-native supply chain planning technology designed for retail and distribution.
“Blue Ridge technology will help ensure product availability for our customers by automating and synchronising our demand planning and replenishment across a multi-echelon network of distribution centres,” said Knowles.
Merchants saw significant value in the ability of Blue Ridge to forecast accurately demand of its intense seasonal patterns and precisely align inventory levels at every distribution centre. The more precise alignment of inventory with demand will ensure that customer requirements are met in a most cost-effective manner. Additionally, the technology will enable the quick and efficient evaluation of the economics of forward buy opportunities to improve profitability.
“Blue Ridge’s holistic technology for forecasting and advanced order projection capabilities will allow us to profitably execute supply chain operations by achieving our service goals with the most cost-effective inventory investment possible,” said Knowles.
Greg White, CEO of Blue Ridge, added: “We’re happy to have Merchants join the Blue Ridge family. They are a forward-thinking, global, multi-echelon food service distributor with a team that has already streamlined many of their supply chain complexities. We believe Merchants will capitalise on the unprecedented precision of our supply chain planning technology, and help the company achieve even higher sales, inventory turns and service levels.”
Merchants provides food service distribution in the Leeward and US Virgin Islands, and has long-term partnerships with distributors in the British Virgin Islands that provides food service distribution in their markets. Originating from Palm Beach in Florida, Merchants provides services including on island warehousing, refrigerated delivery, chain distribution, ship chandelling, third-party logistics, British Virgin Islands affiliates, Florida buying office with bonded foreign trade zone warehousing and consolidation, and USDA export inspection.