Just a few decades ago, beverage fleet managers worked with a well-established and generally predictable set of equipment-related variables to arrive at a total fleet operating cost that could be factored in to the wholesale product prices charged by a distributor.
In spite of generally positive performance out on the road, diesel-electric hybrid drivetrains have had less than stellar success in the North American truck market. So much so that Eaton Corp., a manufacturer of hybrid components, has recently announced that it will discontinue offering hybrid drivetrains in North America.
When Kansas City, Mo.-based Boulevard Brewing Co., now a part of Puurs, Belgium-based Duvel Moortgat, realized that the craft brewing business it had been building since 1989 was outgrowing its infrastructure and equipment, the company knew it needed to turn to automation to support its growth.
Nearly all maintenance advice typically is aimed at one type of part or one specific procedure. Unfortunately, this results in many maintenance operations “not being able to see the forest through the trees.”
Because of GPS devices, drivers nowadays are used to being instructed to “turn right in 500 yards” or — for those a little more navigationally challenged — “make a legal U-turn when possible.” Beverage distributors are equipped with these advantages as well, but the latest telematics solutions offer some added perks to help drive efficiency, safety and more.
According to Merriam-Webster, risk is the possibility that something bad or unpleasant, such as an injury or a loss, will happen. The entity also defines management as the act or skill of controlling and making decisions about a business, department, sports team, etc.
When it comes to beverage delivery, safety is a top concern. However, drivers also are interested in delivering more product in less time, says Kari Michalski, channel manager for Magline Inc., Standish, Mich.
In a recently completed survey of 250 companies with direct-store-delivery (DSD) operations, nearly two-thirds of respondents stated that their businesses are becoming more complicated, according to survey sponsor Intermec, an Everett, Wash.-based subsidiary of Honeywell Scanning and Mobility.
Although much thought is given to the care and maintenance of the mechanical equipment used in the beverage industry, far less attention is devoted to proper care of a distributor’s most important asset: the drivers who deliver finished products to the customers.