United Natural Foods, Inc. Unveils New Technologies and Processes for Fresh Produce Delivery; Dorn Wenninger Details
PROVIDENCE, RI - Harnessing new technologies and processes, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has implemented plans to shorten produce delivery times by over a day to ensure fresher products reach customers. Showing the distributor’s expertise, this strategy has already paid off as the company has grown produce sales despite rising inflation.
“We know quality is the number one driver for produce purchases, which is why we are fanatical about freshness at UNFI Produce,” said Dorn Wenninger, Senior Vice President of Produce. “In line with UNFI’s overall strategy to harness technology and data to serve our customers better, these initiatives allow us to remove over a day from our supply chain and provide a fresher product to our customers and their shoppers. Our team is already seeing the positive results of our efforts to deliver the freshest produce to our customers, and I’m looking forward to continuing to evolve UNFI as a best-in-class produce organization.”
To deliver the freshest produce to its customers, UNFI redesigned its sourcing strategy by consolidating its purchasing efforts and procuring many items directly from its major Mexican suppliers, a release explained. Products are transported to UNFI distribution centers via a McAllen, Texas, cross-docking facility from Mexico.
Additionally, UNFI has introduced category-specific thresholds to accelerate the movement of items through its distribution centers and retailers. These new practices have improved inventory turnover, reduced shrink, and allowed the company to remove an average of over one day from its supply chain over the past year.
To complement its new processes, UNFI has implemented Share-ify, a real-time, cloud-based, tablet-enabled quality control program. The system allows the company to synthesize tens of thousands of data points to remove variability and ensure its growers and suppliers provide the freshest produce possible. To help manage the rollout, UNFI recently recruited Susan Akin as Director of Quality Assurance, overseeing quality control programs.
“The power of the data we now have in our hands is immense,” added Wenninger. “Our new technology updates provide greater transparency in our supply chain, better protecting our customers and helping us to provide them with the freshest, highest-quality produce available. But we’re not just investing in technology. With the addition of Susan and several other leaders to the team, we’re assuring that we have the expertise, focus, and leadership to excel in unleashing the power of data for our customers.”
As UNFI makes further developments to its produce supply chain, stick with ANUK for the latest news.