Handhelds help milkmen deliver more

Express Dairies, the UK's largest supplier of milk, has just completed a 19-month roll-out of specialised, hard-wearing Radex...

Express Dairies, the UK's largest supplier of milk, has just completed a 19-month roll-out of specialised, hard-wearing Radex handhelds to all its milkmen, in an effort to improve efficiency and sell more high-margin goods to customers.

Working with the supply chain firm Vertex Interactive, Express Dairies has also implemented a bespoke supply chain management system where customer information stored on the handhelds is downloaded into the company's back office systems, and the data analysed for trends.

Eric Brown, the general manager of Vertex Interactive, said: "Previously, the only person who knew the customer's spending habits was the milkman. In terms of marketing, this was not particularly productive. There was no way of knowing why the business was losing customers and what products would appeal to different customers.

"By having more information about its customer base, Express Dairies can concentrate on developing new areas of business based on customer demand."

Richard Monk, a project manager at Express Dairies, said: "We want to sell higher-margin, bulk-branded items which are inconvenient for the customer to purchase via the supermarket. However, we don't just want [our milkmen] to carry these items on their floats [indiscriminately]. We want to deliver pre-ordered goods, which is more profitable to the business."

He added: "We do not see ourselves moving in the direction of a mobile supermarket. In a way, we are moving back to the traditional role of the milkman."

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