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Learn how Inter-Faith Food Shuttle modernized their WMS solution with WAM so that they could better server their community and eliminate hunger.

Akatia's WAM has helped Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to meet the challenge of providing food to those in their community who need it most. By modernizing their WMS they have increased efficiency and limited waste. 

AT A GLANCE

RAL.
NC
USA

LOCATED

2

WAREHOUSE

7

COUNTIES
SERVED

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization, and a member of the Feeding America National Network of Food Banks.  As a Feeding America Food Bank, they work to recover and distribute food to low-income families and individuals within their community. They also provide programs designed to empower people with skills to meet their own food needs through culinary job training, beginner gardening, and cooking healthy on a budget. The Food Shuttle operates in a seven county service area in central North Carolina. By partnering with various groups and community housing, almost 6,000 people in low-income neighborhoods shop for free at 10 Mobile Markets in the areas that they live in. In all they recover and distribute over 8 million pounds of food per year. They seek to feed, teach, and grow to create a hunger-free and healthy community.

 

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle had been serving their communities in a valuable way and with a positive impact. Unfortunately, their warehouse operations and systems just weren’t meeting the needs of the organization. Inter-Faith had a WMS in place but due to its lack of functionality, unreliability, and difficulty of use they simply did not use it. Inherently this led them to rely on paper processes and inventory record keeping, which was tedious, time consuming, and open to error. When dealing with over 8 million pounds worth of food a year, and a growing community need, the situation was not supportable.

 

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle thus needed a WMS that could work for them and not against them. It also had to help reduce the load of their paper processes, and accurately track their inventory of grown and donated products.

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle had to be able to measure product categories by poundage and track how much food they had received from a food drive event in pounds. Being in food distribution also requires accurate tracking of what has come in and the expiration date of perishables. So, tracking these expiries and lot numbers for recalls was crucial. When you’re a charity, maximizing your resources and minimizing waste can make all the difference in people’s lives.

 

Inter-Faith creates packaged bundle types for the people they serve. For example, they had a Family Kit, which includes a certain number of varied items. Thus, a solution which had a kitting feature was a necessity.

 

Finally, being able to report on their inventory and donations easily, and effectively was a must.

WAM IMPLEMENTATION

Akatia’s WMS for Salesforce, WAM, was able to meet these requirements in a variety of ways. First and foremost were accuracy of tracking the donated inventory Inter-Faith received. Inter-faith receives similarly donated goods from food drives and partners. For these WAM can define these goods and categories though our product definition set up, which are referred to as Itemmasters. This effectively ensures that product types are consistently defined prior to receiving them as inventory. It also allows for accurate and consistent tracking, and should a new product type, or category be required, Inter-Faith can simply create a new Itemmaster for it. WAM itemmasters can also be set to be tracked in a variety of ways, one of which is by weight. If the weight of the product is known in advance, then it can be added to Itemmaster and WAM does the calculation upon receipt of the inventory. If the weight varies and is only known when the goods are received, then the specific weight would not be added to the weight tracking of the Itemmaster but could be tabulated during the receipt process and attributed to the inventory at that stage. This allowed for great flexibility.  There was a double benefit to the Itemmasters, as 8 million pounds of food is significant, WAM can accommodate an infinite number of product types. This type of scalability would allow WAM to grow with Inter-Faith.

 

Traceability and chain of custody are fundamental to WAM. WAM accounts for Lot # control at the creation of an Itemmaster, and during the receipt of inventory process. It also immediately time stamps when items enter the warehouse, and allocation rules, like FIFO, can be applied so that older inventory is being used first. This way pre-defined expiry in days of the products can be accurately tracked, and reports or alerts created to facilitate efficient turnaround and reduce waste. Should a re-call on an item be issued, Inter-faith were now able to effectively trace, isolate, and dispose of those goods, removing any guess work, or missed items.

 

Kitting is a huge part of what Inter-Faith does. These kits are pre-defined and then put together in advance on a per need basis. WAM now allowed Inter-Faith to define these kits through our kitting feature at the Itemmaster creation. Products that make up the kit were now related to the kit Itemmaster. So, when the need arose to package a specific type of kit, warehouse staff know exactly what items go into it and how many. Furthermore, WAM would be able to tract the inventory that make up these kits, and thus avoid situations where a certain number of kits had to be package but, ending up with a lack of inventory for the kit.

 

Finally, WAM, being that it is a Salesforce native WMS, takes advantage of the robust reporting and dashboarding tools that are available. Now Inter-Faith were able to effectively report on important KPI’s like inventory donated from a food drive or event, inventory short falls, expiry dates, isolate re-called items, and manage resources effectively to minimize waste. All of which provided greater efficiency, removed guesswork, was paperless, and simplified warehouse processes and tasks.

KEY STATS

  • 8 million plus pounds of food per year

  • 2 warehouses

  • 10 mobile markets

  • 7 counties serviced in North Carolina

  • 1.4 million people impacted

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Implemented Salesforce native WMS, WAM

  • Totally scalable and grows with organization

  • Itemmaster product definitions for better tracking and management

  • Process defined and reinforced within solution, limiting need for paper

  • Kitting process implemented to kit process

  • Implemented correct data structures to accurately report on KPI’s with Salesforce dashboard and reporting tools

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OVERVIEW

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization, and a member of the Feeding America National Network of Food Banks.  As a Feeding America Food Bank, they work to recover and distribute food to low-income families and individuals within their community.

REQUIREMENTS

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle required a modern WMS that could accurately track and categorizes the charitable food donations and inventory they received. The system had to be able to tack lot numbers, inventory weights, perishable expiry dates and have kitting features. Furthermore. They wanted the WMS to be scalable and have robust reporting features.

SOLUTONS

Implemented Akatia's WAM and WAM Mobile applications, introduced paperless processes, lot and weight tracking as well as report dashboard tools.