National DCP benefits from the total order-to-delivery visibility that comes with seamlessly integrating transportation and warehouse management systems. The company is more flexible in planning the drivers' schedules. Chris Lafaire, NDCP: “Our drivers log almost 45 million kilometres each year, so transportation is a key part of our cost structure and value proposition. Optimising our inbound and outbound road networks is central to making it all work.

Behind the famous Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands is National DCP (NDCP), the $2 billion a year sourcing and distribution arm that ensures reliable product deliveries to more than 8,100 restaurant locations in the United States and abroad. As the IT and physical distribution backbone, NDCP is relied on by thousands of franchisees to serve up what their customers want, when and where they want it. In a move to optimise its physical and IT networks, NDCP launched a major initiative called ‘Project Freshstart’. NDCP merged its four legacy regional businesses into one national company. It then rebuilt its IT capabilities virtually from scratch. Out went a 10-year old system too fragile and antiquated to effectively scale up with the demands of a unified infrastructure. In came a refreshed system consisting of multiple new components, going live at once when ready.

Most ambitious program
According to Chris Lafaire, NDCP’s Senior Vice President of IT, “`Project Freshstart’ is the most ambitious program in our history. We combined four regional companies into one national firm, and then overhauled our entire IT network. Integrating TMS and WMS functions on one platform, merging it with our new ERP, Labour Management Systems, warehouse voice picking, web portal and data centre operations, and rolling it all out in just 10 months has been essential to the program’s success.” Manhattan quickly rose to the top of the list of TMS/WMS/LMS providers. Its proven track record of designing and managing integrated platforms, deep experience with wholesale food distributors, the resources to execute the transition quickly and easily, robust training and support tools, and a scalable model that could be repeated as each region went live, melded perfectly with NDCP’s needs.

Tightly integrated
With a tightly integrated TMS and WMS,NDCP manages its supply chain in ways it never has before. Order, inventory, and transportation information flow quickly across the Manhattan platform, giving NDCP unprecedented visibility from one end of the chain to the other. Rapid access to good information provides the flexibility to introduce dynamic transport routing into what had been a static routing environment. The ability to incorporate multiple modelling scenarios enables NDCP to run routes more efficiently and take advantage of backhaul opportunities. Manhattan’s technology opens the door for NDCP to leverage mobile applications in delivery operations. NDCP can fully unlock the value of its vast road infrastructure, capabilities that will become ever more critical as it expands its geographic coverage area west of the Mississippi and looks to double its distribution centre footprint.

Chris Lafaire, Senior Vice President of IT, National DCP

Just 10 months
The system went live just 10 months after the revamp began - an impressive rollout timeframe by any measure. “We are in the early stages, but we couldn’t be happier with our decision,” Lafaire said. “Manhattan has a mastery of the technical issues and a thorough understanding of how our industry works. It grasps our objectives, and knows how to help us reach them. Manhattan is the perfect partner to help us cost-effectively capitalise on the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead of us.”