Jones Dairy Farm
Company Empowers Delivery Drivers with Wireless Computers, Printers
Since Milo Jones sold his first sausage in 1889, the Jones Dairy Farm has been making great sausage in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, from a cherished family recipe. Today, six generations later, the Jones family still operates the original farm and maintains its high quality standards.
However, the company's distribution has grown considerably. It now sells its products online, in stores across the country, as well as in Canada, Japan and Hong Kong. The innovative company was the first in the meat industry to quick-freeze, one of the first to introduce fully-cooked breakfast sausage, and was early to operate a modern bacteriological chemical laboratory. More recently, Jones Dairy decided to implement a direct store delivery (DSD) application with elements of route accounting for enhanced efficiency and customer service. Previously, Jones Dairy delivery staff had to go back and forth to their trucks to gather and print data for transactions, relying on manual entry using pen and paper forms.
Jones Dairy consulted with Miles Technologies regarding solutions. Tom Beusch, Miles' president, recommended Motorola® MC70 mobile computers, coupled with Zebra's RW 420™ mobile printers. MiT Systems, the independent software vendor on the project, helped guide Miles and Jones to the combined solution.
"We felt that the best solution from a printing standpoint for Jones was the Zebra model because of its ruggedness and ergonomics," Beusch says. "In addition, the RW 420 model is the premier label when it comes to DSD applications."
The Zebra RW 420 mobile printer runs delivery receipts and invoices. As the only mobile printer to meet the stringent IP54 dust and water resistance rating, the RW 420 can withstand the harsh demands of delivery environments. The Motorola MC70 likewise holds up in nearly any environment. It delivers anywhere, anytime wireless WAN/LAN/PAN voice and data communications, including superior voice functionality, data capture and the power to run nearly any application. Jones preferred the mobile applications over a vehicle mount for their ease of use. Drivers can easily perform on-the-spot transactions, such as receipt printing and order confirmations, expediting customer visits and improving service.
"The idea of direct store delivery is obviously to get in and out as quickly as possible, and to provide good customer service," Beusch says. "With these handheld and printer devices, drivers have all of the tools right in front of them, therefore they can quickly complete the transaction, increase customer service and get to one more route before their shift ends."
The combined Motorola and Zebra solutions easily integrated together. Working with Miles Technologies, MiT, through its EzRoute software program, configured the solutions to enable end users to receive proof of delivery in the field. With sister companies in Delaware and Pennsylvania, Jones Dairy takes advantage of this capability to ensure all parties—in the field and back at production facilities—know the current status of jobs.
MiT's EzRoute program enables remote communication with all three locations. Also, MiT developed a software program with a pricing scale that could accommodate various pricing configurations. Jones charges most of its items by the case and item level, which means some of its main products delivered, including ham and other pork products, are charged by weight.
"Our application can handle pricing for any unit of measurement, and in this case, it was above and beyond just capturing the weight,"Mark Maraj, vice president of sales and marketing at MiT.
As a result of the new applications, Jones' drivers have a fully mobile application that is versatile and user-friendly. "We will now be able to produce more accurate and automated invoices for our customers, better rotation of product, and tracking and tracing of lot codes as well," said Keith Henderson, systems manager for Jones Dairy Farm.