To eat is to experience emotions. Huuskes, originally established in Enschede, knows like no other that this brings with it a major logistic responsibility. The business with the slogan ‘Enjoy your meal with ease’ has been working in accordance with three main values for three decades now: freshness, customer-orientation and delivery reliability. All processes within the business are aimed at these three values, from ordering systems to the actual transport of food to the client. The very scope of the assortment consisting of over 35,000 products, including both fresh and dry groceries and ready-made meals, means that some 80 vehicles are on the road every day to supply all kinds of clients with their products. These clients include small communes, healthcare institutions, homes for the elderly and hospitals.
Harrie Reink, Logistic manager at Huuskes, tells us how the business has organised the logistic processes that enable it to supply its clients with tailored deliveries. Harrie: “Huuskes is a very innovative business that thinks along with its clients. We supply our clients with anything you can buy at the supermarket. This includes anything from fresh products and ready-to-eat meals to cleaning products. Our clients require a supplier that can deliver everything.
We do everything to meet the requirements of our clients. For instance, an elderly home that has its own kitchen can both order potatoes in a bag or potatoes processed in a ready-to-serve meal and anything in between. We also provide a home service, called the Eten & Zo Thuis web shop, enabling people who live in a care facility who still live independently to order meals online. These meals are being delivered in a cooler at the care facility or in cooperation with PostNL (Dutch postal service). This does however require a sound logistic preparation.”
In order to be able to work the way it does, Huuskes has been using equipment by GPS-buddy for over 10 years. Initially this equipment was used to track the locations of their vehicles and for drawing up route reports. The expansion of Huuskes’ services also brought about an increase in investment in smart technology. The modular composition of the GPS-buddy systems enabled Huuskes to gradually add new technologies as the company grew. For instance, the company uses temperature sensors, a CANbus-link and a digital tachograph link. To meet specific requirements on the one hand and to minimise administrative pressure on the other hand.
Harrie: “We use the digital tachograph link so that we do not have to send someone out anymore to note down the tachograph readings. Now we can simply download the information at the office. This way we meet legal requirements in an efficient way. It also enables us to keep track of which driver is driving which vehicle. Because our clients are increasingly focussing on their core activities, namely providing care, our services even include delivering the products at the right department.” This far-stretching service however also comes with some consequences. “When our driver is busy delivering the products, this means that the vehicle is standing still for a longer period of time, in some cases this can be up to an hour. Therefore our vehicles are equipped with temperature sensors and alarms. We receive a notification if the temperature rises and approaches the threshold value and we will subsequently take action. Additionally we can provide our clients with reports on the temperature of the products during delivery. This information is essential in living up to the HACCP-guidelines.”
In addition to the HACCP-guidelines and the regulations on driving times and rest periods the company is increasingly required to be able to show certain environmental certificates in the context of European contracts. Huuskes also keeps a close eye on developments in this field.
Harrie: “Our company values sustainable entrepreneurship. We have four distribution centres from which we supply all of the Netherlands. Transport to and from the distribution centres takes place using LHVs (Long Heavier Vehicles, 25 metres), which allows us to transport 1.5 times the payload per journey compared to normal transport. The environmental impact of our fleet is an aspect that is increasingly playing a role in many European contracts. We think this is an important aspect and that is why we choose to comply with those specific environmental certificates. Linking GPS-Buddy and CANbus allows us to monitor fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency however depends on many factors. For instance, is a driver making many short journeys through urban areas or is he/she mainly driving long stretches of highway? The CANbus-link moreover offers insight in the driving-style of drivers. Combining this information allows us to correct our drivers’ driving-style if so needed.”
Currently Huuskes is working on the implementation of an ERP-system, once this implementation is finished, the GPS-Buddy Driver App will also be implemented. This allows for tasks to be communicated to the driver directly, making the communication between offices and drivers even more efficient. This way Huuskes can continuously focus on its core values: freshness, client-orientation and delivery reliability.