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Food-service leader: Using analytics insights to upgrade distribution network

Read how Accenture’s operations analytics and distribution experts helped a food service leader speed its deliveries.


A food service company required strategic network design support to improve its distribution network.​

Modeling complex data, Accenture’s distribution and operations analytics experts suggested cost-efficient ways for the client to speed its deliveries. A combination of responsive customer service and cost control through enhanced supply chain planning has helped the company pursue further growth.

The client operates a food services company, with casual dining restaurants at multiple locations.

A leading food service company was looking to expand its holdings through the acquisition of franchises and a new brand in the next five years. Reviewing the efficiency of the company’s warehousing and distribution channels was critical for enhancing its supply chain planning and preparing it for growth.


A combined team of distribution experts and operations analytics professionals from Accenture collected data, outlined scenarios, and listed restrictions for consideration and assumptions. Some of the factors analyzed were facilities; housing; dry, refrigerated and frozen foods; milk runs of 165,000 kilometers covered weekly; diesel costs; and risks related to transport. The analysis was used to model numerous network scenarios.

These scenarios were further refined to compare costs, review asset utilization and determine their potential impact on service quality. A stress test examined the ramifications of increased demand, arising from expansion of the company’s portfolio, on the supply chain. Using this analysis and a centre-of-gravity model, Accenture suggested an ideal location for the client’s new distribution center.


A combination of responsive service and cost control has enabled the food service leader to pursue growth and save more than US$2 million annually through improved distribution among warehouses, better transportation routes, and reassignment of product flows among stores and cities.

Enhanced supply chain planning helped the company improve its service level by 12 percent. In addition, optimizing sourcing (rather than delivery) of supplies has benefited hundreds of restaurants and coffee shops in the company’s growing service area.