For more than a dozen years, McDonald’s Supply Chain has been improving the restaurant delivery process. It started with installing reinforcements along the interior travel path at the restaurants to protect walls and equipment for deliveries using carts, cages, or smaller pallets. In unitized delivery, cases are arranged on a platform as a more efficient way to move the order (cases) from the truck into the restaurant.
More recently, McDonald’s Supply Chain progressed by implementing additional programs, all resulting in more efficient deliveries. Each program is somewhat dependent on previous programs with the end goal of automating the full delivery process.
1. Key Drop / Zone Drop Delivery: the placement of the product directly into the appropriate temperature zones.
2. Non-Peak Delivery Timing: a master route schedule that allows the restaurants to take full advantage of their peak sales times with no deliveries during those time slots.
3. Critical Item Check-In: limits checking the delivery for only a handful of high cost or high-volume items. This process reduces the amount of time the crew spends on the delivery and driver hours.
The next phase of programs is made possible by having reduced or eliminated the involvement of the restaurant crew and management. Less involvement saves labor hours and allows for open delivery windows.
4. Dynamic Routing: allows the distribution center to schedule deliveries based on a combination of the best utilization of trucks and fewest miles, creating a more cost-efficient delivery schedule. Implementing dynamic routing is a key focus in 2019 and 2020.
5. Merchandiser/ Delivery Assistant: supports the delivery process by putting away and rotating product along with other delivery tasks to further reducing restaurant labor and getting the trucks off the lot sooner. The merchandiser program is in development for implementation following dynamic routing.
The end goal is to supply the restaurants with product when and where they need it in a manner they can count on. In doing so, this process directly supports the McDonald’s Supply Chain activities as a part of digitization and the Back Room of the Future (BROTF) initiative.