While the pandemic severely impacted many operations across the industry, there have been many pivots and innovations over these past 17 months. One adapter is Dawn Foods, which has refocused its efforts in the retail landscape. I got in touch with Bob Howland, Chief Digital Officer, to learn how Dawn Foods evolved its forecasting program to create a more robust supply chain planning process through its e-commerce site, thus allowing its bakery customers to face challenges head-on.
“Our foodservice orders slowed, but our supermarket channel sales increased,” Bob tells me. “We saw a need for forecasting demand, and we innovated to create solutions that truly matter to our customers. For our e-commerce platform, it took many months of work to launch it earlier than planned despite lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions creating significant headwinds. The timing was critical as we delivered an online platform that gave retail bakers easier access and flexibility to order supplies for their business and customers when they needed it.”
With the e-commerce platform up and running, retail bakers can place their ingredients orders outside of business hours or on their own time. Therefore, retail bakers can rely on the platform to maintain their business and remain competitive in the industry.
“We are still in the very early days of building a B2B e-commerce business. This is really a massive business model transformation as the company and our customers embrace new ways of working,” continues Bob. “We provide all of our listings with images and nutritional labels. Additionally, our product spec sheets are online and available for download. This is especially useful as it makes discovering new products and supplies a lot easier for bakers.”
That convenience is what drives many operators to embrace technology. Businesses will continue to become more dynamic and expand, and services like the one Dawn Foods provides are essential to meeting those ever-changing demands.
“As customer needs change and shifts in the market occur, so will the platform—and that is by design,” illustrates Bob. “We consistently listen to customer feedback and make changes quickly to ensure we’re being good partners and our customers feel heard.”
The job is never done, so the saying goes, as Dawn Foods is currently planning on expanding its platform beyond simple online ordering. Currently, the platform is built using a modern digital architecture, allowing the company to be virtually agile and adaptable to be 100 percent tailor-made for bakers’ needs.
Follow Deli Market News as we report on the latest innovations and advancements to come.