Dairy Queen Taps Promotion Management Solution

Chain seeks to increase promotion effectiveness through automated inventory monitoring with Instill solution

Chain seeks to increase promotion effectiveness through automated inventory monitoring with Instill solution

Redwood City, CA — December 7, 2005 — International Dairy Queen (IDQ) is using Instill's Promotion Management solution to improve the administration of, and maximize the value of, the franchisee's limited-time offers.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., IDQ services a system of more than 5,700 Dairy Queen stores in the United States, Canada and other foreign countries, offering dairy desserts, hamburgers, hot dogs and beverages. IDQ is part of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies.

Instill said its Promotion Management solution aggregates daily inventory levels of proprietary products across the operator's distributor network. It then standardizes and translates the disparate data into meaningful information, making it available to both the operator and their trading partners to enable the collaboration required to more effectively manage promotions and limited time offers.

As inventory issues must be addressed near real time to mitigate the impact of potential problems, the daily collection of inventory level data is a key aspect of the service, as is the fact that the solution eliminates the need to pour through voluminous reports to identify an issue. Operators can establish inventory level thresholds and receive alerts when product levels exceed or fall below predetermined values, and they can work with distributors and manufacturers to update delivery volumes, reroute product supply or take other actions necessary to head off costly problems.

"Promotions and limited time offers are an important part of our business," said John Gainor, chief supply chain officer at IDQ. "Instill is the only company who could deliver a proven solution for foodservice companies that addressed all of the key issues. Within six months of working with Instill we were able to eliminate stock-outs of promotional products, dramatically reduce our administrative costs and realize substantial savings by reducing product obsolescence."

"When it comes to effectively managing promotions and limited time offers, everyone involved — operators, franchisees, manufacturers and distributors — benefits from access to timely, accurate inventory level data," said Jeff Smith, vice president of marketing at Instill. "Operators and manufacturers need timely visibility into distribution center inventory levels to effectively match supply with demand, but distributors struggle to provide this data in a cost effective and timely manner."

Lack of a standard product nomenclature further complicates the issue, Smith added, as it becomes impossible to address inventory issues in a timely manner when everyone is speaking a different language.

Said Gainor, "At IDQ, we've been able to increase our restaurant's profitability, improve our relationships with our supply chain partners and deliver value back to our franchisees — all within a very short period of time."

Instill's Promotion Management solution is part of a suite of solutions for foodservice operators that includes Food Spend Management, Procurement, Quality and Compliance Management and Product Information Management.

Instill's other customers include such companies as Hardee's, Applebee's International, IPC/SUBWAY, YUM! Brands' UFPC and UPGC and Procter & Gamble.

Additional Articles of Interest

— The focus in the retail sector has shifted from managing the movement of goods to managing information about goods. Read more in "Ramping Up the Retail Supply Chain," in the February/March 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— Bad packaging, poor handling and substandard shipping and receiving practices account for more than half the returns in the supermarket industry, and the use of folding cartonboard could significantly reduce unsaleables in the industry, one research project has found. Read about the GENCO study of frozen food manufacturers in the SDCExec.com article "Bad Packaging, Poor Handling Seen Driving High Unsaleables."

— For an in-depth review of a conceptual technology model for a supply chain visibility hub, read "The Case for Supply Chain Visibility" on SDCExec.com.