Beer distributor avoids delivery hangover with online scheduling

With Appointment-Plus, Crescent Crown Distributing in Arizona has been able to better manage dozens of inbound deliveries daily.

While the rest of us are enjoying a beer or two over the weekend, brewers are working hard to replenish the shelves come Monday morning.

Traditionally, that means small to midsize regional distributors like Crescent Crown Distributing face a veritable flood of deliveries early in the work week. But not only is that inefficient, it can create trouble with neighbors, said Crescent Crown Distributing's Arizona warehouse manager, Scott Trotter.

"On Mondays, it wouldn't be uncommon to have 65 trucks at the site," Trotter said.

Crescent Crown helped alleviate the potential for delivery hangovers at its Mesa, Arizona, facility by creating a new process for the approximately 15.5 million inbound case deliveries of brands including Coors, Corona and Heineken  it receives annually, he said.

The distributor now requires carriers to schedule their delivery window using Appointment-Plus, a cloud-delivered scheduling application. That has helped Crescent Crown spread the flow of deliveries out through the week, helped eliminate the environmental and community impact of having dozens of trucks idling outside its facility, and enabled it to create a more consistent flow of work for its warehouse personnel.

"It is the only way you can deliver to our site," Trotter said.

Dispatchers for Inbound truckers that want to make a delivery can make an appointment by visiting a special secure log-in location and entering a password provided by Crescent Crown. If the driver misses the delivery time, the dispatcher receives an alert. After a certain grace period, dispatchers are advised that they will need to reschedule the delivery, Trotter said.

Crescent Crown only allows a certain number of deliveries per day, during certain hours, and the Appointments-Plus system has helped the small company spread them out much more evenly, Trotter said. In addition, the company can run reports on receiving trends to help with staffing and it can communicate more effectively with key trucking companies by sending out messages to the delivery accounts. It can also prioritize shipments, if it needs to help out a preferred business partner.

Crescent Crown plays a flat monthly fee for the Appointment-Plus service that is based on the number of transactions managed with the system; it is charged an additional fee if it creeps above that number.

Trotter declined to disclose what his company pays, but the service is priced starting at $39 per month to manage up to 20 users/schedules.

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