by Eric Pereira / staff writer
In April, Pinpoint Software completed a full rollout of its Date Check Pro software to tackle food waste management for Jacksonville, Florida-based Southeastern Grocers Inc.
Date Check Pro is an expiration date management software that lets companies know when and where products are expiring in store, according to Pinpoint. SEG is the largest partnership Pinpoint has with a retailer, according to CEO Andrew Hoeft.
SEG is the parent company of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. Date Check Pro has been deployed in 425 of its stores.
“That was one where we went from 12 stores (pilot program) to the 425 in just over 30 days’ time. So really aggressive, but really solid partnership plan to get that done in such a short period of time,” Hoeft said of the rollout.
According to Kevin Jomant, director of shrink, expense and revenue strategies for SEG, the decision to go with Pinpoint came down to tech.
“There are many tech companies that offer expiration date management services but no other established expiration date companies that offer great tech,” he said. “For that reason, our goal of providing our customers with the freshest possible product while minimizing food going to landfills would be best delivered with Pinpoint.”
Hoeft said the speed to roll out Date Check Pro with SEG was one of the aspects that make this partnership special.
“I think we’ve made it unique in the standpoint of there was a lot of pre-planning and training resources and a lot of co-development of materials between our two organizations to make sure that the stores were ready for that aggressive of a rollout plan,” he said.
Hoeft also pointed out the Fresco y Más banner of Southeastern Grocers, has many associates whose primary language is Spanish, so Pinpoint is working to implement multilingual support for Date Check Pro. This feature is expected to be usable by late July.
Although he’s excited for other new regional grocer partnerships in 2021-22, Hoeft thinks the greatest advancement for his company has been the least technical area.
“It’s within our customer success planning…what we’ve done is we’ve implemented weekly score-carding for each of our retail partners,” he said.
Pinpoint team members examine data from the retail partner executed with Date Check Pro within the past week. They then send insights to the grocers’ key leadership. The grocers can also send feedback as to where the software is helping them the most.
“If there’s a store that falls behind, there’s commentary on how much effort we think would take to get caught up,” Hoeft explained. “If there’s a store that metrics falls out of the reins of norm, we can add commentary and why we think that’s happening, and how they might be able to coach the stores to better improve their own results.”
Although, software from Madison, Wisconsin-based Pinpoint can be found in large chains, it is scalable for smaller independents.
“For the independent retailers with a store or a couple stores, or even the ones that have a couple dozen stores, we’re typically looking at a timeline of a pilot – run that for two months – and then rolling out to the rest of the company within a six-seven-month window after that,” Hoeft said. “And that includes all of the planning that goes into it and fine tuning of the program that happens during the pilot program.”
Asked about the state of food waste management in the U.S., Hoeft indicated there’s a ways to go. “I think we have a lot of work to do,” he said. “We are a lot better off even in the last two or three years than we were two or three years ago…I think we’re at a point of awareness and initial action in the U.S. that food waste has become a topic from consumers and sustainability and preventing food waste is now top of mind.
“I think fast forward a couple of years and I’ll feel like we’re past the tip of the iceberg…under the surface waters, hacking the body of food waste. But right now, I think we’re just at the beginning.”
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