BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Fairway Foods here is installing onboard computer systems in 22 tractors at its Northfield division beginning next week. This will be the first time the wholesaler has employed an onboard system.
If the onboard computers perform as anticipated, the company expects to roll out additional systems to its other divisions, located in Menominee, Mich.; Fargo, N.D.; and Ankeny, Iowa, according to Chet Harkonen, vice president of distribution for Fairway Foods. Fairway Foods has more than 80 tractors for all its divisions.
"We're looking for a payback in less than 18 months," Harkonen said. Fairway Foods expects to reach this goal through "productivity improvements, field efficiency and less time for check-in and checkout at the distribution center, as well as automatic logs that eliminate the old manual method.
"With the new system, drivers will key in exact stop times, allowing for tighter routes with more accurate and detailed information as to how they're actually performing on the routes," Harkonen added.
The onboard computer will be able to track the time between stops, the average travel speed, the idling time and driver performance, he said.
Fairway will import the information gathered by the onboard system into its routing systems, providing much more accurate information than it had in the past, according to Harkonen.