Golden State Foods and IBM: Operational Excellence Meets Innovation

Hi my name is Bob Wolpert, I’m a group
president at Golden State Foods we’re a large diversified food manufacturer and
distributor focusing on Quick Serve restaurants around the world. Some of our
clients include Starbucks, Taco Bell McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, major brands all
over the world very proud decades of relationships as well as new customers
coming on board every year. GSF reached out to IBM, who we’ve had a 40-year
relationship with, and said let’s look at new technology what’s going to change
over the next five or ten years and we spent a day together and
realized that Watson IoT was one area where we needed to accelerate, investigate and
explore and we’ve since spent the last nine months on some pilots and really
got some exciting things cooking with IBM. We have three pilots underway with
IBM. First is involving the connected restaurant so we’re working with one of
our customers to put sensors in the restaurant and gather data from the
sensors to then tell us what is happening at the moment but then look at
trends to then predict what might be going to either fail or need correction.
We’re also as the next generation be looking at traffic patterns and other
features that could be sensed and then help to improve the store operations. Our
customers are looking for us to help them with back of the restaurant so they
can focus with the front of the counter and and make the experience for their
customers optimal. The second pilot we have under way looks
at the way our fleet of trucks and our drivers go out and make deliveries. We
make over 25,000 deliveries every single week to the back of restaurants around
the United States, and it’s important that our drivers are safe, so we’re
looking at wearable devices that could talk to Watson. We’re looking at weather
and traffic overlays to improve the reliability of our deliveries and we’re
looking at an integrated capability at calling it a trans command center to say
how do we take all of the GPS all the temperature data all of the reliability
data and preventive maintenance and tie it into one view one look of our fleet
and our ability to service our customers. The third area is we’re combining Watson
IoT with blockchain technology and we’re looking at the opportunity in the global
supply chain of food to bring farm to fork forward in a more safe secure a
mutable way and the connection with Watson IoT is to say can we, with those
blockchain handshakes, add GPS date and time stamps, can we add temperature data and
make the entire chain visible for fresh product from farm to fork.
Golden State Foods has a long history of very high quality total passion around
the success of our customer and in today’s global supply chain of food it’s
very important that we deliver a trusted product. One that has all of the
certifications all the validations all of the security necessary to know when
the consumer consumes the product that it’s been through the right supply chain and
is high quality golden state foods can’t do this alone we’re in partnership with
IBM and IBM has formed a food safety foundation that is taking the advice of,
right now, 11 companies of which Golden State Foods is one to say, “what’s the
roadmap for this technology? What’s the sequence of capabilities that we need to
roll out?” We asked our leadership team at
Golden State foods to embrace a relatively simple principle and concept
but hard to actually implement which is think big, start small, go fast. It’s easy
to think big it’s hard in complex business processes to go fast. So we’re
really pleased with IBM’s ability to now focus on small six to eight week chunks,
make that deliverable and then enable us to decide is it a success? Is it
a failure? Should we keep going or not? That helps
accelerate innovation and we’re very excited with the path we are on.

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