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Stanz Foodservice collaborates to keep customers happy in an increasingly competitive industry

Mark Gaddie VP of IT Stanz Foodservice – Photo by Ben Reed


Customer: Stanz Foodservice
Headquarters: South Bend, Indiana
Business: Supplier of food, food-related products and cleaning supplies
Challenge: Making signed invoices more readily available to its customers
Solution: Working with S4i Systems and NCR to scan, index and post signed copies on its customer portal for point-and-click accessibility
Hardware: An IBM Power Systems server
Software: S4i Systems Express and Express WebView; NCR Power Enterprise, Power Warehouse, Power Sell, Store Point, Power Mobile and Power Net; and Kofax Capture

It wasn’t too long ago that most companies relied upon row after row of filing cabinets to house their financial documents. But in an increasingly digital world, more companies are digitizing their documents so company representatives can access them right at their desks and establish an immediate dialogue with customers. It’s a giant step forward compared to the age of cabinet reliance. The, next logical step is customer self-service, wherein customers can log in to a website to find their own documents.

One company embracing this mindset is Stanz Foodservice, particularly when it comes to signed invoices. Thanks to a collaboration between S4i Systems and NCR, Stanz now has a system that allows its customers to search for these documents with a few simple clicks, download them as needed and even email them to whomever needs to see them.

As Mark Gaddie, VP of IT with Stanz, explains, “Before S4i Express and NCR Power Net came along, we would have to go to a filing cabinet, pull the invoice and hope the customer had a fax machine. If not, we’d have to drop it in an envelope, slap a stamp on it and put it in the mail. Now we can provide that same information in a much more effective timespan, with the customer deciding when they want it—even if we’re not immediately available.”

Creating Partnerships

A broad-line food distributor, Stanz sells bulk grocery items such as frozen foods, fresh produce, meat, seafood, paper products and chemicals for cleaning. It also has a beverage department that sells its Stanz-label coffee, as well as having service techs who install and maintain coffee equipment.

Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, the company services clients not only in its home state, but also Illinois, Michigan and Missouri. Its customers are nearly as wide-ranging, including school districts, regional and chain restaurants, and the University of Notre Dame, among many others. It has a store located near its warehouse that’s open to the general public.

That Stanz has been in business since 1923 is a testament to its quality of service and an emphasis on customer service. These, of course, are tightly intertwined, which is why Stanz is so focused on its IT underpinnings, although, as Gaddie notes, “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here. Instead, we’re partnering with vendors such as S4i and NCR who have great products and great people who support them. That’s why we can have an IT staff of only three, including me.”

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at jjutsler@provide.net.

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