Operational Excellence in Cold Chain Distribution

 Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) is a leading performer in the quick service restaurant (QSR) freight industry. A Coretex partner since 2012, QCD continues to collaborate with Coretex, and leverages its deep heritage in reefer telematics and raw data expertise to develop the future of cold chain solutions for its customers.

Background 

Established in 2006 as a division of Golden State Foods (GSF), QCD provides more than 17,000 refrigerated transport deliveries a week from 19 distribution centers strategically located throughout the United States. QCD leverages more than a half century of GSF distribution expertise, providing high-quality, custom distribution services at a competitive price.

Trusted by top industry brands including Starbucks, Chipotle and Chick-fil-A, the company services over 5,500 restaurants nationally – totaling over 1 million deliveries per year. QCD has a history of being committed to innovation and incorporates state-of-the-art technology in every aspect of its operations – from its warehouse management systems to its single-platform fleet monitoring solution.

The Situation —A partnership driving the evolution of cold chain monitoring

In 2012, QCD selected Coretex to replace the costly and unreliable process of manual temperature monitoring of its reefer trailers. QCD deployed Coretex IBRIGHT, the reefer fleet management solution, in hundreds of trailers, allowing the automated, continuous temperature monitoring of air temperature from the warehouse to the restaurant.

Throughout this partnership, Coretex has developed advanced functionality to align with QCD’s reputation for technological innovation and the capability to address customer requirements that go well beyond the industry norm.

Coretex advanced its capabilities for remote reefer control, two-way communication, hour of service compliance, geofencing, and a host of management applications, with valuable feedback from QCD and its parent company, Golden State Foods. Once again, QCD is assisting Coretex in piloting its next innovation for the cold chain industry: a simulated product temperature monitoring system called CoreTemp.

 “Using IBRIGHT as part of our new predictive product temperature monitoring process produced significant savings by not requiring drivers to probe product at each stop.”

— TIM BATES, CORPORATE QUALITY SYSTEMS DIRECTOR

The Solution — A fresh approach to continuous temperature monitoring

One of QCD’s newest distribution centers is located in Fontana, California. The facility’s General Manager, Larkin Williams, oversees the distribution of nightly deliveries to over 300 Starbucks locations from this facility. Larkin and his team were instrumental in testing Coretex’s advanced solution that incorporates temperature sensors and an innovative algorithm using artificial intelligence.

Together, QCD and Coretex determined the precise specifications to ensure freshness for a variety of perishable food categories (dairy, refrigerated sandwiches, frozen food) and variable packing data sets (plastic-wrapped, cardboard boxes, pallet, etc.).

The Results

CoreTemp provides real-time compliance to carriers and their customers. The software-as-a solution features on-demand, aggregated compliance views with live route progress and product temperature simulations.

The future of cold chain monitoring and compliance has arrived. The solution is currently being piloted within additional QCD distribution centers in Kent and Charlotte, with plans for a nationwide rollout within the next year.

“The algorithm works flawlessly. Everyone wants to make sure they know that the core temperature of their products is compliant. Being able to build on air temperature reading by receiving actual product temperature will allow us to communicate to our customer that they are receiving the highest quality of product every time.”

— LARKIN WILLIAMS, GENERAL MANAGER - QCD