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Microsoft Industry Blogs - Canada

When it comes to groceries, Canadians want it all – a big selection of high-quality food at low prices (and with sales and loyalty benefits with purchase). Couple that with the increasing desire for food to come from local and ethical sources and for organic or prepared foods, it’s no wonder that Statistica estimates annual retail sales of food and beverage in Canada at $188 billion.

While other retail has experienced a digital transformation, grocery shopping has mainly remained unchanged since the dawn of the grocery store: Canadians travel to stores, browse aisles, wait in line to purchase and then transport everything home. With variables in weather, perishable foods, complex food safety requirements and the traditionally high-frequency, low-volume business model of food service, full-service grocery delivery has remained out of reach.

Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery, or SPUD, is changing that simple truth. Building on their roots as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) company, SPUD delivers more than just fresh produce: the catalogue now includes a full range of groceries, including produce, dairy, bakery, meat, seafood, packaged goods and ready-to-eat meals. The company runs an online store with a small, high-turnover inventory, so food items don’t expire or get damaged on the shelf; with perishables, SPUD only orders based directly on customer needs, so they don’t over-order short-shelf life items. The result is dramatically lowered food waste.

And it doesn’t stop there: SPUD has offered its Food-X-Urban Delivery platform to local companies to help make delivery a reality. Housed in a new facility in Burnaby, other grocery retailers can access SPUD’s industry-leading technology, warehousing, home delivery, and food preparation platform. Integrating directly with the retailer’s point of sale systems to provide live visibility of inventory, allowing orders to be fulfilled swiftly and efficiently.

So how does it all work? SPUD uses state-of-the-art technology to facilitate their full operations. With a proprietary inventory management tool built on Microsoft Dynamics 365, the company has end-to-end visibility into operations and analytics. Combined with Office 365 and Azure cloud services, SPUD takes full advantage of Microsoft integration and scale.

Read here to learn more on how SPUD uses AI, ebikes and Microsoft Cloud!