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Tican Chilled adopt Touchstar 'PODStar' system to optimise meat deliveries


Tican Chilled are part of the Tönnies Group a family owned company that has its head office in Germany. Tönnies operates a highly diversified international food business and is active around the world with its eight divisions of Meat Pork, Meat Beef, Convenience, Sausages, Ingredients, Logistics, International and Central Services

Tican Chilled are exclusively wholesalers, supplying UK butchers with 100% British hand-reared beef, lamb, poultry, pork and bacon. The company does not supply any catering or food service outlets, thereby avoiding any direct competition with their own client base.

Tican Chilled Vehicle

A traceable supply chain from farm to fork

What sets Tican apart is a fully integrated supply chain system that boasts some of the tightest controls in the industry. It's these rigid standards that guarantee everything is fresh, wholesome, tender, flavourful and most significantly, safe. To continue leading the way in meat delivery, Tican continue to invest in the latest technological innovations and industry solutions. The aim is always to enhance their working practices and fine tune efficiency throughout the distribution process, from animal management to outbound logistics, resulting in a superior customer experience. As an integral part of this process, Tican sought a system that would optimise its delivery operations. After an extensive and thorough examination of available systems the management team selected the 'PODStar' Electronic Proof of Delivery system from Manchester-based Touchstar Technologies.

The Cloud-based PODStar system offers a planning tool that automates existing manual processes. Tican can utilise up-to-date information to create job runs and to allocate drivers and vehicles. Once a manifest has been created it is then automatically sent out to the drivers. Once downloaded the driver can receive their jobs and, ultimately, provide electronic proof of delivery in real time. The delivery drivers are equipped with smart phones with the handheld device used for both proof of delivery / signature capture and tracking of the driver location. Back at the Tican Headquarters, management can view a real-time update on a 'jobs table' and the driver's location, as well as additional data on the job status and driver performance.

The standard PODStar software is rich in features and functionality. However, some clients have requirements for bespoke features and modules. The Touchstar development team has an enviable track record in developing these additional features in a rapid and cost-effective manner. In the case of Tican a new comprehensive payments module was developed, alongside temperature control functionality.

The payments module allows the Tican driver to see how much money they should be collecting from clients, record the amount received and (optionally) take partial payment. The module also includes an 'Additional Payments Section' whereby any outstanding debt can be included in the delivery details. This could be monies owed from a previous delivery that the driver must collect whilst carrying out the latest delivery. It allows partial or full payment and for both payment features, the system can mandate a photo of any payment receipts that change hands.

The temperature logging feature allows recording at vehicle checks and at every drop (if required). There is also an option to mandate a photo of the readout from the onboard temperature reading equipment to prove compliance in relation to ambient, chilled and frozen temperatures.

Tican Truck

The Outcome

Colin Hopwood, IT Manager for Tican Chilled headed up the implementation team, working closely with the business development and project management teams from Touchstar. He describes how smoothly the implementation process went; "We have now been using the system for a number of years and it has proven to be an invaluable asset for Tican management and our clients alike. It greatly simplifies the process for customers chasing POD's and for locating the drivers on their deliveries.

The work that Touchstar has done for Tican has been fantastic. We presented them with some feature requests that they had not encountered before but they came up with viable solutions to ensure the use of Podstar was as simple as possible for all concerned.

The proof of delivery system immediately reduced our paper usage by at least 70 per cent. The PODStar mobile app is very easy to use with very minimal driver training on the handhelds required. I have rolled the system out to all my drivers with very minimal disruption to our operation and I would highly recommend the PODStar solution to anyone looking to move away from a paper-based delivery system."

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