A recipe for success: investing in technology to differentiate Wasserstrom’s business
At a Glance
- Implementing technologies to speed order processing, increase accuracy and reduce costs
- Focusing limited IT resources on projects to enhance the customer experience
- Being able to quickly pivot the business and underlying IT based on market demands
- Gain access to the latest technologies without having to “go it alone”
- Shift focus to differentiating the business rather than managing infrastructure
- Leverage a cloud infrastructure in which the company only pays for what it uses
Our business runs on IT
With locations across the United States and an average of 35,000 shipments a week, The Wasserstrom Company, a 120-year-old Ohio-based restaurant supply distributor, requires secure, reliable, resilient and agile systems to succeed. 2020 was a devastating year for the restaurant industry and as it strives to recover, the stakes for suppliers couldn’t be higher. As Phil Smith, Wasserstrom CIO, explains, “We sell commodities, and if we don’t deliver on time, at the right price, our customers go elsewhere.”
While the industry has changed since the early 1900s, Wasserstrom’s commitment to giving customers excellent, timely service has never wavered. If an operator needs a spatula — or two dozen spoons, a set of baskets for their deep fryers, 100 outdoor dining tables or even thousands of face masks and latex gloves — Wasserstrom promises to pick, pack and ship it, in the fastest, most efficient way possible.
For over 10 years, Racksquared has been Wasserstrom’s trusted IT partner and cloud provider as the restaurant supply distributor invests in new technology to better serve its customers. Created as a subsidiary from Wasserstrom’s own IT team in 2011, Racksquared has become Smith’s “everything IT partner.”
“With Racksquared, I don’t have to worry about supporting, managing, and scaling infrastructure. With that off my plate, I can focus on using technology to deliver a great customer experience.”
- Phil Smith,
CIO, The Wasserstrom Company
Run out of spoons and you’ve got a soup crisis
“If you sell soup and you run out of spoons, you’re out of business. We can’t let that happen to a customer,” says Smith. Part of making sure that doesn’t happen is how Wasserstrom leverages IT to operate its business.
With five warehouses around the country, over 250,000 unique SKUs and up to 80,000 products on shelves at any one of their warehouses, there is a lot to keep track of. To pick, pack and ship the right orders, at the right time and from the right location, Wasserstrom needs intelligence, automation and cutting-edge systems.
Intelligent, connected warehouses run by a custom warehouse management system (WMS) are at the core of this dynamic operation. In addition, Wasserstrom has rolled out a number of new technologies to radically improve efficiencies. In the future, warehouse staff will be supported by robotics, Internet of Things devices and RFID tags to enable them to work more efficiently and with fewer errors.
Leveraging and managing these applications creates unique and differentiating experiences for Wasserstrom’s customers. So with limited staff, Smith wants his team focused on these areas, not on keeping infrastructure up and running.
When he says “everything IT partner,” he means it
From bringing intelligence and automation to the supply chain, to digitizing sales channels and providing resilience, Racksquared offers a full suite of technology services and solutions — and real business impact to match:
- Always On, Elastic Cloud: Wasserstrom relies on Racksquared to keep its critical cloud infrastructure online, using Racksquared’s hosted IBM and public cloud solutions. Maintaining uptime is critical for a company with such a high volume of daily transactions and complex supply chain operations — an outage of just a few hours can have a devasting impact. Racksquared cloud solutions also enable Wasserstrom to match consumption of resources with fluctuations in demand. This means customers can order supplies without a hitch, and Wasserstrom never has to pay for unused cloud resources.
- Security and Peace of Mind: Racksquared provides leadership with peace of mind, thanks to the company’s proactive security monitoring and testing, as well as its gold standard 3-2-1 Backup and Recovery and built-in redundancies. That way Wasserstrom can focus on the stuff that really matters: delivering better service, products and workplace experiences.
- Sales, Evolved: With Racksquared’s professional services, the supplier has doubled down on its e-commerce platforms and created intelligent sales tools for the salesforce. Today, more than 45% of orders are carried out with a few clicks. Meanwhile, sellers leverage modern CRM tools to better understand the needs of customers and spot opportunities to improve service.
“Racksquared is helping us revolutionize customer experiences with e-commerce, a connected warehouse and empowered salesforce,” says Smith. “Technology is a primary ingredient in everything we do. Racksquared keeps our business up and running, while we focus on keeping our customers up and running.”
Find out how Racksquared can be the perfect ingredient for your IT recipe. Visit www.rackquared.com, contact us at email@example.com or call (855) 380-7225.