Behind the scenes, your orders for products and produce are moving through some of the most intricate systems of tracking, shipping and delivery in the industry.

Meet Dennis Merchant, Director of Operations at Jordano’s. Dennis and his team of 102 employees manage products from the shipping dock to your business, both day and night. Serving Southern California with over 10,000 different items, Jordano’s Operations Department is a well- choreographed ensemble orchestrated by Dennis and his new best friend, technology.

“I started here 25 years ago when orders were hand-written, tracking was a file cabinet and to find a driver on the road meant calling the customers on his route until you could determine his general whereabouts…then the driver had to pull over and use a phone booth to call in,” Dennis recalls.

Tracking of products and delivery trucks today is certainly more refined and takes seconds, thanks in part to the company’s use of gpS navigation and nextel phones. Four years ago, Jordano’s remodeled their Santa Barbara warehouse and converted to become 100-percent electronic in their processes.

Today, everything from start to finish is tracked thru the warehouse management software. As items are received from vendors, checked in, categorized and stored, then pulled for orders, loaded and delivered, they are uniquely tracked at every stage in the process.

While the added value of technology improves speed, it is also responsible for decreasing one essential element.

“With the new systems Jordano’s has in place, our rate of error shifted from one in 1,000 to one in 15,000,” Dennis proudly boasts of order accuracy. A newly implemented voice-picking order system assists the employee in fulfilling a customer’s order virtually error free.

Vendor products are moving across the Earth’s oceans and between our nation’s coasts every minute of the day; that’s why Dennis’ logistics teams work hard to coordinate the efficient movement of product pick ups in hubs such as Los Angeles and from vessels at local ports.

Getting those products sorted and stored recently became easier. Jordano’s launched the use of new software that allows the Operations Department to build how a delivery load should look on the truck even before a pallet of product is moved.

Dennis’ teams can input the order and the software, called Truck Builder, does the rest. The software digitally creates a blueprint of how the cubes and pallets should be loaded, accounts for weight and size of the products compared to the maximum capacity of the trucks and even sorts the items in order of delivery routes. All the information is downloaded to the truck’s onboard computer which tracks stop sequences and calculates a delivery’s estimated time of arrival.

The software is directly linked to ordering, invoicing and inventory, too, interfacing with all aspects of Operations.

Technology does wonders, but Dennis still relies on his team to deliver what technology can not, relationships.

Dennis’ long history with Jordano’s means he’s forged tight relationships with his customers, so has his delivery crew. His teams never want to disappoint the customer. Because the delivery person frequently connects with a customer, they are able to react to the needs of their customers.

“We received a call from a customer reporting that his Jordano’s delivery man went above and beyond the call of duty. During the Jordano’s delivery, the customer complained that his deliveries from a competitor were never on time. The Jordano’s driver helped them by telling them to cancel the order and he would guarantee that we had the product to them the next morning within their time window. We now have all their business because of this driver,” Dennis says.

He relies on his teams and welcomes their solutions for making the job easier, the customer happier and the processes more efficient.

42: Number of drivers Jordano’s has on the road daily

124: Number of stops Jordano’s delivery team make on Saturdays

400 Total deliveries on Tuesdays and Fridays