Made to Order: Reinhart Retools Online Ordering System to Simplify, Streamline and Save

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New TRACS® Direct provides operators with technology that works overtime and is easy to learn and use

“I can place my order in about 15 minutes, I can even use it while I’m cooking.”

Completely redesigned and retooled, the new TRACS® Direct online system from Reinhart Foodservice, L.L.C. makes it easier than ever before for customers to take control of their food costs. Available now with full implementation in February 2013, the system’s capabilities are comprehensive, including product order entry and tracking, recipe management, robust reporting and instant analysis of purchase history, all linked to a fully integrated Reinhart database.

“Our customers tell us the new TRACS Direct is years ahead of other systems in the marketplace. It is a next generation tool specifically designed to help customers more efficiently manage operations and budgeting,” said Mark Forbes, Reinhart Vice President of Information Technology. “The ability to handle orders, inventory and food costs quickly and easily online is of enormous value to every size and type of foodservice operator, allowing them to focus on what’s most critical in today’s competitive marketplace—improving their business.”

The retooling began last year, with a goal of redesigning the entire system, which was initially created in 2003. “Everything was fair game, no function remained the same if there was a better way to do it,” said Paul Vermeulen, Reinhart Corporate Director of Business Application Development. “We solicited customer feedback throughout the process to ensure TRACS Direct provides exactly what they need, in an easy-to-use format.”

Customers find the system so intuitive they are able to use the new version in a matter of minutes, according to John Zimmerman, Reinhart’s lead developer on the project. Testing of the system with customers in LaCrosse, Wisconsin this fall elicited positive feedback. Darren Zumach, owner of King Street Kitchen, commented: “I can place my order in about 15 minutes, I can even use it while I’m cooking.” At Dublin Square Irish Pub & Eatery, Jake McClees, kitchen manager, said: “It helps me with recipes, because I can put in any product from any vendor, and see the breakdown on price, and I don’t have to wait for my sales rep to come in, I can easily find any product I need and order it.”

Simple navigation and a sleek look are immediately apparent at first log-in, said Vermeulen. The structured menu at the top of the home page leads customers through the process with a few clicks, while other features further enhance the user-friendly feel, including:

  •     Spelled out product descriptions and brand identities: Eliminating the 25-character limit means there are no longer abbreviations or shortened descriptions, which help customers find the right product at a glance. Brands will also be easier to find spelled out, without the need to decipher symbols and acronyms.
  •     Clear, concise messages: Cluttering the screen with icons, symbols and confusing phrases is swept away with the new, clean look and to-the-point messages, such as “find similar items,” that anticipate and fulfill customer needs.
  •     The ‘easy’ button: Next to every product is an ‘Actions’ button to enable customers to view purchase history, add an item to their order guide, view manufacturer information, number of servings and cost per serving… with one click. Additional information, including nutritionals, can be easily viewed with an additional click.
  •     Quick support: Customers can email, phone or live chat with customer service representatives who can answer their questions. A comprehensive list of FAQs with well-illustrated solutions will also be easily accessible.

“These features give us a more direct way to communicate new information quickly to our customers, increasing the ultimate functionality of TRACS Direct,” says Vermeulen.

Beta testing has begun; training webinars are scheduled for January before the system rollout is complete in February 2013.

For more information, visit http://www.tracsdirect.com, view our customers describe the ease of use at http://youtu.be/E9GgDShFJl4 or sign up for TRACS Direct by calling Reinhart at 800-888-7227.

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