Thompson Trading Company is a wholesale grocer with operations in Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas. Their product line consists of dry grocery, HBA, candy and beverages. They are also the Pepsi distributor for the Bahamas. The Bahamas consist of over 700 islands, with the majority of business centered in Nassau (New Providence and Paradise Island), Freeport (Grand Bahama Island) and the Abacos.

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The business process in the Caribbean is much different than in the United States. On most of the former British islands, the distributors act as an “agency” or “franchisee” of different manufacturers. Therefore, each distributor has a mix of competing product lines. One distributor might sell Proctor & Gamble products, while another sells Lever Brothers. One distributor handles Cadbury chocolate, while another sells Nestle.

Although the distributors do trade with each other to better service smaller accounts, they compete strongly for shelf space in the major supermarket facilities on the islands. In order to retain their ownership of each brand, the distributors spend many hours preparing marketing and sales reports for the manufacturers they represent. This includes providing information for promotional activities, growth programs, media advertising, etc., to the manufacturers they represent. Each distributor has several employees that serve as “business managers.” It is their responsibility to provide the reporting that their principals require. It is generally a daunting task to collect information from many disparate sources.

Thompson implemented AFS G2. According to Marcian Cash, General Manager of Thompson Trading, “We have been able to reduce our compliment of business managers from six to five and assign larger portfolios to our team (that’s a $65,000+ savings in salary alone).” This has allowed Thompson to react quickly to market trends and monitor promotional activity, “which can pay for itself in just one day.”

Thompson Trading also installed the AFS Warehouse Management System product to control their warehouse operations, and according to Marcian “How the heck did we do without it? Losses due to mis-rotation are close to non-existent, and we almost never have to take a loss on expired product,” he says. Thompson has reduced their picking staff by 30% and is offering better customer service. According to Cash, “One of our existing customers used to require two days to pick and dispatch their weekly orders. We can now complete that same customer in three to four hours. And our lost sales due to not being able to locate inventory is precisely “zero”, and we don’t spend one minute to review inventory levels; our fill rate went from 86% to 93%.”