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Serving up data modernization for more orders and happier customers

Gordon Food Service

Caterer using tablet in kitchen

Beyond the dairy

  • Category: Data and Analytics

Gordon Food Service (GFS) has come a long way from the days when it delivered butter and eggs to local customers. Over a century later, it’s the largest family-operated broadline food distribution company in North America. A commitment to great products and quality service has been the recipe for success with a client base of around 100,000 customers including schools, hospitals and restaurants.

A flavor of our work

  • Selecting and implementing the right Google Cloud solution
  • Collecting the data required for agile decision making 
  • Offering a bigger picture of the business
  • Increasing online orders

A clearer view required

Data can power the success of any business but that data needs to be clear, accessible and consistent to be useful. GFS's challenge was that its data was coming from a variety of consumer applications directly connected to multiple data sources drawn from both the cloud and the business premises. The end result? Varying views and dependencies for database administration, causing rigidity.

GFS had a real operational need for this data, including the ability to:

  • Manage pricing and promotions
  • Track historical product price changes
  • Analyze purchase behavior

But the difficulty in accessing the numbers that mattered meant that opportunities were being missed.

Close up of an employee using a tablet on a restaurant

Setting up the store

Our solution was to bring everything together in one place. We created data pipelines to supply an Integrated Consumption Data Store (ICDS) that supported GFS's operational and analytical needs. In essence everything collected flowed into one place where it could be viewed, used and analyzed to add real value for decision makers.

Zooming in on the tech

Understanding the technology available and working closely with those who create it means the optimum solution can be delivered. To build the ICDS, we utilized our long term partnership with Google Cloud.

After careful analysis and consultation, we agreed that Google Cloud’s Dataflow would be ideal as a serverless execution engine for Apache Beam SDK to do batch data processing. Data is extracted from BigQuery and stored in Cloud SQL. This allows GFS to achieve data syndication, speed and accessibility for various operational needs.

Faster, flexible and cost-effective

Not only does this solution save GFS money but can be scaled up and down when required. Data is accessed via a standardized API layer built and deployed within GKE. This takes advantage of the automated scaling and high-availability across regions and multiple zones.

Costs and the resource overhead are managed on database admins, and it delivers data significantly faster while using BigQuery for limitless compute along with Dataflow for ETL processing of batch and streaming data. CI/CD automation is integrated into the data pipelines.

Our speed to market has improved exponentially which is attributable to the process that Kin + Carta has brought to bear.

Mike Kennedy - CIO, Gordon Food Service

Success on the menu

20% increase in segment of users ordering 90% or more online
99% improvement to customer feature requests
25% to 96% Adoption increase in Canada

Ready to make data work harder for your organization?

Kin + Carta’s solutions leveraging Google Cloud across the data value lifecycle can smooth the cloud adoption curve and accelerate time to value by building data products and intelligent experiences at scale.

If you'd like to work with us, we would love to hear from you

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