Lower overall maintenance costs with a single solution. By bringing all their content management systems together under Liferay, F’real Foods has been able to decrease maintenance costs.
Increase efficiency with accurate analytics. Consolidating tools like logs, health monitoring, and diagnostics information in a single location helps vendors and F’real Foods teams quickly collect, identify, and fix problems.
Create a solution so useful that it generates 100% adoption. The rigorous analytics collected from F’real Foods vendors and integrated with Liferay on Gateway Portal have attracted additional users beyond initial targets.
F’real Foods manufactures, sells, and monitors F’real Food Smart Blenders that dispense frozen milkshakes and smoothies made with real milk and honest ingredients throughout the majority of the US and Canada.
As F’real Foods grew into a multinational, digitally cutting-edge company, it became clear that they needed a better self-service portal to track and gauge the health of their fleet of 20,000 blenders. They wanted a F’real-owned, cloud-based portal with custom code that reflected their unique identity.
F’real Foods’ current portal had these issues:
Minimal blender and product analytics data. The data sent back from the blenders allowed for only a reactive approach to maintenance and performance.
High maintenance cost. Because there was no unified blender back-end, juggling multiple technologies was expensive and challenging.
Poor user experience. The portal was difficult to navigate and didn’t have necessary features, with custom development taking a long time.
[Liferay] had the
building blocks that were easy to put together to give us a relatively straightforward solution to develop and maintain.
Project Manager Lead at F'real Foods
F’real Foods explored multiple platforms before settling on Liferay DXP, which had the features and flexibility necessary for building what they call their next-generation IoT (Internet of Things) solution, Gateway Portal.
With the help of partner EInfoChips and Liferay Support, the initial rollout to one test blender took only five months before a successful rollout to the entire fleet. Using Liferay, Gateway Portal aggregates and delivers multiple content management system strategies and integrations to the blenders.
Gateway Portal serves two primary audiences:
Vendors: Vendors at locations spanning North America use Gateway Portal to log into their accounts and review analytics for machine maintenance, notifying F’real Foods of any feedback or problems they encounter.
Product purchasers: Interacting with a blender’s unique self-serve UI, customers walking into a vendor location can choose and customize the milkshake or smoothie to their preferences.
The new Gateway Portal eliminates the pain-points F’real Foods experienced with their old platform, leveraging a dynamic, low-code approach to implementing new features. With the unifying digital strategy in place, efficiency has increased for operational teams.
After the successful rollout, F’real Foods has seen these results:
20K blenders connected to the cloud. All F’real Foods locations have sophisticated logs, health monitoring, and data collection that integrate with Liferay to export analytics to the right teams, enabling proactive maintenance.
2x more adoption than anticipated. Blender analytics have now become so useful that Gateway Portal has had close to a 200% internal adoption rate, with additional users logging on to track the results.
100% uptime. Because blender maintenance is more proactive rather than reactive, blenders have been able to stay online. Customers visiting vendor locations get to taste the flavors they crave, driving up new and repeat sales.
Capitalizing on the success of Gateway Portal, F’real Foods hopes to double their business in the next five years, updating locations with additional pieces of equipment to accommodate new product offerings. Just as F’real Foods has been an innovator in their market, they’re also looking to innovate their customer and consumer interactions to anticipate demand, taking advantage of the most recent Liferay features to help them create the next evolution of their platform.