Ten Companies To Watch

Food Logistics' annual salute to food and beverage companies that are using innovative solutions to address logistical challenges.


User-friendly Margin Minder also enables Gillette to better understand who its top customers are. The system can also identify trends so Gillette can eliminate poor-performing products and aggressively market the successful ones.

Margin Minder’s benefits extend to the finance department as well, delivering information within minutes that used to take up to nine days to retrieve.

Gillette has improved the management of its vending business and assets using the system’s tracking capabilities.

Margin Minder helps Gillette make good business decisions, giving decision-makers the information they need to support their business strategies. “It helps us to have data that backs up what we want to do and why we want to do something; it also reinforces the reasons behind the business decisions we make,” Gillette-Ostrom says.

6. Just Born makes the ‘confection connection’ -
BETHLEHEM, PA - Markets its candy in over 45 countries.

Just Born Inc., the maker of Peeps, Hot Tamales, Mike and Ike and other iconic candy brands, had several logistics and environmental goals. The Bethlehem, PA-based company wanted to better satisfy its customers, control its long-term logistics costs, improve the overall sustainability of its supply chain, support the local economy and significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

To help achieve these goals, Just Born purchased a vacant distribution center within close proximity of its production facilities in Philadelphia and renovated it into a “class A” FDA certified, food grade facility. The move improved efficiencies for customers (fewer deliveries), and eliminated more than 500,000 truck-miles per year from Pennsylvania roads.

The retro-fit plan was designed with a goal of achieving a Silver Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification. Broadening its original goals, Just Born is working with OHL to create a multi-vendor consolidation program. This will reduce costs for manufacturers that participate with Just Born in the program, and will lessen the environmental impact even more significantly.

By making the move, Just Born stands to improve its value-added services and distribution network, reduce cost, and improve sustainability. The company will also gain access to tier-one transportation and warehouse management systems by partnering with OHL to operate and manage the facility as its primary 3PL.

OHL, based in Brentwood, TN, manages over 32 million square feet of warehouse space primarily in North America. OHL will lease one-half of the Just Born distribution center and market the space to other manufacturers. Just Born and OHL will work together to build a larger and more efficient transportation coalition with the various manufacturers considering co-locating or using the facility as a regional cross dock for Mid-Atlantic and New England customers.

As a result of the Confection Connection project, Just Born had the opportunity to redesign and improve its logistics processes and systems from the bottom up, resulting in cost savings and the ability to get product to customers more quickly. In addition, one half million annual truck miles were eliminated from Pennsylvania roads and more than 70 jobs were created.

7. Sobeys Inc. automates picking in state-of-the-art DC - VAUGHAN, ONTARIO - Canada’s second largest supermarket operator.

If you ever wondered what distribution centers will look like in the future, take a look at Sobeys’ new state-of-the-art automated distribution center in Vaughan, Ontario, with its array of cranes, conveyor belts, cameras and sensors. The DC incorporates an automated picking and assembly system for improved product selection accuracy, optimal individual store order assembly, and improved delivery to Sobeys Ontario retail store network.

Sobeys made the decision to build the Vaughan DC because the company had been spending a significant amount of time manually handling order fulfillment, which drove up costs, damages and errors. The company’s workforce was spending a lot of time unloading pallets transferring product to carts, and then driving the carts to aisles for product replenishment to the shelves. Sobeys sought a leaner solution and found it at Witron Integrated Logistics, Arlington Heights, IL.

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