Ten To Watch

Industry leaders employ innovative solutions to address logistical challenges.


5. Harvest Time International (HTI): SANFORD, FL

Harvest Time International needed to work with the retailer and manufacturer networks to make product donation more of a value-added process to the donor company. It accomplish this by adopting more of a "3PL mentality" when working with donors.

Harvest Time, a 20 year-old global disaster and hunger relief organization, providing aid to over 7,000 families each day, needed to capture more grocery and non-grocery product donations. Harvest Time was not limited by its ability to accept, process and distribute product, but rather by reverse logistics challenges that their current and prospective donors were experiencing.

The company realized, that if it could partner with its donors to overcome their reverse logistics challenges, it would attract more donations. The company assumed the role of a 3PL and developed an Unsalables Management Program to address many key reverse logistics challenges. Everyday, Harvest Time moves new, used, out-of-package, discontinued, scratched, dented, surplus and out-of-date items and even some product labeled for disposal from its "end-of-first-use" to "second use." It accepts mixed loads of unsorted grocery and non-grocery product which optimizes inventory and reduces handling risk and expense.

The program has built-in sustainability as well, since it re-purposes all kinds of products that might otherwise end up in a landfill. Asset recovery and brand protection are addressed by a program, the Short Dated Product Solution, that enables a donor to establish a salvage/donation program with Harvest Time activated by a product's date code.

While the Unsaleables Management Program and Shorted Dated Product Solution addressed the key reverse logistics concerns of its current and potential donors, response time and load flexibility were also very critical. Harvest Time can accept any donation, in quantities that range from a few pallets to many truckloads, with very little lead time. It can also spot a trailer at the dock door, which accommodates donors who have neither storage space for its donations nor yard equipment. As product becomes available, it is loaded directly on the trailer, maximizing warehouse floor space.

Harvest Time has been able to achieve this high level of response and flexibility, by outsourcing its execution logistics to C. H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. The relationship has granted Harvest Time access to a national matrix of local transportation and warehouse operators who can aggregate full loads that are either shipped to Harvest Time or re-routed by us to other ministry or non-profit partners. The program has been a big win for all parties. Harvest Time International's donations in 2010 were up in excess of 50 percent over 2009.

6. La Tortilla Factory: SANTA ROSA, KY

Carlos Tamayo, founder and president of La Tortilla Factory (right) and Sam Tamayo, Carlos' son and vice president of business development, show off labels printed by their four Markem-Imaje 5200 Series carton printers. Previously the company used liquid high-resolution printing systems that were causing frequent issues on the production line. 

The cost savings and improved efficiency offered by Markem-Imaje printers compelled the company to make the switch. The 5200 printer offers the advantage of Touch Dry Hot Melt ink, which allows codes to dry immediately on contact with cases, trays and even wrapping films with 100 percent code readability.

7. Papa Johns: LOUISVILLE, KY

When you're one of the largest pizza companies in the world with more than 3,000 restaurants, maintaining efficient, cost-effective operations throughout your supply chain is essential to continued success. Even though growth was on the fast track, Louisville, KY-based Papa John's International Inc. was still hampered by supply chain inventory, visibility and accuracy challenges that were impacting its businesses.

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