Supply Scan

News and Trends from Across the Food Supply Chain

PLM Trailer Leasing recently opened a Customer Service Center (CSC) in Dallas.

The CSC was created to offer customer service, maintenance and repairs specifically for the refrigerated trailer market. Emergency roadside assistance calls will be handled 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by PLM employees trained in refrigerated trailer repair.

The goal is to offer roadside assistance without lengthy wait or hold times. Montvale, NJ-based PLM has hired experienced professionals from the refrigeration, transportation and cold supply chain industries. The staff will offer emergency resolutions that are prompt and efficient while at the same time being cost effective.

"We had outsourced our 24 hour emergency breakdown service for several years but could not find a company that specialized in refrigerated trailer repair and service," says Randy Gunn, manager of the CSC for PLM.

"We felt the only way to achieve the level of quality we desired was to build our own CSC dedicated to this specialized business. Immediately we are reducing maintenance and repair costs while getting the company driver back on the road sooner."

PLM says companies and their drivers will find access to the center fast, with service representatives that understand the industry challenges as well as address the immediate mechanical needs of the driver.

Publix Seeking Distribution Center In Orlando

Publix Super Markets Inc. has decided to postpone development plans for a distribution center in Punta Gorda, FL, and is now seeking an Orlando-area site to better serve stores in the area.

The Lakeland, FL-based retailer says that with rising fuel costs, it would be more cost-effective to have the DC centrally located.

The land in Punta Gorda, located on Piper Road near Interstate Highway 75 and the Jones Loop Road corridor, will remain a Publix-owned site. This would have been the retailers' eighth DC in Florida.

An exact location for the Orlando-area site has not yet been confirmed. The company currently operates seven distribution centers in Florida.

A&P, Pathmark Merge Supply Agreements Into One

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. and C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. have signed a 10-year agreement to merge their previously separate A&P and Pathmark supply agreements into a single agreement.

The agreement restructures the terms of their relationship, aligning distribution operations, procurement practices and warehousing facility goals for all of Montvale, NJ-based A&P's retail banners.

The contract is a major change in the way A&P and Keene, NH-based C&S work together. With this agreement, A&P and C&S plan to create increased efficiencies across A&P's distribution network, improve service levels to all stores and enable both companies to achieve cost savings, which further contributes to the attainment of A&P's synergy targets.

The key aspects of this agreement are:
• A new business model;
• A dedicated network of distribution centers;
• Coordination and collaboration of resources;
• Reduction of on-hand inventory;
• Improved in-stock levels;
• Best-in-class service levels with improved speed-to-market delivery;
• Cost reductions which will result in savings for customers.

"We are pleased to arrive at this agreement," says Eric Claus, president and CEO of A&P. "Our partnering with C&S and its high-tech infrastructure combined with our new agreement creates the value that is only derived from a ‘big business model.'

"This agreement will provide cost savings and efficiencies in warehousing while benefiting all parties including, most importantly, our customers."

The agreement aligns both companies' objectives and provides incentives to achieve mutual goals. Together, A&P and C&S expect to develop one of the lowest cost distribution systems in the Northeast grocery industry. Further, they plan to create a world-class distribution system to fulfill the merchandising needs of all of A&P's diverse store formats, providing customers with the best product selections.

As part of the agreement, the supply roles and responsibilities will be streamlined, creating clarity that will improve coordination and result in more productive procurement practices. It will enable both A&P and C&S to implement warehouse efficiency controls to reduce costs and improve store service.

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