Supply Scan

News and trends from across the food supply chain.

Joe Ciolino, president and CEO of LiftExchange Group, says, "FMI and NAPAR members have some of the largest materials-handling fleets in the country. Their participation in this robust purchasing program will enhance its aggregated buying power.

Our business model shows savings from 15 percent to 45 percent—primarily through more efficient equipment management."

For example, the program:

  • Alerts retailers when their systems surpass their useful life, which could potentially decrease productivity, generate excessive maintenance costs and contribute to high-priced emergency repairs;
  • Ensures that companies take full advantage of product warranties;
  • Calculates how much equipment companies need so they do not overspend;
  • Helps companies use the best and most cost-effective system for the job;
  • Benchmarks the cost of equipment per hour of operation;
  • Checks every invoice to ensure the amount charged is correct and companies are not double-billed;
  • Provides optimal pricing on quality-assured parts and material-handling equipment.

Firms, including the Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, MI, and its Keebler subsidiary; ProPak Logistics, Fort Smith, AR; and Source Interlink Cos., Bonita Springs, FL, are already benefiting from LiftExchange as program participants.

LiftExchange offers services in a menu format. Participants select those features that fit their operations. The program, for example, can accommodate companies that outsource their maintenance to a third party.

For more information, contact Joe Ciolino (

Walgreens Recruits Disabled Employees For New DC

Drugstore chain Walgreens has launched an initiative to hire people with disabilities at its new distribution center in Anderson, SC, and is recruiting through a specially designed Web site. describes jobs available at the Walgreens distribution center and is accessible by people with sensory, physical and cognitive disabilities.

The center has begun pre-hire training and will open in 2007. Initially, Walgreens will hire more than 200 employees, with plans to ramp up to more than 600 employees.

The company's goal is to have at least one-third of the workforce consist of employees with disabilities. This "real work for real pay" environment will be competitive employment in which performance standards must be maintained, according to Walgreens. Job openings include a number of management positions. provides information to help potential employees understand what work will be like at the distribution center and incorporates audio messages, photos, video and a large-print text option to depict jobs and worklife at Anderson. It is designed to be accessible to blind and low-vision individuals who use screen reader technology.

Under the jobs section, videos show employees performing jobs, and text describes what the workers are doing. Prospective employees unsure if they can perform the essential job functions can take a self-quiz to get an idea of the tasks involved. From the same page, photos show an employee arriving at work and going through the daily routine—going to a locker, storing lunch, walking to a work station, taking a break and ending the day.

For potential employees considering relocating to the Anderson area, the site also has information about Walgreens' partnership with 13 local disability agencies. It also addresses concerns such as transportation, housing and the impact of gainful employment on Medicaid, SSI or SSDI benefits.

"We know this requires more than a ‘build it and they will come' attitude to be successful," says Randy Lewis, Walgreens' senior vice president of distribution and logistics, who has a son with autism. "Our local partners and statewide officials have worked tirelessly in setting up a support network to make this outreach with the disability community a success."

Walgreens worked with The Paciello Group of Nashua, NH, to make accessible for people with disabilities and to meet the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium.

Intermodal: A Solution To Nation's Transportation Woes?

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