Swim Different

10 companies that took an innovative approach to improving their operations.


Extensive stocking functionality allows Jel Sert to utilize many different styles and methods of putaway stocking techniques. Using the wireless network to communicate the putaway tasks, WISE directs distribution center employees to the proper location—with the correct equipment—in the most efficient route and manner. All RF putaway transactions are confirmed with a location barcode scan to ensure real-time inventory accuracy.

Rush estimates that warehouse employee productivity has already increased more than 30 percent. Despite growth in orders, inventories and SKUs since implementing WISE, Jel Sert has improved labor productivity. "Our employees know exactly what to do and they have the tools they need to do their jobs well. Each forklift has a computer and employees have handheld devices that automatically provide detailed instructions," he says.

In addition, the company has increased full pallet accuracy from about 80 percent to 99.93 percent and partial case accuracy from about 60 percent to 99.94 percent.

Standing Ahead Of The Pack
Who: Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, Nashville, TN, nation's largest privately held third-party logistics provider.

Why: Emerges as a dominant 3PL player in the food industry.


Ozburn-Hessey Logistics has been at the forefront of national logistics companies since 1951, when Frank Ozburn and Kenneth Hessey established the company in Nashville. Over the past several years, OH Logistics has emerged as a dominant player in food logistics by delivering a double punch as a food consolidator and transportation provider.

Through its asset-based Lanter division, OH Logistics redistributes dry and temperature-controlled food products throughout the country using strategically located warehouses in major hubs like Indianapolis; Chicago; St. Louis; Atlanta; Dallas; Reno, NV; and Harrisburg, PA, among others.

Its accomplishments have netted it accolades in the foodservice industry from such giants as Sysco Corp. (2003 and 2004 3PL Warehouse of the Year Awards). At the heart of OH Logistics food service is its development of regional warehouses large enough to aggregate foodservice suppliers previously dispersed among smaller warehouses, thereby allowing food distributors greater efficiency and accelerated turns.

As a result they have been able to serve hundreds of foodservice suppliers from regional locations, which in turn have allowed those suppliers to better serve a common customer.

In addition, OH Logistics has begun implementing cross dock consolidation throughout the country which provides both suppliers and distributors more savings by allowing them to avoid storage costs while at the same time placing their products at strategically advantageous locations for their customers. OH Logistics continues to implement a campaign to place these food consolidation warehouses and crossdocks at strategic locations.

OH Logistics offers more than 19 million square feet of distribution space available in dedicated and shared environments throughout the nation. In addition to its food consolidation, OH Logistics has been one of the country's leading innovators on "shared" or flexspace, which ensures that its customers do not commit to space they do not need and that additional space is always available to them when required.

OH Logistics has also quickly become a leading radio-frequency identification technology solutions provider in the food marketplace seeking to adopt the new technology standard. In July 2004, OH Logistics became one of the first third-party logistics firms to implement an RFID compliance center, which it opened at its Dallas Regional Distribution Campus to service a major pharmaceutical company and Wal-Mart.

More importantly, OH Logistics incorporated RFID within its own warehouse-management system. In this, way, it can provide a fully integrated distribution network using the new technology standard to all its food distribution customers who are requiring it.

The Logistics Behind Vending Machines
Who: Four Square, a U.K.-based subsidiary of Mars Inc., operates beverage vending machines throughout Europe.

Why: Outsources the entire lifecycle of vending machines.


With more than 1 billion drinks sold globally, Four Square ranks amongst the top beverage retailers worldwide, selling brand names such as Jacobs, Nestlé, Lipton and Knorr from vending machines.

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