The 2011 Golden Pallet Award

Consolidations, acquisitions, and buy-outs are typical occurrences in the business world these days, and the foodservice industry is no different. Many family-run companies face increasing pressure just to survive in the marketplace. However, a handful of...


Virtually no expense was spared in order to modernize and completely equip M.J. Kellner’s new facility, says Thompson. “We now have a state of the art facility with fully automated dock doors, seven temperature zones, and a voice-activated WMS. There are 17 dock doors and a total of 84,000 square feet—38,000 dry, 12,000 refrigerated, and 34,000 frozen and more than 12,000 SKUs. Outbound accuracy rates are now 1 in 12,000 cases, inventory control is very accurate, and we run a rolling inventory. Truck loading errors have also decreased and inbound efficiency is much faster with appointments staying ‘on time,’” she adds.

 

Sustainability as a secondary benefit

The new facility also provides M.J. Kellner with a number of secondary benefits, particularly on the sustainability front. “The new facility is definitely more energy efficient,” Thompson reports. “For instance, the equipment that cools the freezers and equipment is also used to heat the warehouse during the winter,” essentially recycling the heat that’s generated from the cooling equipment. The result is that it now costs the company less to heat a larger facility than it used to for the smaller structure. Lighting, too, is automatic, which means sensors are used to turn off lights after an extended period of inactivity.

Thompson credits a lot of pre-planning along with extraordinary employee cooperation for the successful overhaul of M.J. Kellner’s facility and ability to respond to a unique marketplace opportunity.

For starters, “The employees really embraced the new technology and they were very excited to be in the new facility, and that really helped make for a smoother transition.”

As for the future, “there’s no fear in taking on more business” says Thompson, “because we know we can handle it now. Our focus is on maintaining a very efficient operation and providing our customers with the absolute best service.” d

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