Supply Scan

Nash Finch Completes Ohio DC Expansion

Minneapolis-based Nash Finch Co. has completed a significant expansion of a distribution center located in Lima, OH. The expansion represents a substantial investment and effectively doubles the current freezer capacity.

“We are very excited to announce the completion of this expansion at our Lima warehouse,” says Alec Covington, president and CEO. “This important investment positions us to better serve existing customers while at the same time providing needed capacity to add additional ones.”

The expansion was completed this past April and enables Nash Finch to triple the amount of frozen volume shipped from Lima. A grand opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting is planned for July.

Nash Finch also announced the closure of a distribution center located in Bridgeport, MI. Nash Finch has operated this facility since 1996 and expects to completely exit the facility by late September.

All customers currently supplied by the Bridgeport facility will be transitioned to Nash Finch’s Lima distribution center.

Smart & Final Improves Slotting With Software

Smart & Final Stores LLC is using a slotting solution from Optricity, Research Park, NC. Having recognized the need for change in one of its warehouses, the Commerce, CA-based company looked to slotting to align the DC with the activities that had transpired over the last decade, including the addition of 3,000 low velocity items, among other changes.

Using OptiSlot DC, Optricity’s slotting technology software, Smart & Final completed a reslot that improved productivity in the DC, yielded significant labor savings at stores and boosted associate morale.

The DC reslot was completed in one weekend with no significant impact to customers. Smart & Final stores immediately noticed a difference, and responded positively. Labor savings for product slotted in the DC by store aisle/section was assessed, and showed a 15-20 minute savings in store processing per load, which equated to an annual savings of $300,000 for stores.

Furthermore, the reslot realized a two to three percent improvement in DC selecting productivity, which equates to over $100,000 per year in labor savings. Smart & Final worked with Optricity to successfully develop an ongoing maintenance program.

In addition to applying OptiSlot to this project, Optricity worked with Smart & Final to reconfigure the placement and direction of case flow racks and pick path sequence to reduce over 10 percent of the total travel from the pick path. Tangentially, working with OptiSlot allowed for the creation of a separate pick path for caustic items, thereby isolating them from edibles.

 Product Recall Management Report Released

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and GS1 US have issued a joint industry report that identifies opportunities and methods for improving product recall management practices across multiple dimensions.

The report, titled Recall Execution Effectiveness: Collaborative Approaches to Improving Consumer Safety and Confidence, was conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP on behalf of GMA, FMI and GS1 US and makes recommendations in three main areas: communication and collaboration; processes, organization and metrics; and technology.

The study is part of an ongoing, industry-wide effort to improve product safety and recall programs.

“Consumer confidence is the foundation of the food, beverage and consumer products industry. Without it, nothing we do is possible,” says Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of GMA. “That means prevention is our first line of defense when it comes to product safety. Our industry-wide culture of continuous improvement prompted this study to ensure that recall processes are as efficient and effective as possible.”

The report findings are based on a thorough Deloitte evaluation of current and leading recall practices utilized by consumer product manufacturers and retailers. Among the report’s recommendations is a call for more collaboration among trading partners to enable early identification of possible problems by sharing and investigating consumer complaints, a spike in which could be symptomatic of a problem. The report also suggests investigating the root cause of recalls to further assess prevention measures that can reduce or limit the need for recalls.

When it comes to recall processes, organizations and metrics, using standardized industry tools and processes whenever possible will enhance recall efficiency, according to the report. Investment in employee recall execution training at both the corporate and the store level was also identified as an opportunity for improvement. Finally, the report identifies technology as the means of supporting its communication and process-oriented recommendations.