Since its founding, this natural & organic food distributor has enjoyed an unparalleled record of success. From its roots as a regional wholesaler of natural foods, the company has grown into the nation's leading marketer and distributor of natural and organic foods, nutritional and dietary supplements, and specialty foods. Today, the company has more than 6,000 employees and 15,000 retail customers.
Nowhere is the emphasis on distribution excellence any more evident than at the company's Southeast Distribution Center where the flow of orders from the picking station through loading docks is streamlined with an integrated network of Hytrol conveyor equipment.
- Modern 230,000 square-foot facility
- Incorporates the latest in RF technology
- Advanced Warehouse Management System
- Sophisticated computer controls
"We had several key objectives in mind when we designed the Southeast Distribution Center," says the senior vice president of distribution. "We wanted to increase overall productivity and improve order turnaround time so that we could serve our customers better and faster. This distribution center is accomplishing those objectives-and the Hytrol conveyor system plays a big part in that."
Productivity & Reliability
The company has been pleased with the performance of the Southeast DC to date. Management reports that productivity levels continue to improve as they become increasingly familiar with the system. Overall reliability of the conveyor operation—a critical capability for anyone competing in the food distribution industry—has met expectations as well.
Thanks to the advanced technology in place, the new system also has given greater visibility over the entire order-flow process. Operators at the DC can spot potential congestion problems anywhere in the facility and take preventive action.
One other important aspect of the new operation bears mention—the installation experience. The Corporate Engineer explains: "For a company like ours, the timeliness of the installation is all important. When we set a date, we expect that date to be met because delays in one DC can affect the entire operation. Everyone involved in this installation lived up to that commitment."