Project Management

Problem To Be Solved:

Foodbrands America is a major manufacturer and marketer of frozen and refrigerated products. It services nationally recognized foodservice, retail and refrigerated convenience food companies, including Dominos Pizza, Sysco, Fleming, and Alliant Food Service.

After three solid years of double-digit growth, Foodbrands was moving nearly $1 billion in products a year. As a result, the company’s existing 175,000 square-foot, 16 dock door central warehouse and four auxiliary distribution facilities in Kansas were no longer adequate to accommodate their logistics needs.

The Solution

Foodbrands turned to Solertis to help it transition from a multiple site, fragmented logistics infrastructure that the company had outgrown into a sophisticated product flow strategy encompassed by a single, 450,000 square foot Distribution Center in Kansas City.

Foodbrands was able to improve their logistics processes and operations through a state-of-the-art 450,000 square foot distribution facility built in Kansas City.  

Our program has become much more complicated in this new facility because there are many more things going on simultaneously,” says Dick Buell, President and COO of Foodbrands. “With more dock doors, we’re shipping and receiving in parallel—as opposed to series—and our workforce had to make that adjustment. Solertis helped in the training, discipline and systems to make this more complex situation easier. They brought the analytical, intellectual and execution skill sets necessary to create the process flow we needed in this new facility.”

One of Solertis’ major roles in the project involved the timing and workforce training prior to switching from one facility and process into another. According to Ann Elliott, Solertis’ president and CEO “Originally, Foodbrands had set a target date of transitioning in November. By following the Project Management Methodology and monitoring the progress of the new facility’s construction, we convinced Foodbrands that this would be a bad business decision—particularly because November was the beginning of their busiest season. Because we had an unbiased perspective from the outside, we were able to lend them insight that ultimately led to a smart business decision.”

By postponing the transition until March of the following year, Solertis was able to coordinate additional training, process redesign, and systems upgrades that were required for an efficient, seamless transition into the new facility. In fact, Foodbrands was able to maintain a 98 percent case fill throughout the transition process.

The Results

Solertis was able to help Foodbrands achieve the following:

  • Creating a facility execution plan.
  • A successful transition from a multiple-site, fragmented logistics infrastructure into a new state-of-the art 450,000 square-foot distribution facility. While maintaining 98 percent case fill in the process.
  • Training for Foodbrands employees to prepare for the new facilities and processes.
  • In their new facility, Foodbrands now fills 44,000 pallet positions moving through 54 dock doors.

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