Operations Improvement

Helping Foodbrands to Pull out of the Distribution Death Spiral (White Paper PDF 141K)

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.

Foodbrands was struggling to keep up with their business growth. Case costs were up significantly. Order fulfillment errors had skyrocketed. And productivity measures were unacceptably low.

The Challenges

Foodbrands faced major challenges that created significant operational inefficiencies:

  • The company's DC line managers were operating in a very reactive mode just to keep up with increasing product volumes, they were too close to the situation to adequately address the issues.
  • Foodbrands couldn't keep up with dramatic volume increases, resulting in ineffective distribution processes.
  • Foodbrands' IT systems no longer adequately supported the volume of product moving through its distribution channels.

The Solution

Foodbrands turned to Solertis to quickly and effectively address these urgent challenges. Solertis developed a strategy that involved hands-on training of Foodbrands' distribution management, and improvements to the company's logistics processes and operations.

Solertis did a fabulous job in getting this broken thing fixed," said Dick Buell, President and COO of Foodbrands. "They provided supplemental management all the way through training to daily meetings, weekly planning, and monthly outlooks."

One of Solertis' major roles in the project involved working with the employees who run theoperation on a daily basis, according to Jesse Laver, a practice leader with Solertis who was instrumental in helping Foodbrands through this crisis:"We were on the floor, mentoring the supervisors and front-line managers in their own environment day in and day out. When the problem arose, we would coach them on how to think through the issues and how to be a more effective manager. We firmly believe that the people who best know how to improve any operation are the ones are doing it at that level, every day. By helping these key members of the work force to develop new thinking skills, Foodbrands is now in a stronger position to address its distribution challenges.

What makes Solertis unique is that we can benefit clients at all levels, from the ground up," continues Laver. "For Foodbrands, at 6 a.m. we'd be in the freezer to work with front-line supervisors, and at 4 p.m. we'd be sitting at the boardroom table talking strategy with the vice president. We bring significant value to our clients by integrating at all levels of the enterprise."

The Results

Solertis was able to help Foodbrands achieve the following:

  • 30% productivity gain, primarily through hands-on, practical training of the floor supervisors at the company's distribution centers
  • Optimum operational functionality by improving processes and IT systems
  • Reduced case costs by 52%
  • Decreased the number of order fulfillment errors by 53%

Get results like these for your company. Contact Solertis now.

Download PDF 536K
Need Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here