Odom Team

The Odom Corporation has proven its logistics chops in the wilds of Alaska, Washington, and Idaho; and it continues to lead the beverage distribution market.
By Chris Petersen

One of the truest measures of success is how a company works under adverse conditions, and for a wholesale beverage distributor conditions don’t get much more adverse than Alaska. The Odom Corporation was born in these conditions, and COO Adam Hilpert says it has been the company’s ability to adapt to those conditions and still provide top-notch service that has allowed the company to grow into one of the largest distributors in the Pacific Northwest. According to Hilpert, the experience and problem-solving skills the company has accrued over the last 80-plus years in serving Alaska have been crucial for its continued success.

“Alaska has a lot of complexity as it relates to logistics, and the Odom family has done a very good job of learning how to deal with those challenges,” Hilpert says. “ We’ve had to learn to deal with a combination of logistical challenges  that include transporting freight via truck, plane, and barge. We have some markets that are only accessible by air and sea, so it’s forced us to become proficient in understanding a broader array of logistic requirements.”

Jacksonville 20160715 082258

The Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) is pushing to modernize its fleet with direct input from its employees.
By Chris Petersen

As the provider of electric, water and wastewater services for Duval County and surrounding areas in Florida, the Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) has a significant responsibility to its customers. And, as Fleet Manager Alan McElroy explains, it also has a significant challenge when it comes to maintaining all of the nearly 1,300 vehicle and equipment assets the company needs to fulfill its duties. Because the company provides so many services, there’s no one “typical” vehicle in the fleet.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is the fact that we are such a diverse utility and therefore we have diverse [fleet] needs,” McElroy says. “Being a diverse fleet, you have some vehicles in common, but mostly you have many specialized assets to meet our customers’ needs.”

Fresh Direct

FreshDirect delivers everything carried in a grocery store directly to customers in the Northeast with an award-winning, green fleet.

By Russ Gager

Putting “fresh” in a grocer’s name demonstrates a commitment to obtaining food from its source in the shortest time possible. Helping to deliver on that promise is FreshDirect’s Director of Fleet Operations Mike Derrig.

FreshDirect delivers everything that can be found in a grocery store to the metro areas of New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia along with the southern Connecticut metro area and Delaware’s metro areas. “But that’s only to give us somewhere to jump off from,” Derrig says. “I live in the middle of cornfields. I’m surrounded by cornfields, and yet we have quite a good customer base near me. It’s the convenience.”

FreshDirect ‘s main distribution center is at the company’s headquarters in Long Island City, N.Y. Two more distribution centers – one in Hackensack, N.J., and the other in Philadelphia – are used for cross-docking. “We have deliveries direct into our Long Island City distribution center from different farms and providers – the whole gamut of what you would need – dry goods or fresh vegetables, we get them direct,” Derrig emphasizes.

As its name implies, FreshDirect emphasizes produce, organic and fresh prepared food. “We buy direct from the farms, so we don’t have to go through a broker or another distribution center,” Derrig points out. “It’s a way to keep our costs down while maintaining high quality standards.”

PPL Electric

PPL Electric Utilities implements the latest in fleet technology to stay on the leading-edge of innovation.

By Janice Hoppe

Utility companies are not often thought of as innovators, but PPL Electric Utilities is working to change all that as it utilizes the latest technology for fleet enhancements. “We are embracing innovation,” Transportation Manager John Adkisson says. “In the fleet department we implemented telematics, which is a big deal and innovative.”

The Allentown, Pa.-based utility is one of five companies under the PPL Corp. umbrella. PPL Electric Utilities maintains more than 48,000 miles of power lines in central and eastern Pennsylvania, serving about 1.4 million customers in 29 counties. The company operates 1,200 total vehicles and oversees 10,000 square miles of territory.

PPL Electric Utilities handles more than six million customer interactions each year and has consistently won awards and ranked highly among companies in the United States for customer service and satisfaction. The company has received 23 J.D. Power and Associates awards for top-quality service to its residential and business customers.

In addition to fleet enhancements, PPL Electric Utilities over the next five years will invest more than $5 billion to improve its electric delivery system. The company will replace aging facilities and build new ones to meet growth in demand and to make the network more reliable. “In the utility space, taking on new technology makes business better, and ultimately lowers our rates for our customers,” Adkisson says.

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