ADLI

ADLI Logistics’ reliable and creative solutions keep clients coming back.

By Alan Dorich

ADLI Logistics has established itself as a flexible third-party logistics (3PL) provider in the past two decades. “What sets us apart from other 3PL companies is that we are quick to adapt to our customers’ requirements,” President Max Greco says.

“We recognize and fulfill all our customers’ logistics needs by creating customized solutions,” he says. “On top of this, we provide superior customer service and are available 24/7 when our customers need us.”

Based in Mississauga, Ontario, ADLI started operations in 1998. Since then, the company has earned a “flawless” record of providing transportation, warehousing and distribution services in Canada and the United States, he says.

CalArk

CalArk recently made a big move that had paid off with the addition of warehousing services to its transportation capabilities.

By Chris Petersen

For more than 40 years, CalArk has been one of the Southeast’s most respected names in over-the-road transportation. In 2014, however, the company encountered an opportunity to expand its services that it couldn’t pass up. The acquisition of a warehouse facility close to the company’s main facility in Little Rock, Ark., allowed CalArk to expand its capabilities to include warehousing and distribution services. According to Director of Sales Jason Martin, the addition of warehousing services has been a major step for CalArk, one that the company expects to lead to bigger and better things in the future.

Martin says CalArk was looking for an opportunity to diversify its services outside of over-the-road trucking to help it mitigate the shrinking pool of qualified drivers, attract new customers and provide more services to existing customers. It found that opportunity in the form of a 650,000-square-foot warehouse facility practically across the street from CalArk’s main facility. The warehouse had been closed for more than five years as the courts determined what to do with the former owner’s assets. “The day that it came on the auction block, our founder went to the auction and purchased the building that day,” Martin says.

20160302 151254Awana Clubs International’s improvements to its distribution and warehouse operations

enabled it to help other religious organizations.

By Jim Harris

Conveyor belts, bins and voice picking systems are probably not the first things that come to mind when thinking about evangelism. For Awana Clubs International, however, technology plays a critical role in helping both it and others spread the word of God around the world.

“We are pretty technical here for a small nonprofit group,” Director of Distribution Steve Hale says. The Streamwood, Ill.-based organization relies heavily on warehouse and distribution systems to fulfill orders to more than 34,000 churches in 108 countries. Founded in 1950 in Chicago, Awana reaches more than 3 million children ages 2 to 18 a week with products and activities meant to enhance and reinforce religious teachings.

The organization distributes roughly 3.2 million pieces of product a year includes books, t-shirts, awards and activity kits from its 82,000-square-foot distribution center in Schaumburg, Ill. Products are picked and packaged into large shipments that are typically sent to churches within 48 hours.

Awana processes more than 160,000 orders and sends 200,000 packages annually, with the majority of those being shipped in the period between August and October, Hale says.

That three-month period is busiest for Awana as its church-based programs run throughout the school year, and that is the time most of the orders it fulfills are placed. The organization hires additional pickers during those months, he adds.

Process Improvements

Since joining the organization in 1999, Hale has overseen Awana’s installation of Lucas Systems’ Jennifer voice picking system, which he says played a critical role in greatly enhancing order fulfillment. Awana first installed the Jennifer system in 2004 and upgraded to its second- generation version last June.

The system has increased Awana’s order fulfillment accuracy by 80 percent and improved its overall productivity by 40 percent since its installation.

“I’m most proud of implementing this system and the amount of money it has saved Awana,” Hale says, noting the system has saved the organization roughly $200,000 annually. Awana saw a return on its investment in the system in just 11 months. In addition to the Jennifer system, Awana utilizes Pitney Bowes’ Sendsuite Live transportation module.

Awana is working closely with conveyor solutions provider Wynright to further expand its operations. The organization two years ago added a third pick line, which it expanded last year. Further warehouse expansion is anticipated later this year.

The improvements Awana achieved in its own operations in recent years have led it to pick up additional distribution duties on behalf of other Christian organizations. These include the Walk in the Word Ministries based in Elgin, Ill., for which the organization distributes religious materials including sermons and other books. Awana distributes nearly 1.5 million pieces annually for outside organizations.

“We feel we work well alongside other organizations as a 3PL provider,” Hale says. “We can free them up to focus on their ministry instead of worrying about order fulfillment.”

 

www.awana.org

Sales: $24 million

Headquarters: Streamwood, Ill.

Employees: 210

Specialty: Children and youth ministry

United Sugars Corp. (USC) might be giving new meaning to the blues standard “Sweet Home Chicago.” The company is building the largest freestanding sugar storage and transfer facility in the country in Montgomery, Ill., 45 miles west of the Windy City.

“It’s a state-of-the-art facility,” says Darla Willoughby, transportation manager of administration and carrier development. “It’s about meeting challenges. This gives us options.”

USC is a leading marketer of sugar in the United States. The Bloomington, Minn.-based marketing firm is owned by three leading sugar producers: American Crystal Sugar Co., Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative and the United States Sugar Co. USC markets sugar to major food and beverage manufacturers and food retailers nationwide on behalf of the producers.

Tidewater Fleet Supply got its start 62 years ago as a battery warehouse. “The core customer was the independent garage,” President Allan Parrott says. Auto dealerships were also a primary client of the company.

Much has changed in six decades. Today, Tidewater Fleet Supply is a full-line automotive, truck and heavy equipment parts distributor. “In the 1990s, we shifted gears,” Parrott says. “The core customer changed to fleets. We have evolved into a full-line supplier.”

The average U.S. manufacturer spends roughly half its revenue to purchase goods and services, which makes their success dependent on their interaction with the suppliers. “By the time our clients engage us, they are already convinced of the utility outsourcing and usually have a good idea of what constitutes the ‘best value’ in their company and usually that is: cheaper (lowest price), better (best quality) and faster (minimum lead times),” CEO Hiten Shah says.  

Dealing with suppliers can be a hassle for some companies when they must face foreign government regulatory risk, enforceability of contracts, protection of IP, business ethics and cultural differences. But when Marketing and Engineering Solutions (MES) Inc. steps in, companies save time, overhead costs and undo stress. 

It seems like LKQ Corp. is growing every day. Since 2013, the provider of alternative auto collision parts and recycled components has completed more than 20 acquisitions, including Keystone Automotive in 2014. 

With each buyout, the operation expands its market, but at the same time must also bring those new acquisitions up to its service standards. 

At some companies, that may be a daunting task, but for LKQ it is just a part of the growth strategy. “They’re a challenge but not an interruption,” Bob Anno, director of fleet management, says of the frequent buyouts. “They’re a normal part of the business.”

Rudy Buchheit, like millions of other Americans during the Great Depression, needed to find a way to make a living for his family. With only his truck and work ethic behind him, Buchheit began hauling agricultural products from southern Missouri to market in St. Louis for local farmers in 1934. 

On the way back to his home region, Buchheit would haul dry bulk and other goods his customers sorely needed to run their farms and businesses. His efforts proved popular enough that he founded a trucking company dedicated to the needs of the local community.

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