Allegion

Allegion’s products create security for its customers – and so do its supply chain operations.
By Chris Petersen

Since its inception, the driving force behind the company known today as Allegion has been security. As one of the global leaders in safety and security solutions for homes, businesses and institutions, Allegion’s products provide customers with peace of mind knowing that their people, places and possessions are protected and secure. But there’s more than one definition of security, and Allegion team members understand they need to do everything possible to ensure customers and partners feel secure in the knowledge that the company’s products will be distributed where they need to be when they need to be there. That’s a responsibility Senior Vice President of Global Operations and Integrated Supply Chain Chris Muhlenkamp says he takes very seriously, and the company is hard at work to make certain it continues to provide its customers with a sense of security in every aspect of their dealings with the company.

Allegion was spun off from Ingersoll-Rand in 2013, but the business unit has long been a pioneer in the safety and security space. In fact, many of Allegion’s innovative brands have created their respective product categories, beginning with Von Duprin’s development of the first “panic release bar” exit device in 1908, and continuing with CISA’s development of the first-ever electronically controlled lock in 1926. Today, Allegion manages more than 25 brands around the world that hold more than 550 global active patents and are focused on security and safety for private and public spaces, mainly centered around doors and locks. Its product lines include doors and door frames, locks ranging from standard key-entry systems to locks accessed by advanced biometrics, and door closer and exit devices.

Muhlenkamp has been with Allegion since before it spun off as an independent company, having spent more than 35 years in the supply chain realm. Thirty of those years were spent in various positions at Delphi Automotive, where Muhlenkamp oversaw operations in various capacities in Mexico, Europe and the United States. He says Allegion is blessed to have a strong internal culture, strong brands and a commitment to improving in every aspect of its operations, and these elements are helping the company evolve and adapt to meet customers’ changing needs in a more responsive and successful manner than ever before. “Those are the elements that make us very strong,” he says.

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. 

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