Productivity Solution: Do what you do best with fleet management
April 01, 2010 - MMH Editorial
With nine distribution centers throughout the East and Midwest, Maines Paper’s Food Service in Conklin, N.Y., stocks everything a foodservice business needs—supplies, fresh and frozen food, dry goods and beverages.
The company’s main 400,000-square-foot facility has 72 docks that experience heavy traffic, shipping out 550,000 cases of product in a typical week during its three-shift operations. To keep distribution operating smoothly, Maines employs a fleet of 174 pallet trucks, reach trucks and orderpickers (Raymond Corp., 607-656-2311, http://www.raymondcorp.com) to move product from dock to stock.
Without automated equipment or conveyors, it&‘s especially important that the fleet operates reliably in Maines; ambient and cold-temperature environments for product selection, loading and unloading trailers, order picking, replenishment of stock and receiving. If a piece of equipment is down, activity could be down.
Our lift trucks are one of the most important tools we have in distribution; says Patrick DeOrdio, vice president of operations for Maines. Without the reliability of the trucks, we would never be able to take care of our customers and meet all of our material handling needs in the various environments within our facility.
Maines partnered with a fleet maintenance provider to help achieve higher service levels, profitability and safety while reducing time-consuming lift truck equipment management at all of its locations. Through a comprehensive maintenance agreement, two dedicated service technicians are on site at Maines’; headquarters to cover routine and preventive maintenance. Additionally, their partner makes it easy to rent extra equipment during busy seasons and change out older equipment for newer models.
“By working with [a fleet maintenance partner], we can focus on what we are good at, and they can focus on what they are good at.” says DeOrdio.