Supply Chain & Logistics

Customer-Service Focused

December 5, 2012
Trans

 

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods talks with Paul Kramer, director of logistics for Johnsonville Sausage, LLC, Sheboygan Falls, Wis. Find out how his team helps get product at their facilities in advance of demand.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Summarize Johnsonville Sausage’s approach to supply chain and logistics.

Paul Kramer: A key focus for Johnsonville Sausage is providing “the highest impact on customer success.” In supply chain, we are very customer-service focused. In the 2010 Kantar survey of grocery retailers, Johnsonville was recognized as providing a distinctive level of service in regards to order-fill rates, minimizing stock-outs and on-time delivery. Continuous improvement is also a focus area, as we are constantly looking for ways to improve service, streamline processes and reduce cost.

R&FF: At this year’s Food Logistics Forum, you received the Executive of the Year award from the International Refrigerated Transportation Association. What steps or initiatives took place leading up to winning this award?

Kramer: We don’t attempt to be leading-edge innovators in logistics, but we do employ best-of-breed technologies and business practices. We have updated our systems with SAP as our ERM system and the SAP APO module for all of our production scheduling and demand planning. We employ LeanLogistics TMS. We created a continuous improvement team within supply chain, and we utilize Lean/Six Sigma tools within the supply chain operations, as well as with customers and logistics service providers, through what we call Supply Chain Alignment events. These, along with the efforts of the talented and committed team I work with at Johnsonville, all contribute to our ability to work effectively with our logistics partners—provide them with accurate volume and inventory forecasts, have the product at their facilities in advance of demand and create efficiencies throughout our shared supply chains. I was also told Johnsonville exhibits a high degree of integrity and consistency in dealing with our logistics partners, and that too, contributed to our selection.

R&FF: What steps or advice do you have for other refrigerated and frozen food manufacturers looking to revamp their supply chain and logistics networks?

Kramer: I would recommend those manufacturers re-evaluate their manufacturing and distribution network for opportunities to reduce costs. Work with vendors, customers and logistics service provider partners to identify opportunities to reduce lead time, waste and cost. Keep an eye on software/technology (TMS, WMS, LM, network optimization software, etc.) and employ it wherever possible, as the cost of these products comes down and functionality improves over time.

R&FF: How is Johnsonville Sausage’s retail supply chain function organized, in regards to refrigerated and frozen foods? How is the foodservice supply chain function organized?

Kramer: The supply chain reports into the vice president of operations officer for Johnsonville and includes logistics, customer service, production/demand planning, international compliance and continuous improvement. For our retail grocery business, we utilize regional public warehouse facilities to fulfill most of our customer orders, and we let them manage the customer delivery transportation out of a few of the facilities. Johnsonville transportation manages most of the inbound raw material, all of the plant-to-distribution center moves, as well as all the customer delivery from our largest regional distribution center, which is in Chicago, and we use a combination of dedicated fleet, private fleet and contract carriers to perform these moves. Johnsonville recently entered into an arrangement with AdvancePierre Foods for the distribution of our foodservice products.

R&FF: What are some key warehousing/transportation initiatives that took place over the past year? Any initiatives in place for 2013?

Kramer: It was a busy year for us, as we replaced our private fleet equipment, completed a bid of our dedicated fleet operations that we use to move raw materials and finished goods between our Midwest locations, and we recently expanded the customer service area out of our Northeast distribution center and relocated to a new public warehousing operator there. In 2013, we will be performing another full-scale network optimization study.


Meet Paul Kramer
Paul Kramer is the director of logistics for Johnsonville Sausage, LLC, Sheboygan Falls, Wis. He maintains than 25 years of experience managing supply chain operations in the food industry.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Evolution Fresh: Enhancing the Premium Juice Market with HPP Technology

Evolution Fresh’s new Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., juicery employs HPP technology to help produce cold-pressed juices.

Posted: December 11, 2014

4/30/15 2:00 pm EDT

Best Practices for Executing Capital Projects

Best Practices for Executing Capital Projects, a Food Plant of the Future webinar presented by Hixson and co-sponsored by Food Engineering, will reveal helpful project management techniques and strategies Hixson has learned based on decades of experience in leading food and beverage projects to successful conclusions, how to establish appropriate stakeholder expectations, how to keep control of project quality, schedule and budget and what to do when challenges arise.

Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Magazine

CoverImage

2015 May

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods' May 2015 issue features The Schwan Food Co. as the Sustainable Processor of the Year.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

2015 State of the Cold Food Industry

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ July 2015 issue covers the State of the Industry report. What trends and analysis would you like to see covered?
View Results Poll Archive

The Refrigerated and Frozen Food Store

ColdPackagingMaterialsGuide_products
Cold Packaging Materials Guide

A guide to cold packaging containers and materials.

More Products

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods Delivers

RFF Infographic 133x133Click here to see a snapshot of the many different ways Refrigerated & Frozen Foods delivers business and technology solutions to cold chain professionals.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_2014 twitter_40px youtube_40pxlinkedin_40px

Buyer's Guide

Visit our Buyer's Guide!

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods offers a Cold Packaging Materials Guide, as well as a Cold Storage Warehouse Guide, the most comprehensive listing of cold storage warehouses.

Visit the Buyer's Guide page today!