Ben E. Keith Co., Fort Worth, Ark., announced the opening of its newest distribution center in North Little Rock, Ark. The 24-month project included a 348,000-square-foot warehouse, with 78,850 square feet of office and maintenance facilities. The new LEED-certified center includes the installation of an automated storage and retrieval system from Dematic, Grand Rapids, Mich. The three automated cranes will provide Ben E. Keith with the flexibility to fulfill orders and perform warehousing functions with maximum efficiency.

The facility currently stocks over 18,000 SKUs with 350 full-time employees. The new distribution center replaces two existing facilities in Central Arkansas, and will distribute to Arkansas, Southern Missouri, Northern Louisiana, Mississippi and Central-Western Tennessee.

"Today is an exciting day for our customers and employees of the Mid-South division. Our customers will now have access to a more diverse selection of items as well as facility they can use to help them in their business. For our employees, this facility represents the hard work and enthusiasm they display each and every day. This facility will provide a great work environment for them and something that they will be proud of to call home," says Mike Sweet, president.