Cloud Transportation Management Systems (TMS): Weis Markets streamlines “both sides” of the DC door

With 200+ locations, this 105-year-old food retailer is leveraging a Cloud transportation management system (TMS) to streamline inbound and outbound freight activities at its 1.3-million-square-foot distribution center in Central Pennsylvania.

Logistics Management, July 2017 by Bridget McCrea

Since 2015, Weis Markets has achieved record growth, and barely resembles the single neighborhood store that Harry and Sigmund Weis opened in Sunbury, Pa. in 1912. As such, its TMS had to effectively scale up to meet the grocery retailer’s needs—a priority Gary Kinneer, the company’s director of managed transportation, says was near the top of the firm’s “must-have” list as it shopped for a solution in 2014.

“In order to truly maximize our DC efficiencies, we needed to have a better handle on the data,” said Kinneer. “We needed a transportation management system to access the data and make better, more informed decisions. Quite simply, we needed a solution.”

With locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia, Weis Markets has more than 23,000 associates, processes its own milk and ice cream and has a strong focus on buying local. In its home state of Pennsylvania, the company purchases more than 26 million pounds of locally-grown produce annually.

As a vertically integrated food retailer, the company supplies its stores from a 1.3-million-square-foot distribution center (DC) in Milton, Pa. Located about 12 miles from its Sunbury store support center and manufacturing facilities, this facility manages all of the firm’s product distribution (excluding its direct store delivery or “DSD”). “Nearly everything we sell runs through our distribution center,” says Kinneer.

Operating 365 days a year, Weis Markets’ DC serves as a critical link between the company and its end users who shop in the retailer’s 204 stores. The company has its own fleet of tractor-trailers and other vehicles that it uses to service those stores. “Our trucks travel about 270,000 miles a week and ship about 1,000 loads to our stores,” says Kinneer, noting that on the distribution side alone Weis Markets has about 900 associates (700 DC employees and 200 drivers).

Weis Markets is not in the business of “storing things for a long period of time,” Kinneer notes. Over a week, it receives approximately 1,000 inbound loads—2 million cases across 25,000 SKUs. “That’s what we do in Milton, Pa.,” says Kinneer, “day in and day out.”

Read the original article from Logistics Management here: