There’s No “I” in Team

You hear it all the time in sports, business meetings and group discussions, and now it’s being voiced on the warehouse floor—“there’s no ‘I’ in team.”

Fortunately for global food distributor Martin Brower, this same mantra also applies when expanding a distribution center.

In 1956, Martin Brower, a subsidiary of Reyes Holdings, L.L.C., opened its doors in Des Plaines, Ill., by delivering paper products to local quick-service restaurants. Then, in 1972, it developed the “total supply” advantage, in which it supplied all of a restaurant’s inventory needs, including the foundational paper products.

Today, the Rosemont, Ill.-based company operates more than 60 distribution centers in 18 countries, all strategically placed to reduce operating costs, delivery times and overall carbon footprint. From paper items to fries to proteins and fresh produce, Martin Brower takes a customer’s entire inventory into a dedicated distribution center and creates a recurring specialized order. Other services include fulfillment, delivery, training, safety, reporting, warehousing, product sourcing, inventory management, relationship management and financial modeling.

As a result of the company’s continuous growth, Martin Brower outgrew its Atlanta, Ga., facility. So, it turned to ESI, and with the team efforts of the industrial park developer, developed a 177,124-square-foot Greenfield cross dock distribution center. Cross docks are generally designed in an “I” formation, or elongated rectangle, making it more efficient for unloading materials from an incoming semi-trailer truck or railroad car and loading these materials directly into outbound trucks, trailers or rail cars.

“The facility is a cross dock design for more efficient handling of product,” says Steve King, regional vice president. “All inbound traffic is segregated from outbound delivery vehicles, thereby increasing site security by limiting the access of non-company personnel and drivers to the site and warehouse.”

The project began in May 2012 and completed in April 2013. Design features included a central ammonia refrigeration system, rapid-roll cooler doors, concrete curbs, mini penthouses and insulated metal wall panels with parapet and concrete tilt construction as well as a combination of two exterior wall colors. The new center also comes complete with standby power, early suppression fast response (ESFR) and Quell fire protection systems as well as a connected rail dock.

“ESI has previously built a similar facility in the Houston area, and [we] appreciated ESI’s eye for detail and seamless delivery of the project,” says King. “ESI was able to deliver another smooth, no-drama project with high-quality, on-time performance and within the budget.”

When it comes to expanding the warehouse floor, for ESI and its customers, it’s a team effort.


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