Category Archives: McLane

McLane Company Part of Blockchain Consortium Addressing Food Safety Worldwide

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions, is part of a group of leading companies across the global food supply chain that have announced a major blockchain collaboration with IBM intended to further strengthen consumer confidence in the global food system.

In addition to McLane Company, the consortium includes Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart.

The companies are coming together with IBM to further champion blockchain as an enabling technology for the food sector. Together they will help identify and prioritize new areas where blockchain can benefit food ecosystems and inform new IBM solutions. This work will draw on multiple IBM pilots and production networks in related areas that successfully demonstrate ways in which blockchain can positively impact global food traceability.

Every year, one-in-ten people fall ill – and 400,000 die – due to contaminated food. Many of the critical issues impacting food safety such as cross-contamination, the spread of food-borne illness, unnecessary waste and the economic burden of recalls are magnified by lack of access to information and traceability. It can take weeks to identify the precise point of contamination, causing further illness, lost revenue and wasted product. For example, it took more than two months to identify the farm source of contamination in a recent incidence of salmonella in papayas.

Blockchain is ideally suited to help address these challenges because it establishes a trusted environment for all transactions.

In the case of the global food supply chain, all participants – growers, suppliers, processors, distributors, retailers, regulators and consumers – can gain permissioned access to known and trusted information regarding the origin and state of food for their transactions. This can enable food providers and other members of the ecosystem to use a blockchain network to trace contaminated product to its source in a short amount of time to ensure safe removal from store shelves and stem the spread of illnesses.

“Unlike any technology before it, blockchain is transforming the way like-minded organizations come together and enabling a new level of trust based on a single view of the truth,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain. “Our work with organizations across the food ecosystem, as well as IBM’s new platform, will further unleash the vast potential of this exciting technology, making it faster for organizations of all sizes and in all industries to move from concept to production to improve the way business gets done.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Company and Love’s Travel Stops Extend 21-Year Relationship

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions, has renewed its service agreement with long-time customer Love’s Travel Stops.

As part of this extended agreement, McLane will continue to deliver to more than 430 Love’s stores across 41 states, as Love’s Travel Stops continues to add approximately 40-50 stores per year.

“McLane continually shows commitment to our business. McLane’s Center for Category Innovation assists our team with exceptional category management resources enabling us to grow sales year over year,” said Mark Romig, director of merchandising at Love’s Travel Stops. “McLane’s national scope allows us to achieve our growth goals while meeting the needs of our Customers in an efficient way.”

“Love’s provides a rewarding experience for its customers and we are honored they chose to continue to utilize our best-in-class resources. McLane’s procurement, technology and operations provide our customers superior service and consistency of performance as well as expanded product offerings, regardless of location. As Love’s continues to expand their network, McLane will be there to assist in reducing cost and driving efficiency at retail,” said Vito Maurici, senior VP of sales of McLane Grocery.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Company and Burger King Expand Service Agreement

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions, has signed an expanded agreement between McLane Foodservice Inc., and BURGER KING.

Under the new agreement, McLane Foodservice, Inc., will provide support to an additional 600 BURGER KING restaurants located in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.

This addition brings the total number of BURGER KING stores McLane services to 2,467 locations from eight distribution centers across the U.S.

Since 2000, BURGER KING has counted on McLane Foodservice as its primary distributor. The extended relationship ensures the restaurant chain will continue receiving McLane’s dependable service offerings and support as the business grows.

“In the highly competitive QSR industry, BURGER KING continues to up its game in terms of menu offerings and the locations served,” said President of McLane Foodservice, Inc. Tom Zatina. “We are honored the company has entrusted us with their foodservice supply chain needs over time and we look forward to further contributing to their success.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

25 More Years Together for McLane Company and Walmart

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McClane Company has inked a 25-year extension to its service agreement with long-time client Walmart.

As part of this extended agreement, McLane will continue to deliver to Walmart stores across the U.S., in addition to becoming the sole provider of candy and tobacco products to the vast majority of Walmart’s retail locations.

The contract is scheduled to renew in May 2017, and with it McLane will now become the exclusive provider of Walmart’s seasonal candy products to all locations nationwide.

“McLane’s ability to deliver temperature-sensitive products to all of our stores and manage our large volume of seasonal goods will ensure we have the best selection of high-quality products at the lowest cost for our customers,” said Vice President of Candy and Impulse Merchandising at Walmart, Joe Grady.

“McLane is proud to be a long-time partner of the world’s largest retailer. We are excited to expand our product mix with Walmart as we continue to serve all of Walmart’s U.S. locations,” said Tony Frankenberger, President of McLane Grocery.

Walmart has a long history with McLane. The company was originally acquired by Walmart in 1990, and later sold to Berkshire Hathaway in 2003.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Kroger Moves its Convenience Store Business to McLane

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In a major move, Kroger is moving its convenience store business to Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company.

McLane Company has announced a service agreement with Cincinnati, Ohio-based The Kroger Co. and its 787 c-stores located across 18 states.

Kroger has a variety of convenience stores under the banners Loaf ‘N Jug, Turkey Hill Minit Market, Tom Thumb, Kwik Shop and Quik Stop.

“We look forward to our partnership with McLane and the company’s ability to support our continued focus on the products that matter most to our customers”

“Kroger continues to raise the bar in terms of product and foodservice offerings, convenient locations and customer satisfaction. We look forward to seeing explosive growth and success as the company capitalizes on the many customer-centric offerings that set McLane apart from the competition. Whether it is the centralized control of our procurement and operations that provide our customers superior service and consistency of performance and product offerings regardless of location, to taking advantage of our best-in-class technology to assist in reducing cost and driving efficiency at retail,” said Tony Frankenberger, president of McLane Grocery.

Frankenberger added, “Like Kroger, McLane continues to set itself apart from the rest of the industry and we are honored they have chosen to take advantage of our industry-leading cold chain network, expanded fresh foods program and award-winning category management expertise. We are proud to partner with such a strong leader within our industry and look forward to building the foundation for a long lasting and mutually successful relationship.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Company Awarded 29 More Stores by Mirabito

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions throughout the U.S., has been awarded services for 29 Xtra Mart c-store locations recently acquired by Binghamton, New York-based Mirabito Holdings Inc.

As part of the multi-year agreement, McLane will begin servicing the 29 Xtra Mart locations in central New York and Northeast Pennsylvania starting January 1, 2017.

With the addition of the 29 Xtra Mart locations, which will be rebranded as Mirabito c-stores, McLane now handles all of Mirabito’s c-store locations in the eastern region, bringing the total to more than 100 stores.

“Mirabito has had a long standing relationship with McLane Company and have trusted the support of the company’s senior leadership team for over 20 years,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Mirabito. “Their commitment to our future is invaluable and we look forward to a long and successful relationship.”

“McLane Company has been servicing our current stores for 20 years and we are excited that McLane will be servicing our newest addition to the Mirabito Family. McLane has been a critical part of our success and growth. Their commitment to our business, professionalism, customer service, and ability to adapt and develop technology applications aligns with our future growth plans and superior customer shopping experience,” added Chief Operating Officer Rich Mirabito.

A customer of McLane since 1997, Mirabito has stated the supply chain’s strategic leadership, operating excellence, and tech solution offerings as contributors to its growing footprint in the eastern region over the years.

Specifically, through its participation in McLane’s Center for Category Innovation and inclusion of the supply chain’s foodservice solution, McLane Kitchen, Mirabito plans to roll out newly remodeled stores and introduce specialty, fresh and frozen items and equipment starting in 2017.

“Mirabito is a well-respected and a long-time customer of McLane, so it’s an honor they have chosen us to provide services for the acquired Xtra Mart business,” said Tony Frankenberger, president at McLane. “Our portfolio of services will enable Mirabito to provide a wider variety of foodservice offerings and upgraded footprint experience to its rapidly growing customer base.”

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

New Online Portal Gives McLane’s Retailers Key Analytics

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Co. Inc. is continuing its investment in analytics and performance tracking tools through the rollout of McLane Link, an online portal solution that provides retailers access to key performance and operational data including the ability to see order and delivery data by store and by item.

McLane Link also improves operational efficiencies by providing a web-based guide that gives retailers quick access to key metrics, the company said. Retailers can customize reports and resolve issues without needing to contact their McLane representatives, and reports can be viewed online or exported as Excel or PDF files.

Additionally, the scheduling feature allows each customized report to be emailed directly to the customer or any number of other company employees.
Other McLane Link features include:

• Service-Level Reporting. A detailed status report for all orders placed, received and en-route including the fill rate of each item as well as an overall service percentage.

• Delivery Reporting. A performance view of current and past delivery arrival times. A calendar feature allows for the review of delivery detail on a weekly, monthly or several month basis.

• Delivery Scheduling. A comprehensive directory of key account information for all retailer locations including billing cycle and mailing address. Retailers can view reroutes, load days and other scheduling information pertinent to each store location.

• Credits. An account of all credits issued by delivery drivers searchable by date range. Filtering can be applied to review specific locations, amounts or geographic details.

• Planograms. Corporate and store-level access to the latest planograms created from McLane’s Center for Category Innovation. Retailers are able to include their own store-level planograms and upload them directly into the McLane Link portal.

• Slice and Dice Report with Conditional Alerts. Each field can be reordered, removed or have column-level filtering, enhancing the user experience. Alerts can be added to notify retailers when specific conditions or thresholds have occurred.

Four retailers have already rolled out the solution and 10 more are scheduled to be in production by the end of November, the company stated. McLane Link is customized to match the look and feel of each customer’s branding strategy for a familiar user experience, and additional features requested by customers will be rolled out over the coming months.

“With McLane Link, our retailers can quickly locate the exact information they are looking for and customize a report specific to what is needed,” said McLane Vice President of Customer Technology Deon Johnson. “It’s exactly what our customers have asked for and just what they need, when they need it — a fast, simple and easy way to drive their business forward.”

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Company Launches Center for Category Innovation

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McLane Company Inc., Berkshire Hathaway’s wholly-owned supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions, has launched the McLane Center for Category Innovation (CCI).

Formerly known as the Lab Store, McLane rebranded this exclusive value-add service as the Center for Category Innovation to reflect not only the facility’s physical presence as a hands-on retail store where customers can explore innovative new products, but to recognize the service’s in-depth data analytics, industry-leading category development expertise, dedicated manufacturer expertise and unbiased guidance focused on helping customers design a product mix and planograms to achieve overall category excellence and increase profits.

CCI has proven extremely beneficial for many McLane customers, more than 70 of which visit at least once annually, keeping the facility booked upwards of 250 days a year.

“McLane’s Center for Category Innovation sessions allow category-leading manufacturers, McLane and the retailer to collaborate and create a geographically relevant assortment that meets the needs of the consumer,” said Alan Tobin, senior manager for category strategy and insights at The Hershey Company. “By utilizing a combination of shopper insights, industry trends and market and retailer data, the very best planogram is built.”

CCI Senior Category Development Analyst Jennifer Hutto said having the right participants in the room serves as a check and balance between multiple data sources. Additionally, the collective breadth of industry experience is one of the leading reasons why the CCI has been so successful in helping customers increase sales. She added, “We discuss overall performance of the categories, contributing factors that are affecting success, where the category is headed and how we hope to help drive future success with our customers.”

Tom Thumb Food Stores was in the midst of a major rebranding effort focused on delivering “Fast, Fresh and Friendly” service and renovating their stores with new products and flavor profiles to improve profitability. Through CCI, the collaboration of Tom Thumb Food Stores, McLane’s category managers, supplier partners, IRI and exclusive analytical resources from McLane’s extensive data warehouse, the chain was able to customize unique planograms tailored specifically to each store’s zip code, offering them in-depth knowledge of what would sell to their unique consumer demographics. As result, total purchases have increased over a three-year period with double-digit sales growth in their snacks, grocery and HBW categories. Tom Thumb Food Stores now visits CCI on an annual basis.

Hutto concluded, “Another key advantage of working with McLane and the CCI is the depth of information resources. With one of the industry’s most robust data warehouses, the CCI utilizes an aggregated class of trade-specific data and compares these findings with multiple syndicated data sources so that customers can make data-driven decisions on product assortment.”

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Furthers Focus on Diversity with Expansion of SPARK Initiative

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice solutions, has announced the expansion of SPARK, a company-wide initiative focused on identifying workplace diversity opportunities through a variety of programs, community outreach and lending support to nationally recognized diversity-focused annual events.

With the expansion, McLane furthers its commitment of creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce to foster creativity and innovation in order to better understand evolving trends and drive results for customers.

As part of this expansion, McLane has collaborated with Colorado Division of Vocational Rehab (DVR), Workforce Boulder County and Easter Seals on a Workplace Diversity Hiring pilot program that provides real world work experience to individuals with disabilities.

Participants of the Workplace Diversity Hiring program are referred by DVR and Workforce Boulder County to participate in a six-week training program that combines classroom and on-the-job training. The two weeks of classroom instruction includes soft-skills training, such as teamwork and problem solving taught by Easter Seals. The remaining four weeks of the program are located at the McLane Western Distribution Center, where participants will be exposed to real-world work experience as they integrate and work alongside McLane teammates. During the experiential training a job coach accompanies participants, ensuring they receive proper training based on their individual abilities. The second training session is scheduled to kick off in early October.

Other programs currently deployed under the SPARK initiative include:

Hiring Our Heroes (HOH): Because McLane deeply values the sacrifice and driven work ethic U.S. veterans and military embody, the company embarked on a partnership with Hiring Our Heroes in 2015. Initiated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the 12-week Corporate Fellowship program strives to make the transition to civilian careers easier and more seamless for military veterans.

McLane works with other HOH partners Workforce Solutions and the Texas Veterans Commission to source active duty military personnel for onsite project work lasting 11 weeks. To date, McLane has successfully hosted four fellows and has hired three. With this partnership, McLane is able to tap into the skills, drive and value our veterans have to offer.

Operation Impact Network of Champions: To further expand its veteran reach and talent with expertise in logistics, information technology, security, maintenance and business operations, McLane became part of the Operation Impact Network of Champions. This program was started by Northrop Grumman, a Department of Defense contractor, and sets out to assist wounded service members injured during the war on terror with transition from military to civilian careers.

“McLane recognizes the value of a diverse workforce to include people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds, and with highly-trained military expertise. The launch of SPARK deeply aligns with McLane’s beliefs and values of honesty, integrity, and high Christian principles, and further demonstrates our commitment to diversity inclusion,” said Jennifer Rojas, EEO compliance, and inclusion manager at McLane. “It’s been a great experience working jointly with the many exceptional partners we’ve identified for each program, and we look forward to adding great talent to build out the McLane team and making people’s lives better.”

Looking ahead with SPARK, McLane plans to include additional disability training programs under the Workplace Diversity Hiring Program, as well as seek out opportunities that bring greater impact to the company, its teammates and the communities it serves.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

McLane Becomes Primary Service Provider for fred’s Pharmacy

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice solutions, has been chosen as the main distributor for fred’s Pharmacy. With more than 650 locations across the Southeastern part of the United States, this new service agreement allows McLane’s nationwide reach and expertise to consolidate the work of fred’s 60-plus previous distributors.

“McLane is well-known in the industry for offering supply chain efficiencies and additional benefits of scale of a single source of supply for key consumable categories,” said Chief Executive Officer, fred’s Inc., Michael Bloom. “Partnering with McLane as an alternate distribution source allows us to improve our efficiencies and overall direct-to-store process including our ability to improve service, assortment, and freshness; and ultimately grow sales and profit.”

fred’s recently participated in McLane’s value-add Center for Category Innovation (formerly Lab Store) process, where the retailer was able to benefit from McLane’s proprietary sales database and category managers to identify and capitalize on key merchandising trends and market-specific product mix and planograms.

“fred’s has uniquely positioned itself to be a successful pharmacy retailer with a broad value based assortment in the Southeast,” said Tony Frankenberger, president at McLane Company, Inc. “It’s a privilege to be chosen as a supply chain provider for fred’s, and further help the company reach its goals.”

About McLane

McLane Company, Inc. is one of the largest supply chain services leaders in the U.S. providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants throughout the United States. McLane, through McLane Grocery, McLane Foodservice and wholly owned subsidiary, Meadowbrook Meat Company, Inc., (MBM), operates 80 distribution centers across the U.S. and one of the nation’s largest private fleets. The company buys, sells and delivers more than 50,000 different consumer products to nearly 90,000 locations across the U.S. In addition, McLane provides alcoholic beverage distribution through its wholly owned subsidiary, Empire Distributors, Inc.

In May 2003, Berkshire Hathaway acquired McLane Company from Wal-Mart, and the company currently has more than 20,000 employees.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.