Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 163

Great Lakes Foods

was to invite Great Lake's leadership team, Jerry Van and
Gene Mylenar, to join him as partial owners. Within a year
of the acquisition, the company opened a new support center, installed updated warehouse equipment, added 40,000
square feet to the warehouse, purchased new truck tractors
and trailers and began a new in-store concept called "Signature Meat Market."
Today, more than 18,000 dry and perishable food products are stored at the company's nearly 300,000-squarefoot warehouse in Menominee. The expansion and new
equipment inside the facility that occurred after Kuber
purchased the company were just the beginning of the investment into its capabilities. Like many distributors, Great
Lakes Foods struggled to ensure pick accuracy and inventory management within its facility. Warehouse workers
had to manually check the product codes on packages to
match them with orders, a time consuming method susceptible to human error.
To modernize the process, the company worked with
Diversified Data Systems Inc. (DDSI) to implement a new
warehouse management software that uses handheld barcode readers to automate the data side. Now when workers
scan a product it notifies how much of that product is available in inventory and alerts them to ensure the right items
are going into the order. Since the system was put in place,
Great Lakes Foods has realized a 30 percent reduction in
picking errors, 15 percent increase in picking rate and 60
percent decrease in labor. Tasks that once took four workers
up to 10 hours to complete now takes three employees only
three hours, according to DDSI.

shelving guidelines, signage, print and digital advertising
support and an energy efficient display case.
Great Lakes Foods' support of its customers goes beyond
wholesale distribution. The company's advertising programs
help independent grocers get the word out about products
and weekly specials in-store, through print and online.
Through Great Lakes Foods' website platform, grocers can
build and manage customized websites, digitize ads, set up
social media accounts, feature recipes and gain access to
national manufacturer coupons.
The company's retail support specialists work with grocery stores to create programs that increase traffic, sales
and customer loyalty. Great Lakes Foods' team of experts
can provide financial reviews, make layout suggestions and
even handle equipment purchasing.
"Our home phone numbers are on our business cards. You
can call us day or night, weekdays or weekends, and know
that you'll get a fast response," the company says. "We're
down-to-earth people who care about our retailers. Bottom
line, we succeed when you do."

Complete Service
The popular Signature Meat Market continues to be an area
of refinement for the company. Four years after its introduce,
Great Lakes Foods is developing an update version of the
store marketing concept that positions the rest of the grocery
store around the meat department.
"This concept was created specifically for independent retailers looking to build market share in the face of increased
competition from dollar stores, discount drug chains and
other threats in the marketplace," the company says. "The
Signature Meat Market is a fully supported program that
helps you [retailers] enhance your meat department's draw
and reputation through a product and merchandising strategy that includes pre-marinated, stuffed and flavored beef, as
well as pork and poultry products that provide your customers with delicious meals in minutes."
The Signature Meat Market's program support comes with
food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1

Contents
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