Polar Fresh Cold Chain Services took out the hat trick at the 2013 Mercury Awards, with the Best of the Best Award the last in the company’s kitty.
“This entry ticked all the boxes. With the implementation of fresh produce into the site, Polar Fresh Cold Chain Services have demonstrated the value of creating operational efficiencies and cost savings that have benefited both themselves and their customers,” the judges said.
Polar Fresh Cold Chain Services, Parkinson Chilled Distribution Centre (CDC) operates as a third party logistics provider; providing dedicated storage and service to a major national supermarket chain.
In October 2012, Polar Fresh Parkinson went live with the implementation of fresh produce to the site. This resulted in significant change to the operation of the business; with it not only requiring double the amount of team members and almost double the amount of volume being moved through the site.
The implementation of produce into the Parkinson site has resulted in significantly reduced costs for their customer; with a dramatic reduction in the cost-per-carton. The process of moving produce in-to-store is also more controlled through the Polar Fresh site; resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings for both Polar Fresh and its customer.
The systems being utilised by Polar Fresh allow for more control over produce. The system allows for greater traceability; meaning that at any one time, Polar Fresh can determine where product is and provide accurate information to suppliers, internal stakeholders, its customer and the stores. Since the implementation there is better management of date codes of product; resulting in more frequent turnover of stock through the distribution centre and less product going to waste through going out-of-date whist waiting for delivery. Stores are also receiving more frequently deliveries, again resulting in higher quality products being supplied.
The dedicated facility now employs over 650 Team Members and supplies all confectionary, milk, poultry, meat, dairy, chilled, frozen and fresh produce products to over 200 stores throughout Queensland and New South Wales.
With over 1.3 million cartons despatched per week, Polar Fresh Parkinson CDC is a 24 hour a day, 7 days per week site and the largest site (chilled or otherwise) in its customers network.
The company’s operations manager, Michael Hill, said the success of the business was attributed to this team.
“The most important thing for me is that as we are talking here tonight I have 200 team members moving boxes right now as we speak, we have around 150 vehcicles being loaded at the moment and 70 forklift trucks going, 110 low level order pickers – so this award is for them,” Hill said.
“We deliver across the whole eastern seaboard from out three distribution centres – not just the Queensland site that has won tonight but we also distribute cold product to a major supermarket chain across the whole of the eastern seaboard and it can be significantly challenging.
“It’s really important for my team to ensure that we just keep moving.”