Operations used to be strictly manual at BiRite Foodservice Distributors’ 235,000-square-foot warehouse near San Francisco; pickers were simply given a stack of labels and told to go out and pick. Things ran pretty smoothly, with an average of one mistake for each 1,200 cases picked. But by 2005, with fuel prices surging and the company shipping around 33,000 cases per day, those mistakes were becoming very expensive. When a Marie Callender restaurant in Fresno, Calif., got frozen strawberries instead of apple pies, the pies had to be delivered immediately, even though it was a 400-mile round trip. And fuel costs were more than $250,000 higher in 2005 than in 2004.
Click here to download the full article.