Quality Custom Distribution is a wholly owned subsidiary of Golden State Foods, which is one of the largest diversified suppliers to the quick-service restaurant industry. GSF services more than 25,000 restaurants worldwide, in more than 50 countries on three continents.
One of the key challenges in this supply chain is temperature monitoring and control, says Ali Seyedi, group vice president. Most customers require a minimum of four temperature control areas, including frozen, varying chill levels, and ambient or dry, he says.
Moreover, the temperature of products must be documented from the time of pickup to delivery, says Seyedi. "In today's environment, you have to be able to show that the integrity of the product was maintained throughout the chain of custody." To keep pace with customer demands, Seyedi says, QCD is transitioning from a service provider to a solutions provider. "Our focus is to make sure that we customize our solutions to match our customers' needs and support their strategies throughout their growth journey," he says.
As an example, Seyedi notes that a QCD customer recently needed to add frozen capability throughout its entire network. This included new freezer space in all warehouses and holding areas, in trailers used to serve the network, and creating frozen space at its stores. "In the past this extensive a project would probably have been phased in over five years, but the customer wanted it completed in 18 months," says Seyedi. "Guess what? We got it done in 18 months because that is what they needed to keep their brand expansion on track."
A fleet with custom-designed equipment is another way in which QCD helps meet specific customer needs, says Seyedi. Most customers require trailers with multiple temperature zones, he notes.
To keep good drivers during the current driver shortage, Seyedi says QCD "has tried to create a great working and team culture. We are doing okay, but it would be naïve to say that driver retention is not a challenge for us, as it is for most distributors in our business," he says.
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