Wednesday, November 09, 2005

warehouse management and hurricane recovery


I wondered how the Publix grocery store had so many items available so soon after hurricane Wilma, and yesterday I did find out from the Deli manager.

It seems that in Miami there is a cold storage warehouse for Publix distribution. Well, the warehouse suffered a loss of power (as did over 3 million others in the area). So Publix was running the warehouse on generator and it wasn't enough to keep things going indefinately. So, some smart thinking employee decided that as soon as a store was restored with electric power and refrigeration the warehouse merchandise should be sent to those operational stores.

Since the electricity was on in less than 24 hours in our area they sent more than usual to the stores there. So we had a surplus of Publix brand dairy products - milk, eggs, cheeses, etc. The deli manager said they were getting things delivered that they had never even ordered and don't usually order for their store. As I said in a previous post, there was little variety available but items were available, an abundance of items like Publix cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, butter, milk, yogurt, etc.

Such quick response served two purposes for Publix. Restocking so soon, the customers had something to buy, and their warehouse got to distribute food without having to throw out spoiled product. Who would think that at times like that some supermarket executive would have common sense? Amazing.

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