Automated Distribution Systems

Automated Distribution Systems’ (ADS) mission statement is: “We treat our customer’s business as our own,” a doctrine the company has proven with its actions as well as words. The Gaffney, S.C./Edison, N.J.-based warehousing and distribution company partners with its customers to save them money and improve service, most notably on all four wall costs and improving speed to market. In addition, ADS’s strict quality achieves 99.85 percent accuracy, it says.

In a recent interview with U.S. Business Review, Executive Vice President Bruce Mantz described his company’s interest in all facets of 3 or 4PL services. It encourages customer involvement such as on-site representation.

U.S. Business Review: I understand you’ve grown to more than a million square feet in space. How have you achieved this?

Bruce Mantz: We stand out in terms of quality, speed, cost and accuracy. We make sure when product ships to our customer or their customer that it’s floor-ready. We have strict quality control programs in place.

If things are not processed correctly – we will catch the error and repair it before it leaves our facility.

With the current cost of transportation, it would be easy for ADS to load a truck, or even a carton half full and let it go without question. We partner with our customers to balance the currency/importance of the load vs. the cost to move it. It maximizes their ability to leverage every dollar they spend on transportation. Even though we’re not responsible to do that, we provide feedback to assist in their cost containment.

We have several customers that we shop carriers to find the best rates and service levels.

USBR: What are some recent challenges you’ve encountered?

BM: The economy – I’d be foolish not to mention that. We have learned how to be much more cost-conscious; we have to be much more versatile in what we’re able to offer to a customer.

The economy certainly has forced us to be more aware of our costs, our customers’ costs and new challenges they face. We’ve become more versatile at what we do. We must handle effectively (and in a timely manner) an assortment of different elements of a customer’s business, some that we traditionally have not been involved in.

For example, transportation and value-added services. In the past, many of our customers had traffic departments. They did all their routing themselves. The new outsourcing necessity is (a) one-stop shop. We understand this need and have become operationally and cost effective at full supply chain management.

That (entails) bringing in orders from the port, doing whatever needs to be done for the end user, whether it is driven by stores, distribution centers or some other destinations’ needs and requirements. ADS then must absolutely make sure to process and move it cost-effectively in a timely and accurate manner to its ultimate destination.

To save on costs, we’ve leveraged the total volume coming out of our buildings with other customers’ volumes and synergies to get all a discounted rate in several areas including transportation. We began this about three or four years ago, a bit ahead of everyone else. We saw the economic situation coming and we started to retool ourselves to be prepared.

USBR: What distinguishes you from the competition?

BM: The key to our success is cost containment. It is also made up of accuracy and speed-to-market at a cost-effective price. Our ability to manage the total supply chain allows our customers to focus in on their core competencies and have a fixed price for supply chain costs.The most important thing to ADS is safety. The largest portion of our training budget is dedicated towards safety and proper handling of merchandise. We (also) try as best we can to keep the same people working with the same clients, day after day, so they are familiar with customers.

We also encourage our customers to have a person on site to work with us. We like to have another set of eyes looking at our processes. It also gives our employees and management team a real feel for what the customer needs and/or changing requirements may be.

Corporate Head Office

Transportation and Logistics International

Cringleford Business Centre
Intwood Road
Cringleford, Norwich, UK

Click here for a full list of contacts.

North American Office

Transportation and Logistics International

Finelight Media
207 E. Ohio Street Suite 351
Chicago, IL 60611

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