Great Lakes Foods is a wholesale grocery distributor serving Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. Its 300,000 square foot warehouse delivers dry, refrigerated and frozen goods to up to 70 grocery stores daily. It uses lift trucks in every phase of its operations, including PE Series double and single pallet trucks and RR Series reach trucks in its warehouse, as well as WP Series pallet jacks on each delivery truck for drivers to utilize on deliveries. Much of the company’s business depends on reliable lift trucks to move groceries, and getting dependable machines quickly as its business needs change is imperative to its operations.
Great Lakes Foods’ business fluctuates seasonally, and the addition of more employees in the summer months leads to an increased need for lift trucks for those employees to use when moving groceries. When the company picked up an additional 30 grocery store customers with only a month to prepare to service them, it needed equipment immediately. Great Lakes Foods turned to Crown’s Encore® reconditioned equipment program to build out its fleet as quickly and economically as possible. Working with its local Crown dealer, the company expanded its fleet with the additional machinery needed to keep business running smoothly.
“It’s more economical to go with the Encore program,” said Jim Kent, Director of Operations for Great Lakes Foods. “When you’re running a business, you have to look at everything. You can’t really sacrifice reliability when it comes to costs. But the Encore program for our experience, and from my experience in the past, has always been reliability. I think with the backing of Crown and the reliability of those Encore pieces, we’re going to stay right with that program.”
Jim was also impressed with the warranties that come with each piece of Encore equipment, which include a one-year major component warranty with no hour limits and a 90-day wearable parts warranty. “With Crown backing it up, we really didn’t see a risk there, so it turned out to be very advantageous for us.”
Because Great Lakes Foods chose to refresh so much of their equipment with Crown Encore pallet trucks and pallet jacks, they also saw a significant increase in productivity.
“We’ve seen productivity increase based on just the efficiency of the overall machine,” noted Bryan Wickstrom, Warehouse Supervisor. “Previously, our equipment was very run down and very old. It just wasn’t reliable. We had a lot of downtime, and with the new Encores, production’s up because the speed’s up, the equipment runs better, and it’s just more efficient all the way through.”
Added Jason Beaudo of Great Lakes Foods’ maintenance department, “I think the Encores more than doubled overall productivity compared to our previous equipment.”
Expanding and rejuvenating a fleet of pallet trucks and jacks can take time and money, but by opting to purchase equipment revitalized with 100 percent Crown Integrity Parts® and extensive operational and safety inspections, Great Lakes Foods was able to build out their fleet faster and get more trucks for their investment. To learn more about their experience with the Crown Encore reconditioned equipment program, visit the customer results page on crown.com.