How A Warehousing and Transportation Company Tackled The 4th Worst Winter Storm in Northeast History

When you run a business comprised of large warehouses with an emphasis on transporting food to grocery stores, a historic snowstorm like Jonas is a “Big Deal”. How do you keep operations moving, trucks on the road, and much needed food on the shelves of your customer while ensuring the safety of your team? It takes careful planning, dedication, communication, smart thinking, and team work.

Read on to see how our Lyndhurst, VA and New Castle, DE locations pulled together to “Make It Happen” for our customers despite the 4th worst winter storm in Northeast history.

This is what dedication to customer and company look like!

Burris Lyndhurst

Written and submitted by the proud General Manager of our Lyndhurst Location, Mike Piscitelli

Friday, January 22, 2016 ‘Snow-ageddon 2016’ descended upon Lyndhurst Virginia. I would just like to start out with special ‘thank you’ to the entire Lyndhurst Team for all of their efforts during this recent storm that closed our warehouse for 2 days… and express my appreciation for everyone’s efforts. All of the teams had made prior arrangements for additional warehouse team members, reached out to customers, contacted carriers for ETAs, planned for maintenance coverage, and prepped for snow removal with the impending Storm.

These types of events impact our business but, they impact our Team Members, their families, and households as well. This balancing act can be very difficult and I truly recognize your efforts to manage work and home under these types of conditions. We had 98% attendance across all departments on Monday. I am proud to say that I am a part of your Lyndhurst team.

The surrounding area received 5” to 9” of snow on Friday, January 22 depicted in the map below. With continual snow fall beginning on Friday morning and ending late night on Saturday, January 23, 2016

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Saturday’s snow fall was 16” to 30” depending on where you land on the map, shown below

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The majority of the area received approximately 24” inches of snow and as of today the ‘official numbers’ of snow fall have not been published.

Snow removal crews began placing equipment in the Lyndhurst yard on Thursday in preparation for Friday’s storm. Snow removal crews arrived on site and began moving snow Friday through to Sunday morning. After a short break they were back at it mid-morning Sunday. Eventually they wrapped up on Monday, freeing trailers from the snow banks and making them available to load.

The behind the scene Team, our Maintenance Crew… this team had members in the plant on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They also has the laborious job of removing snow from the roof of the facility. They handled this with the aid of one snow blower, a half dozen shovels, and hard work. They had the thankless and the hardest job of all. A huge Thank You goes out to Joe Morris, Jimmy Bell and our Maintenance Team, David Seaman, Eugene Brown, Tony Evans, David Sorrels and Jason Taylor for all of their efforts.

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Jimmy Bell pictured, starting to clear the roof…

Our Security Team Members are to be recognized for their commitment during Snow-ageddon 2016. This team came and went, quietly in the night, serving as a contact for the drivers that drifted in and kept a watchful eye when most of us were at home. Thank you Brandon Phillips and Todd Phillips for your commitment under some adverse conditions.

With prior arrangements, almost the entire Lyndhurst Team was on site Friday in an effort to beat the storm and service our customers. I am very proud of the entire team and their accomplishment; they met the challenge and completed all of the work that could be completed when trucks stopped rolling.   The team went as far as pulling forward Saturday and Sunday work, in an effort to get them loaded onto ‘dropped trailers’; great job.

We have a short list of Team Members that rode well into the storm to help finish up the pending work, a special thank you goes out to all of them.

 

Vance Johnson                 Lacy Collawn                      Steve Bentley                    Keith Johnson

James Foster                     Jason Cook                         Lee Sanchez                       Ryan Pickwoad

David Flavin                     Andrea Harris                    Crystal Dickerson             Ronnie Beard

Doug ‘Whitey’ McGrath    Karl Krieger                         Nathan Fisher

Storm Delay Update – With the entire Team working towards the goal to get back on track; it only took through 2nd shift on Tuesday to be back on track. Wednesday morning we were able to communicate to our customers that everything was running on time – ‘making it happen’

Again, thank you to the entire Lyndhurst Team and providing WOW service under adverse conditions.

Hannah Carey, Andrea Harris, Sam Kislek, Sandra Martin, Pamela Morris, Dawn Rogers, Crystal Tibbs, Rosalind ‘Joy’ Cook, Crystal Dickerson, Alfredo Aguirre, Bob Barhorst, Ronny Beard, Steve Bentley, Butch Braun, Chris Campbell, Lacy Collawn, Jason Cook, Jason Davis, Nat Fisher, David Flavin, James Foster, Robert Holtz, James Johnson, John Johnson, Chuck Johnson, Vance Johnson, Karl Krieger, Benjamin Lawson, Tracy Lawson, Marvine Mabie, Mark Mason, Jennifer May, Doug ‘Whitey’ McGrath, Michael Mooneyham, Ryan Pickwoad, Lee Prather, Corbin Redd, Robert Holtz, Lee Sanchez, Kaheen Sandridge, LaToya Taylor, Darryl Via, Eddie Holmes, Ramblin’ Ray Jefferson, Eugene Brown, Tony Evans, David Seaman, David Sorrels, Brandon Taylor, Vernon Fletcher, Lorene Whitley, Brandon Crickenburger, Robert Mooneyham, Brandon Phillips, Michael ‘Todd’ Phillips, Jonathan Boyd, Jeremy Leather, Aaron Meadows, Victor Guanill, Judy Brown, Jimmy Bell, Michael Biery, Shane Chandler, Mike Dameron, Justin Earven, Bill Weeks, Melissa Whitesell, Brandon Whitesell.

Thank You all for making Lyndhurst what it is…

This is just for perspective on the amount of snow received…

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Here are some more photos!

Burris New Castle

Written and submitted by proud Human Resources Generalist, Kim Trala-Bowers

As we all know, communication is critical in everyday business. However, when a blizzard by the name of Jonas crossed our path at the Burris Logistics’ New Castle Facility, COMMUNICATION was imperative.

With the help of our self-proclaimed “Resident Meteorologist” Chris Robbins, we received accurate updates on Storm Jonas’ path every hour.

Our GM, Jim Bertuola, and our remarkable team of managers held conference calls with our CUSTOMER and our sister facility in Atlanta approximately three to four times a day leading up to the storm.

Without the impeccable and constant COMMUNICATION and collaboration of EVERYONE on our team, the results from Storm Jonas could have been catastrophic.

Due to our ability to communicate quickly and effectively, we were able to transfer the deliveries for nine different stores from a delivery schedule of Friday and Saturday to an alternate scheduled of Saturday and Sunday.  These changes allowed our drivers to depart in time to escape the brunt storm in the Delaware area and to complete their deliveries after the storm had passed and began moving South.

To ensure our Team Members’ safety, the New Castle Facility was temporarily closed on Saturday and reopened our doors, practicing business as usual, on Sunday at 4:00AM.

Thankfully, most of our Receiving and Shipping departments were able to start at normal time.  As for the Team Members who could not safely get out of their neighborhoods, our Managers Brian Kiliany and Susan Willemsendebock came to the rescue. Driving SUVs with four wheel drive, they graciously picked up team members for their shifts.

As a result of all the HARD WORK and COMMUNICATION our customer was one of the few stores able to reopen their closed stores quickly. Those stores that remained open, were able to increase sales by 20% due to the additional product that they had on their shelves.  

Through this COMMUNICATION and COOPERATION, EVERY one of our TEAM MEMBERS “Made it Happen” for our Customer.

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