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A little bit of vision and a little bit of ingenuity transformed a one-truck transportation outfit into a prime logistics provider. Armando Diana learns that the road to success for Verst Group Logistics is all in the package.

What started with a truck and a dream in 1966 has evolved into the premier provider of warehousing, transportation and packaging through the delivery of value added services that brings customized solutions to new levels. Verst Group Logistics, a privately held company in Walton, Ken., is an innovative, full-service logistics company offering superior customer service.
The company spans the gamut of customers from consumer goods manufacturers and retailers to their suppliers and provides world-class solutions that make it easy to reap the benefits of improved supply chain efficiency and effectiveness. Built on a legacy of commitment to supporting the customer, Verst Group understands today’s dynamic supply chain environments and sets out to offer solutions to simplify by designing intricate third party logistics solutions.

The company has three basic businesses: warehousing, transportation and packaging. The packaging end of the business has taken off in recent years due to the popularity of shrink sleeve decoration. Shrink label packaging encompasses the entire product’s package with a label creating a “360-degree billboard advertisement” as Will Schretzman, vice president of contract Packaging, puts it.

But Schretzman says the ability to assemble, seal, bundle, carton, and shrink label products on a third party contractual basis is just the start of the value Verst offers it’s many customers, which includes mammoth consumer goods companies such as Procter and Gamble and Dial Corp. and Kraft.

“We don’t make labels and we don’t make the products,” Schretzman says. “We put them together and get them to the market.”

Verst Group Logistics acts as an extension of the customer by providing the labor, the equipment, the location, and the knowledge to create, assemble and transport the contract package for most any products. With the unique ability to leverage more than three million square feet of rack/floor warehouse space in 13 operations throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky and the labor flexibility to scale contract packaging services, Verst Group Logistics delivers total-spectrum turnkey capabilities.

Schretzman says the company understands the strategic health of every product and that its effectiveness is based on its supply chain management. So Verst Group Logistics developed its worldclass service operations and combined it with flexible solutions that allow customers to focus on developing the best products they can while Verst Group gets these from point A to point B.

IN THE BLOOD
Verst Group has had logistics in its blood since Bill Verst acquired a 30,000-square-foot cross-dock company and a truck. Generations later the family is still applying decades of experience to warehousing, transportation, logistics and contract packaging using the latest integrated technology to maximize the critical investment in the customer’s supply chain.

Led by Bill’s son, Paul, the company ensures the customer’s success by strategically locating facilities close to the market. In addition, the company has an unmitigated dedication to quality and customer satisfaction stemming from Bill’s philosophy of operating a successful business.

Now 1,300 employees strong, Verst Group Logistics achieves the same principles by employing a combination of Six Sigma quality and continuous improvement, modeling its quality system to the internationally recognized ISO:9001-2008 standard.

Six Sigma is a business management strategy that seeks to identify and remove the causes of defects and errors in manufacturing and business processes. It uses a set of quality management methods, including statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization who are experts in these methods. The Continuous Improvement Process is a management process whereby delivery processes are constantly evaluated and improved in the light of their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility.

Further, each of Verst Group Logistics’ customer jobs are approached as individual projects with unique configurations. The individualized attention sets the company apart from competitors and is a big reason for its success.

FROM START TO FINISH
Bringing a product to market cost effectively requires the most succinct supply chain that many manufacturers just as soon sub contract. However, most often a manufacturer has numerous sub-contractors. That is not the case with Verst Group Logistics, which changed the paradigm by offering one of the truly – and only – turnkey solutions. The company combines packaging, distribution, and transportation in one bundled price on a third party contract basis thereby eliminating the need for manufacturers to have multiple sub-contractors. The fewer the sub-contractors the more effective the delivery of the product to market.

However, Verst Group Logistics actually accomplishes this feat in reverse order. In just seven years, the company has become one of the leading full-service custom and contract packaging solution firms in the nation. Most packaging firms gain the contract and then look for the means to transport and distribute the product.

Verst Group Logistics utilizes its vast warehouse space, nationwide transportation network, and labor flexibility to gain packaging business. Once in-house, the firm simply uses its three groups as one unit to deliver the product. The warehousing division understands that service and flexibility is the key to success. The company has more than 3.3 million square feet of dry, ambient and temperature controlled warehouse space – one million of which is rail served. The space is ideal for grocery, beverage, retail and consumer products, paper and automotive needs.

The Verst family also owns Zenith Logistics, Inc., a company specializing in grocery products distribution. Formed in 1998, Zenith has been successful in securing full operational responsibilities of 3 distribution centers for The Kroger Co., the largest grocery retailer in the country. Zenith operates nearly 1.8 million square feet for Kroger in Louisville, Ken., Cincinnati, Ohio and Indianapolis, Ind.

Zenith’s experience can provide contract opportunities and a full range of warehousing, transportation, maintenance and consulting services to create distribution solutions nationwide

Verst Group Logistics combines premium-quality packaging, distribution and transportation to give customers a fulfillment experience bar none. It was Bill Verst’s vision that created an innovative, full-service logistics company offering superior customer service. However, it is the continuing ingenuity of the next generation that will continue the company’s legacy of logistics service that has stood the test of time. The company uses an acronym of its name to sum up its parts: Versatility Excellence Relationships Superior Services and Trust.

Volume:
12
Issue:
3
Year:
2009


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