The Castellini Group of Companies' Brian Kocher Dishes on Operational Excellence and Growth
CINCINNATI, OH - Sitting still is not a notion we are accustomed to in our industry. From markets to weather and everything in between, change is a fundamental expectation built into the most innovative business models. The Castellini Group of Companies has leaned into change this year as COVID-19 brought challenge after challenge and found resilience and success despite the pandemic.
“With significant impact on the foodservice industry and a challenging supply chain environment, we had to accelerate our pivot into a direction where we see our biggest growth potential. We had planned and we have executed a consolidation of our group of companies and brand update to unite under one new Castellini brand,” Brian Kocher, President and CEO, shares with me. “The final stages of that plan happened just about the same time as COVID-19 hit the world with a fury.”
While the team had to solve for unforeseen challenges, the initiatives and action proved to be a silver lining, allowing innovation to truly rise to the top as priorities shifted.
“I am proud of how we pushed through the process and how we continued to focus on being the best partner for our existing customers,” Brian says. “At the same time, we focused on our strengths and expertise as a full-service supply chain partner and were able to start new relationships in the 4 PL category, where we see our biggest potential for growth in the coming years.”
For a read on what that growth looks like in action, in the last three months alone, Castellini added four major partnerships that are almost totally focused on the company’s ability to help make its customers’ supply chains more efficient.
Additionally, the workplace itself has experienced some unexpected growth and change as well—from the environment to recruiting efforts.
“Agile businesses are discovering the benefits of a workforce that can work anywhere, any time,” Brian notes.
The company has implemented a system that allows many of its team members to work remotely, while splitting employees whose presence in the office is necessary into two teams. One team works from home at any given time and then they switch.
“This allows us to reduce the probability of a super-spreader event significantly. All these precautions allow us to socially distance employees in the office and protect those of us who have to come to our offices and warehouses every day,” Brian reflects. “We also moved all our meetings, including in-office team meetings, onto virtual platforms, and have eliminated all customer visits to our facilities and customer visits by our sales and business development teams. This has given us the opportunity to reflect on how we work, realizing that long days in the office and difficult commutes are not necessary for the modern business environment.”
It is true that certain positions in operations, the warehouse, and drivers, cannot work remotely for Castellini, but reducing the on-site workforce to a minimum allowed the company to distance the team members required to stay in the office and helped the team protect those employees and truck drivers.
“This approach will also benefit our recruitment efforts,” Brian expresses. “Flexible working will become a crucial factor in hiring and keeping top talent, and from a revenue perspective, a flexible working culture can mean room for growth without large additional capital expenditures.”
Stepping up to the challenge is what companies in our industry do best. Castellini is one of those leadership-strong organizations taking up the call for fresh innovation while making strides to bring success to customers, no matter the challenge.