The Castellini Group of Companies' Brian Kocher Dishes on Growth, Unification, and Innovation
CINCINNATI, OH - Adaptability. Resilience. Progress. Innovation. These words determine the strength of companies in both the most challenging and advantageous of times. As we move into the second half of 2020, one company that has been striving for excellence and making huge progress in these four areas is the newly unified Castellini Group of Companies. The group revealed a new phase in its epic growth plan earlier this spring, bringing all products and services under a unified banner and a two-fold plan to both engineer and design better, simpler solutions for its customers.
“The expansion of the Castellini Company facility in Wilder, Kentucky, now houses Crosset Company and Grant County Foods and was the first phase of our plan. This unification of our business lines into one expanded facility will allow our organizations to provide our customers with a new level of efficiency and service” Brian Kocher, Chief Executive Officer and President, shares with me. “The second phase was unveiling a newly updated logo and a website with online ordering and order tracking capabilities to be available in the near future."
The goal of the expansion and unification simplifies Castellini’s entire supply chain for the benefit of its customers and the company’s future. Consolidated inventories speed turnover, while clarity in grower/buyer strategies aligns Castellini’s interests with its customers.
This new evolution in Castellini's business model was also a highlight of United Fresh LIVE! conversations, which you can check out in the video below.
“A simple supply chain also results in a flexible and agile supply chain, and we have been able to expand third-party logistics (3PL) services to an entirely new set and channel of customers,” Brian reflects. “We still have a lot of work to do as you can’t pull off a combination of this size and scope without some challenges, but I am excited about our future and the value we will bring to customers—both current and new.”
The COVID-19 challenges have created a major need for flexibility as well as creative and custom solutions within the supply chain. So, I asked Brian, how is this newly formed operational structure of Castellini able to address these demands, from transportation services to produce distribution and supply chain services?
“A consolidated supply chain offers us fantastic coverage east of the Mississippi River. We deliver almost all major receivers from Wisconsin to Eastern Pennsylvania, and when you add our distribution center in Atlanta, Georgia, we can expand that coverage all the way to south Florida and eastern Texas,” he tells me. “Combined with our experience in delivering emergency fill-in product, we offer very fast cross-docking. Much of the product we are receiving is going out the same day and being delivered the next. When customer supply chains become either over-loaded or stressed, we can offer a safety-valve and ‘on-demand’ DSD services as well as inventory transfer services to customers within 24-hour notice.”
Each of those solutions must be tracked in Castellini’s customers’ systems as well as its own—so the company offers a multitude of ways to ensure data integrity remains strong. Additionally, many of those on-demand services and solutions have turned into permanent solutions to offer Castellini’s customers flexibility and scalability in their supply chains—from the grower/shipper to the retail/food-service buyer.
“When you add our experience and capabilities to those of our transportation solutions subsidiary, RWI Logistics, we can solve challenges in every single facet of someone’s supply chain,” Brian adds. “We are on the right path. There is a huge need for us to address supply chain challenges for our customers. We help customers move everything from produce to popsicles and try to do it with simplicity. As I said, we have a lot of work to do, but I am more excited about our future than I have been in several years.”
These milestones, both achieved and in the making, speak to Castellini’s amazing efforts to impact the way our industry does business. And, as for me, I am excited to see what this innovator has in store next.