Usually, this is the time of year when we can take a few moments, breathe deeply, assess the past year’s performance, and plan for the upcoming year. But with the ever-increasing pressure on the logistics/supply chain function to get products to market faster and more efficiently, we no longer have that luxury.
As we proudly enter our 90th year in business, right from the first couple days into January, we’ve experienced a few substantial events. KANE is excited to announce that two new senior leaders have joined the team – Patrick Coughlin as COO and John Kettman as SVP, Distribution & Operations. Both gentlemen have extensive supply chain operational knowledge and we look forward to their business acumen and insights to enhance our customer-centric mission.
In March of last year, Harkness Capital Partners agreed to make an investment to support KANE’s growth strategy of expanding its services and national presence. Reflecting on the event, KANE President and CEO Mike Gardner stated, “Harkness Capital is the perfect fit to assist us in achieving our goals of exceptional logistics delivered by dependable and dedicated associates. Besides providing the capital we need to accelerate our growth, they bring decades of operating experience and proven investment success in the logistics industry.”
KANE finished 2019 with an RIR (Recordable Incident Rate) of 1.97. The industry average for this key safety metric, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 4.6.
New KANE COO Patrick Coughlin already challenged the team to improve upon this already high performance. “Our safety record is better than the general workforce, especially considering that our associates work in different sectors, including driving over 11 million miles annually. Our goal is zero injuries. We want KANE to be one of the safest companies in America.”
Traeger Grill, Bloomer Chocolate, PepsiCo, Niagara Bottling, Bimbo Bakeries, among others, became new customers in 2019. We expanded into facilities in Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Southern California with current customers, Agfa and Materne. Additionally, we just signed a multi-million-dollar deal to operate a contract packaging and distribution center for a new customer in Columbus, Ohio. This dynamic location will be fully online in Q1 2020.
In 2019, KANE Freight Lines shipped over 54,000 orders, more than 2 billion pounds of product, covering 1,700 consignees, and managed over 250 customers – all with an on-time delivery rate of 98.2%
KANE continued its industry-leading efforts in driver retention. The latest update from Transport Topics shows large fleets (defined as having an annual revenue of $30M or more) turnover rate at 87%. Small fleets (having an annual volume less than $30M) reported a turnover rate of 67%.
KANE performed better than both classifications – tracking currently at 35%.
Even though our retention rates are strong in both our transportation and distribution operations, we’re constantly looking for ways to get better. One of the top challenges for our industry is the difficulty in hiring qualified workers to a logistics career across all job titles. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in logistics will grow 7% through 2026.
We actively participate with an employment assistance non-profit, Hire Heroes USA, which helps U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses find new careers. KANE is proud to employ many military veterans – almost 9% of our workforce identifies as having former or current military service.
KANE is also participating in joint efforts with school districts in Northeast Pennsylvania to expose teachers and administrators to the logistics industry. This is the second consecutive year KANE hosted educators from area high schools in a multi-day immersion on every aspect (and job type) of logistics management. We’re proud to be one of the initial participating companies in PA’s Educators in the Workplace program. We’re hopeful that this program continues to gain steam and exposure. The logistics industry continues to expand, and talent is needed at all levels across all companies.
2019 brought a few changes to KANE, however, our commitment to maintain quality and compliance in all areas of the organization is demonstrated continually and without fail. We would like to to thank all the operations for their support and dedication. Specifically, here are a few areas that achieved fantastic results over the past year.
- AIB Audits: Lockport (955/superior); Atlanta (950/superior); Allentown (970/superior)
- BRC Audit (global standard for food safety): Scranton DC6 – Grade ‘A’ score
- Underwriters Laboratories Good Manufacturing Practices (UL GMP) audit ensures that food, pharmaceutical, medical, and cosmetic products are of consistent quality and in compliance with manufacturing standards: Scranton DC6 scored 94%
- Eurofin Audits: Atlanta and Salt Lake City both successfully passed their GMP and GMP for dietary supplements audits
- Various customer audits continue to meet and/or exceed expectations
We began 2019 with Boise Paper presenting us with their 3PL of the Year award for operational excellence in logistics. In May 2019, KANE was once again named to the Transport Topics Top Dry Storage Warehousing Firms. KANE came in at #37 on the annual list. Additionally, KANE was named by Multichannel Merchant as a Top 3PL. This award recognizes 3PLs with expertise in omnichannel distribution and is a direct reflection of the exceptional logistics our dependable associates deliver every day.
The people have spoken. We received word from Logistics Brief that the KANE Blog won their MVP award in their inventory/warehousing category. Logistics Brief brings together the best content for logistics and warehouse professionals from thought leaders. This is a terrific salute from the industry celebrating our consistent, high-level content. Faithfully, the KANE Blog has been at it since 2010.
2019 marked another year where KANE was formally recognized in sustainable practices and operational excellence.
- Top Green Provider – Food Logistics
- America’s Best 3PLs – Global Trade
- G75 Top Green Supply Chain Partner – Inbound Logistics
- Top 3PL – Inbound Logistics
- Top Logistics Blog – Feedspot
- Top Logistics Blog – Camcode
Treat customers like family. That is the closing tenet of the KANE Code. We know that our job is to make our customers heroes. We do that by being their heroes. Overall, customer experience (CX) is gaining traction and becoming a board-level priority across corporate America.
KANE has embraced CX as strategy for many years. From our initial project, we have experienced an average yearly increase of 40% to our Net Promoter Score (NPS). We believe that if a customer is not happy, it makes for a shaky business relationship.
We’re looking forward to delighting our customers in 2020 and beyond.