Top 50 - 2007
45. Y. Hata & Co., Inc.
Year founded: 1903
President/CEO: Laurence Vogel
2 distribution centers
65% commercial, 35% noncommercial
90% national brands
10% group label
40% street accounts sales
22% multiunit accounts
COP & specialty products: Fresh meat, gourmet cheese, E&S.
Best innovation: With insurance and productivity costs in mind, launched an expanded and improved safety program that resulted in a 60% decrease in reportable (lost time) incidents, and a 90% decrease in days away from work due to accidents. With an eye toward safety and security, introduced 24-hour video surveillance of our warehouse and yard areas, beefed up our security locks, and deployed identification badges that double as electronic keys to secure areas.
Other news: In warehouse, increased chill storage, added more receiving doors, and upgraded all of materials handling equipment. In transportation, upgraded fleet to 3-compartment capability (freezer, chill, and dry), and implemented an in-house CDL driver-training program.
Fuel prices: Instead of passing on the expense as a fuel or mileage surcharge, we pursued increased margins wherever necessary.
High-tech operations systems: Continue to expand on a plan developed in 2004 to manage and take control of ocean freight rates from the continental U.S. to Hawaii, which has resulted in a continual lowering of our landed costs.
Key issues this year: Hawaii holds the distinction for the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S., and as a result, we are constantly challenged when recruiting qualified people for all positions, but especially CDL drivers, order selectors, merchandisers, and sales staff.