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Top 50 - 2008

37. City Line Distributors

West Haven, CT
Year founded: 1930
Chairman/president/ceo: Robert Berkowitz
Website: www.citylinefoods.com
1 distribution centers
1,550 accounts
100% commercial
15,000 SKUs
75% national brands
5% private label
20% group label
100% street accounts sales ($680 average order size)
COP & specialty products: Fresh fish, fresh produce, gourmet cheese, san-jan.
Best innovation: Converted to Internet-based recruitment and hiring system that has been successful.
Other news: Began needs assessment and planning study to determine the right course of action for facility expansion and upgrade.
Fuel prices: Passing on some of the costs and absorbing others.
High-tech operations systems: Use barcode scanning on receiving and putaway; and for shipping, selectors use voice-activated headsets.
Plans for human pandemic or other catastrophes: Traceability of every shipped case to the lot from which it was received. Possess back-up generator that can (and has) run the entire building.
Any "green" or environmentally-friendly projects: Have looked at using alternative fuels, however, the major truck manufacturers are hesitant to provide warranty coverage on their vehicles and to vigorously pursue this option. The industry should collectively push two or three major truck manufacturers that most distributors buy from.
Key issues this year: Making sure customers get close to perfect, error-free deliveries, which is a day in and day out year-round job that requires attention from top management.