For weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in late August, pundits blasted the poor response of federal, state and local authorities, some of whom seemed unprepared to deal with a disaster of this scope. Fortunately, Associated Grocers, Baton Rouge, La., was much better prepared. The cooperative wholesaler, whose Baton Rouge distribution center serves 210 retail members operating about 300 stores, was able to radically adjust its normal supply chain practices to meet the ...

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