LAS VEGAS -- Millbrook Distribution Services, based in Leicester, Mass., will engage in RightSourcing, which means outsourcing nonfood items that have low unit volume and high handling costs, as a key growth strategy.
RightSourcing evolved out of a study conducted for Millbrook by Willard Bishop Consulting, Barrington, Ill. The study documents supply chain handling costs and identifies how a specialty distributor can help retailers reduce costs and improve their clients' return on their investment, largely through activity-based costing methods, Sigel said.
"By analyzing the true costs of handling these categories, Bishop confirmed what we already believed -- that Millbrook's strengths in product assortment, category management and piece pick capability could be leveraged to allow us to handle many items more cost-effectively," said Sigel.
More than 380 nonfood and specialty food exhibitors showcased their products and services during the expo. Among supermarket chains in attendance were Food Lion, Kash n' Karry, Dierbergs Markets and Shaw's Supermarkets.
Millbrook's Retail Solutions division also is expected to be an important contributor to the distributor's future business. "There is a clear need in the marketplace for third-party services," said Sigel, who emphasized Millbrook's "proven expertise and pre-existing core competencies" in this area.
Now under the ownership of R.A.B. Holdings, a New York-based investment firm, which acquired Millbrook from McKesson Corp., earlier this year, Millbrook will be more aggressive in developing its specialty food business, said Sigel.
The distributor hopes to expand and add categories in natural perishables like ice cream, frozen vegetables, cheeses and yogurt as well as natural ethnic foods in kosher, Asian and Mexican categories.
Millbrook will hold its national sales meeting during the same time frame next year, but will break the expo portion of the meeting into eight product shows next year.
Plans call for three shows each in health and beauty care and general merchandise and two in specialty food.