A company’s culture isn’t changed with the flip of a switch. It’s not something that you tuck inside an employee handbook or have a meeting about every so often. Culture is nurtured every day through employee interactions and the philosophies that drive the company’s success. For G&C Foods, that means focusing on the needs of its people — both internally and externally.
“All employees at G&C Foods are encouraged to work together to continue to make the company one of the premier employers in the country,” explained Larry Clark, G&C Foods transportation manager. “An example of this team management approach is the interaction between office personnel and our 100+ drivers we currently employ. From the first day a driver is hired, G&C promotes having a positive attitude and working as a team to provide the best customer service possible.”
The company’s drivers are based in different locations along the eastern seaboard — from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Tampa, Florida. While distance may separate them, clear and constant communication brings the G&C Foods team together. It starts with the senior manager level and reaches to touch every employee. Individual contributions and problem solving are encouraged, but drivers know that there is always someone available to help with questions or concerns – from management to other drivers.
“This approach to what is definitely a fast-paced business climate, has proven to be very successful in building the positive culture at G&C Foods,” Clark said.
Anyone in the food transportation business knows that “fast-paced” is an understatement. In addition to booming freight demands, the food transportation segment has seen significant regulation in the form of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). To help support regulations under the FSMA and promote a clean environment for refrigerated transport, all Great Dane Everest reefers now come standard with exclusive Microban antimicrobial protection built into the lining.
“Although G&C Foods has always concentrated on making sure products are transported in the cleanest environment possible, FSMA and recent health concerns from other industries have put even more of a focus on proper handling and transportation of food products to our customers,” Clark said. “We use multi-temp trailers, divided into fresh, frozen and dry compartments to make sure the integrity of all items isn’t compromised while transporting from our warehouse to our end user.”
To ensure the compartments stay cool, G&C leverages reefer trailer telematics to track temperatures from the time a shipment leaves the warehouse until it arrives at its destination.
“G&C Foods is always trying to stay at the front of the line with fleet technology,” Clark said. “To track our fleet of Great Dane trailers, we have employed Thermo King’s tracking technology with REB wireless communication, which allows us to remotely and historically locate trailers, change set points, check fuel levels and run reports. Employing this has impacted our equipment utilization by taking the potential for error out of tracking our trailers, allowing us to cut miles and maximize the use of each of our trailers.”
G&C Food’s use of technology dovetails with their basic equipment blocking and tackling. This includes thoroughly cleaning its trailers with a high-pressure cleaning process on a regular basis and extends to its equipment spec, which brings us back to the company’s focus on employees.
“Trailer equipment has a huge impact on driver safety and retention. G&C Foods is committed to providing the safest environment available, regardless of costs, for our driver and warehouse personnel,” Clark said. “One of the primary reasons we lease Great Dane trailers is the quality workmanship that goes into each unit and the safety options available on these trailers.
“G&C has a great business relationship with Great Dane,” he continued. “We have leased Great Dane trailers for many years and are projecting to order only Great Dane trailers in future years. Our local service center works hard to make sure equipment is fixed in a timely manner and done right the first time.”