As freight volume goes up 18%, costs go down 4%
Skyrocketing fuel costs threatened Ace Mart Restaurant Supply’s (http://www.acemart.com) long-time commitment to its customers of surpassing their expectations with superior customer service and affordable, high-quality products that last. Then Broussard Logistics entered the picture.
Norman “Gus” Gustafson and his son started Ace Mart in 1975 with one store and minimal inventory in San Antonio, Texas. Still family owned and operated, Ace Mart has grown annual sales from $180,000 its first year to more than $70 million today.
The company now stocks approximately 7,500 items, sold at 13 of its own stores across the state, as well as online. Each store carries an extensive inventory drawn from a total company inventory that exceeds $10 million and occupies more than 400,000 square feet of showroom and warehouse space.
Continually striving to be an innovative leader in food service equipment and supply distribution, Ace Mart was open to new ideas that helped them meet their mission, satisfy their customer commitment, and stay at the top of their industry.
Customer service and accessibility have always been Ace Mart priorities, and the company expects the same treatment in return from its own vendors.
“Broussard Logistics offered a tremendous amount of experience in the industry,” says Assistant Distribution Manager Jeff Carpenter. “Most importantly, however, we were in constant contact with someone with the last name of Broussard. Ace Mart is a family owned and run business, and we felt comfortable dealing with a family owned and run business also based in Texas like Broussard.”
Bottom line, Ace Mart needed help dealing with trucking companies to lower its transportation costs.
“Even with skyrocketing fuel costs and an 18 percent increase in volume of shipments,” Jeff explains, “Broussard was able to help us lower our LTL transportation expenses by 4 percent. They negotiated better rates for us with the trucking companies we use most often. If I have a problem, I can pick up a phone and speak directly to Mike or Steve Broussard or one of their associates. I like that. I don’t speak to a customer service rep who may or may not be located in the same building and who may not be familiar with our account.”
Initially, Broussard only processed Ace Mart’s LTL freight bills, but has expanded its services to produce better efficiencies and more savings. “Understanding that our success will lead to their success if they do their job, Broussard has exceeded our expectations in every area they work with us in,” Jeff says. “I never envisioned the cost savings we are experiencing. I knew we would be consolidating some services and cutting some costs, but I never expected to save as much as we have in the past two years.”
Broussard’s bill-paying service allows Ace Mart’s accounting department to write one weekly check for transportation charges rather than cutting a check to each individual trucking company, which has led to a weekly reduction of five hours in labor costs. In addition, Broussard audits the company’s freight bills to ensure accuracy. Through Broussard’s Web site, Ace Mart can generate rate quotes, complete bill of ladings, and monitor freight expenses.
“Broussard delivers value in their continuing customer service,” Jeff says. “We have seen lowered costs not only in freight but also in labor. This cost savings has allowed Ace Mart to maintain a competitive edge and remain positioned at the top of the Texas restaurant supply industry.”