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LifeWay shipping department tapped for top national award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–LifeWay Christian Resources’ logistics department has been named the 2002 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year. NASSTRAC (National Small Shipments Traffic Conference) is a Washington, D.C.,-based organization of small or less-than-truckload shippers.

The award among small shippers also earned LifeWay’s logistics department top billing in “Logistics Management” magazine, which featured on the cover Mike Harry, director of logistics, and Randy Brough, general manager, logistics support and planning.

In the 2,000 word story, “Getting it to the church on time: A new way to get the word out,” writer Marc Berlow reported on the scope of LifeWay’s “sophisticated automated systems.”

“The result has been greater efficiency, greater accuracy and lower costs, among other improvements, at a time when the number of shipments soared and staffing levels remained basically unchanged,” he wrote in the magazine’s October issue.

About 200 employees work in the logistics department. Seventy-five are in the Nashville shipping center, which takes care of quarterly orders; 100 are in the Lebanon, Tenn., distribution center, which ships undated orders; and 25 work in logistics support, which includes quality control, industrial engineering, corporate purchasing and transportation.

LifeWay sends 97 percent of its shipments within set company standards. “One of our critical goals for dated literature processing is to get the shipment to the church before the invoice gets to the church,” Harry said.

The logistics department’s inventory accuracy is 99.9 percent, and employees fill orders with almost 100 percent perfection, he added. And all that is done with two-thirds fewer employees than 10 years ago.

“In 1995, we spent about $8.5 million to ship out $257 million in sales,” Harry said. “In fiscal year 2003, we will spend about $8.2 million to support $423 million in sales.”

Harry said LifeWay ships about 2 million small packages a year. In addition to shipping to LifeWay Christian Stores, the logistics department sends packages to about 60,000 churches and 20,000 trade accounts. Additional shipments are made to 15-20 million residential customers a year, he said.

The full Logistics Management story about LifeWay’s shipping operations can be found at: http://www.manufacturing.net/lm/index.asp?layout=articleWebzine&articleId=CA251079&stt=001.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: ON THE COVER.

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