DMA celebrated its 35th year “live” from Arlington, Texas last week. What started with nine founding members in 1988 has grown and evolved into today’s integrated national network supported by thirteen distributor members. This conference serves as an opportunity for DMA’s Superior Operator Partners to recognize those distributor members who’ve gone above and beyond in 2023.
The first award went to long-time member, Gordon Food Service. Their Kenosha facility services DMA’s largest customers and received the top score within the “large DC” category (which represents 15 of the total facilities in the network). They also demonstrated the greatest improvement over prior year within that group as well. Brian Larsen accepted the Large DC award on behalf of GFS. Honorable mention went to Ben E. Keith Dallas/Ft. Worth who had a similar level of improvement over the prior year.
The second award of the evening for “medium” DC (26 of the total DCs) goes to Ben E. Keith Southeast. The runner up for this category is also part of the Ben E. Keith organization – Little Rock Foods. Both DCs improved significantly year over year and the Southeast facility led its peers in the category in overall score. Shawn Mullins accepted the award on behalf of Ben E. Keith.
The third award recognizes the winner in the deepest group. Small DCs represent more than 40 of the total DMA network facilities. This year’s winner was narrowly edged out last year in the category – Cheney Brothers Ocala facility tonight. Dave Dudas accepted on behalf of Cheney Brothers. Honorable mention went to Shamrock Boise.
The final award recognized Kevin Todd from Ben E. Keith Foods as Sales Rep of the Year within the network. Unlike the prior awards voted on by DMA’s operator customers, this award is based on quantitative feedback from DMA team members. This year points were awarded to 32 individuals with nearly all receiving additional commentary, which speaks to the amount of talent and experience within this highly diverse and dedicated group. Kevin is “Always quick to respond, supports DMA 100% on all initiatives. A true partner with DMA, he is amazing to work with on all accounts. Kevin is always extremely responsive with a can-do attitude. He focuses on the needs of the customer and works well with the entire DMA account team.” DMA also recognized runner ups Shawn Mullins and Jo Hart for their hard work.
The Distribution Center awards have changed over the years, but the criteria has been consistent – each customer rates each distribution center on seven different categories of service. Those results are then compared to similarly sized DCs throughout the national network. It’s important to note that “size” of the DC is relative to the scale of the DMA business that particular house serves. The criteria for award winners focused on the average score of those questions. However, improvement versus the prior year score as well as the number/size of responding customers was also considered.