Regional Spotlight: Northern California

January 2011 SpotlightNorthern California means innovation, technology and pioneering leadership, which are all characteristics of the DCA member company headquartered there, Prism Logistics (, and Prism president and owner, Jere Van Puffelen.

Jere co-founded Distribution Centers of America (DCA) twenty-one years ago, and has been an active mentor and respected community and industry leader for decades. With partner Paul Van de Roovaart, Jere Van Puffelen founded Prism Logistics in 1993 and expanded their Northern California facilities network by acquiring PDC Logistics, ( in 2007.

Prism: old fashioned values in the new tech environment.

Prism Logistics is a distinct leader in its field by virtue of technology and systems investment over the years – a truly ‘paperless warehousing’ operation. All four Prism facilities operate a radio frequency (RF) warehouse management system (WMS), scanning product on entry and departure with input constantly available to Prism and customer teams anywhere in the world, any time of day via the WWWeb. PRISM’s PRIMS (Real-time Inventory Management System) provides real-time, online view of inventory, order status, order tracking, receipt status, and several ways to EDI orders/information. Auto-email of orders is provided as soon as they are confirmed shipped, and receipts as soon as received, to give the most up-to-the-minute information available throughout the day. Tracking deliveries via carriers from one point in Prism’s system gives an accurate and easy tool to view shipment status.

Prism provides leading edge service and real-time

But for Prism, it’s not just about the technology. information on inventories, shipment status, allocations, backorders and disposition.

As Jere says, “Systems exist to enable better Customer Service. Certainly changes in technology are the greatest changes in the business. Still,” says Jere, “at the end of the day we still ship and receive boxes and move freight. This is a people-intensive business and, no matter what the changes, our people make it happen.” Jere personifies Bay Area energy– the business of logistics is always changing, always adjusting for the shippers and for the providers. The system differentiates Prism’s quality in a manner perfectly complementing Prism’s ‘people-centered’ customer service—intuitively fulfilling customer needs and giving more than expected. “If you think things are stable, just wait a day” says Jere.

“Every day there is an opportunity to be a hero in this business.”

In addition to his roles as owner/president of Prism Logistics and PDC Logistics, Jere Van Puffelen has served as president of DCA, is a past Chairman of the International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA), was a founder of the San Francisco WERC Council, has been a member of CSCMP for over 30 years, and involved in various industry groups since 1975. Engaging in industry groups and participating in ongoing education programs keeps Prism ‘in the know’ and on the leading edge of our industry.

Says a major consumer foods customer, “PRISM Team Services has been a reliable partner for 8 years providing warehousing and transportation services for our key West Coast markets. By continually investing in their facilities and information technology, PRISM has enabled us to fully integrate our business process from warehouse receipt to customer invoice. Their technology platform was easily integrated with our ERP, and their web-interface is easy to use providing lot-level detail and useful reporting. Moreover, PRISM’s attention to details and customer focused team has provided a stable foundation for our business to grow.”

Prism’s facilities are strategically located throughout Northern California, in Sacramento, Hayward, Tracy and Stockton, CA All are ISO certified, food grade and operated on RF WMS. These central-California locations offer easy access to the Ports of Oakland, Stockton and Sacramento and provide direct access to the I-5 central transportation corridor, covering the entire west coast. Prism transloads, sorts, re-packs, re-works, stretch-wraps, cross-docks, inspects, packages, consolidates, shrink wraps and provides web fulfillment, assembly, returns processing, pick-n-pack, and display assembly to help customers increase sales, improve inventory turns and provide fast, efficient customer service.

Today, California qualifies as a G-8 economy based in part on commodities such as the food and beverage and other consumer goods moving regularly through Prism’s doors and out for distribution. California is the greenest and most diverse, globalized and Asia-oriented state at a time when world business is heading those directions.
Northern California is an incubator for innovation.

In 2009, California exports and imports totaled $413.7 billion, accounting for 11% of US trade, and $50 billion passed through the San Francisco Bay area. In this lively trade lane, Van Puffelen and Van de Roovaart have served as leaders, pioneers, and mentors in the warehousing and logistics industry on a national level as well as regionally throughout Northern California.

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