With 156 years in business, Holman is one of DCA’s longest operating companies. What do you consider the keys to your successful longevity?
Holman President, Brien Downie: Without a doubt, our company has been around for so long because of our core dedication to Extraordinary Service. Over the years we have adapted as customer needs change and technology solutions evolve. Holman transitioned from horses and carts to trucks when trucks became a thing. We helped lead the transition into warehousing as it emerged as a practice in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Now, as clients adopt and require exciting new technology capabilities and functionalities, we’re in the forefront of defining those solutions. We are a People and Processes company, but we’ve always recognized that people come before processes. We’re committed to having the right people in the right places to serve our customers with the right solutions that help to provide them with a competitive edge.
Holman joined TEAM DCA earlier this year as the member company serving the Pacific Northwestern Region. How does that geographic region and its customers and industries fit into your overall service portfolio?
Holman Vice President of Business Development, Fred Olson: Well, the Pacific Northwest (PNW) is where we originated and where we have the longest tenure of operation. It’s been a jumping off point for the development of customer relationships: we begin providing services here in the PNW and, as they experience our Extraordinary Service firsthand, they ask us to go other places. At the same time, the PNW is no longer our largest base of operations, supplanted by Arkansas where we provide manufacturing and logistics support to a Fortune 500 global consumer products (CPG) customer. We’ve followed a pattern with several major manufacturers beginning here in the PNW, demonstrating real value in partnership, and then expanding our services across the U.S.
While most of what we’re currently doing is what we’d call bulk freight – with commodities moving in and out of the warehouse on pallets – our eCommerce volume has increased significantly during the time of COVID-19, with tens of thousands of direct-to-consumer orders shipped on a daily basis. For some customers, the Holman team is embedded in the manufacturing environments, where we support “soup-to-nuts” manufacturing logistics support – helping to plan out required material quantities for production runs, prep materials for production, support machine operation, and handle ground transportation.
What sets Holman apart in the Pacific Northwest, or in the 3PL industry generally, in providing warehousing services?
Holman President, Brien Downie: Operating nearly two million square feet of warehousing in the greater Seattle area, Holman is the largest 3PL warehousing operator in the PNW. We enjoy a reputation for Extraordinary Service here, offering warehouse capacity that includes traditional ambient temperature, dry goods storage and inventory management at large volume, and food grade capacity. Foodstuffs comprise a large proportion of our total portfolio in the PNW. Our food grade warehouse facilities meet all AIB and FDA requirements. But an area where Holman stands distinctly apart is our specialty services such as our temperature-specific inventory management customized to customer needs.
We have invested in and created storage solutions in specific temp ranges for several customers, ranging from a temperature-controlled room designed to spec for cold or refrigerated space for several customers to a ‘hot room’ for another. That ‘hot room’ was for a product requiring slow pasteurization while in warehouse. Holman provided the room plus the technology to manage, track, and report the temperature in the room. It’s a sophisticated solution that we’re proud to say is running very smoothly.
One of the initiatives we’ve undertaken, for example, is adopting an artificial intelligence (AI) based software/hardware package that helps us be both more efficient and safer. It provides a 360-degree camera angle for forklift operators to see what’s behind them, which increases safety. We’re committed to continuous improvements like these, using cutting-edge technology to help our Team Members be the best people they can be and to help Holman be the best possible provider of Extraordinary Service for our customers.