Talking Rain was founded in 1987, but business exploded just a few years ago when the Seattle-based beverage company decided to expand nationally with Sparkling ICE®, a carbonated, flavored water. The overnight success demanded a supply chain overhaul.
Rapid growth strained Talking Rain’s limited distribution network, and dramatic seasonal fluctuations made it challenging to accommodate space needs. The beverage producer recognized an immediate need for a scalable solution on a national level.
Strategic Distribution Network Strengthens Supply Chain
Saddle Creek played a key role in configuring the distribution network for Talking Rain, supporting the company’s expansion to a national footprint. The 3PL identified strategic locations across the country that put the beverage producer’s inventory close to end customers, optimized transportation costs and drove service level excellence.
Saddle Creek also began handling large-scale product manipulation with value-added services such as product reconfiguration, product customization and rainbow-pallet building. The 3PL’s ability to produce multipacks has allowed the beverage company to focus on producing 18-packs. Saddle Creek then converts these packs into 6’s, 12’s, or 24’s according to customer orders, enabling the beverage company to give retailers a unique pack in their market.
The new network helps Talking Rain to improve inventory visibility, support postponement strategies and streamline its supply chain. Saddle Creek executed the complete network configuration in less than six months and now manages more than one million square feet of food-grade warehouse space.
Having ready access to value-added services allowed the beverage company to move inventory closer to its customers, optimize packaging for end users, and remove a node from its supply chain. The beverage producer credits Saddle Creek’s single-source solution as a key factor in their ability to meet market demand for Sparkling ICE nationally.
“Saddle Creek designed a supply chain solution that accommodates our rapidly evolving needs,” says Kevin Klock, Talking Rain president and CEO. “Their creative ideas and scalable resources will help us keep reaching our business goals.”
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