Case Study: URM Stores

Corcentric’s Partnership with URM Stores Supports Exponential Growth

Fleet analytics helped provide flexible options to handle growth spurt

The Business

With its 96 percent on-time rate, it’s no wonder that URM Stores, Inc., a co-op grocery distribution company based in Spokane, WA, has experienced exponential growth over the past year. The company typically adds about three customers to its client base annually, but in just a six-month period last year, it signed up a whopping 35 new accounts. This phenomenal growth helped earn URM the title of 2019 Wholesaler of the Year in the West by The Shelby Report, a retail food trade publication.

Corcentric’s fleet analytics helps us look into every single piece of equipment, and determine the right time to replace that equipment.”

~ Steve Wolfe, Director of Transportation

The company delivers food to community retail grocers – sized anywhere from 10,000 sq. ft. to 65,000 sq. ft. – as well as convenience stores. URM also runs a profit center that delivers products to hospitals, schools, and restaurants. Steve Wolfe, Director of Transportation, equates the company to “a Safeway and Food Services of America rolled into one.”

Founded in 1921, URM serves grocery stores in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon. Its fleet includes 60 power units (soon to be 68), 120 reefer trailers, and a workforce of 100 drivers and between 200-300 warehouse employees.

The Experience

URM has been focused on expanding to the west side of Washington, and growing its business there. “The opportunity presented itself in that area, without a lot of time to put a business plan together, so we just did it,” Wolfe said. But the problem for URM was having enough drivers and equipment to handle the 300-mile one-way drive. URM operates without signed agreements from its customers, so when additional business comes in, it can’t wait until new equipment arrives.

The leasing partnership with Corcentric has given URM the ability to work together on leasing schedules, and it has offered the flexibility to meet the company’s needs.

“Corcentric’s fleet analytics helps us look into every single piece of equipment, and determine the right time to replace that equipment,” Wolfe said. “This is so important, and takes the guesswork out of it. I can’t imagine going back to buying equipment as a capital expenditure and then trying to figure out when to get rid of it.”

With the rapid expansion over the last year, Corcentric offered URM the crux for making change. “There were a lot of moving parts, and that’s where Corcentric came in — they helped source equipment that allowed us to handle the rapid growth,” Wolfe said. Without the added flexibility, URM would have struggled. “I am not sure what we would have been able to do, given the used equipment market at the time. I know we wouldn’t have been able to ramp up so quickly.”

During the fleet planning process, Corcentric helped URM determine which power units could be extended for another season until they were better able to forecast long-term needs. The Corcentric solution offered as much flexibility as URM needed and created some additional options for them. With OEM lead times out so far, Corcentric was able to offer short-term leases on equipment that met the company’s immediate need, which was more cost-effective than renting.

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The Future

URM is continuing to look for growth opportunities. Going forward, the Corcentric solution will help URM forecast accurately what its needs will be in coming years, so it is not caught short. “Corcentric will help with leasing and the fleet side of the business,” Wolfe said, “They will keep us on track and stay in front of our needs. It’s a partnership that will help us continue to grow.”

“Working with Corcentric has not only been a great working experience, but it has been the right move for the company. It has helped us position ourselves for the past 10 years, and will help us to correctly align our business in the future,” Wolfe said.

Spotlight

Customer

URM Stores

Solutions Deployed

  • Fleet Solutions
  • Leasing

About the Company

Founded in 1921, URM Stores, Inc. a co-op grocery distribution company based in Spokane, WA serves grocery stores in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon. The company delivers food to community retail grocers – sized anywhere from 10,000 sq. ft. to 65,000 sq. ft. – as well as convenience stores. URM also runs a profit center that delivers products to hospitals, schools, and restaurants. The company typically adds about three customers to its client base annually, but in just a six-month period last year, it signed up 35 new accounts, earning them the title of 2019 Wholesaler of the Year in the West by The Shelby Report, a retail food trade publication.

Results

>$1B

annual sales

96%

on-time rate

5.3M

miles driven/year

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