Beer, wine and spirits distributor renewing its commitment to protecting Michigan’s air, land and Great Lakes
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Imperial Beverage, a Kalamazoo-based beer, wine and spirits distributor, is celebrating Earth Day by streamlining its operations and using innovative, cutting-edge technology to reduce its carbon footprint. The distributor recently switched to a voice pick system, dramatically reducing its reliance on paper by as much as eight cases per week.
“By implementing a voice pick system, which guides our warehouse workers by voice as they build pallets for the next day’s delivery, we have made our operation more efficient and reduced our paper usage by as much as eight cases every week,” said Larry Cekola, VP of Sales at Imperial Beverage. “At Imperial Beverage, we pride ourselves on being pioneers in energy efficiency and using cutting-edge conservation and environmental practices to reduce energy waste, pollution and protect our air and Great Lakes.”
Instead of handing warehouse workers clipboards filled with sheets of paper to gather the next day’s orders, Imperial Beverage employees now have tablets, ear buds and scanners so they can scan each order they pick up as a voice guides them to the next 6-pack, 12-pack or case of beer or wine. Imperial Beverage estimates it was using eight cases of paper, or 40,000 sheets of paper, every week under its previous system.
“By embracing advanced logistics and information technology, our employees are able to connect Michigan’s beer and wine lovers with their favorite products more efficiently, whether it’s made right here in Michigan, across the country or around the globe,” Cekola said.
Based in Kalamazoo, with additional locations in Livonia, Traverse City and Ishpeming, Imperial Beverage is a statewide distributor of beer, wine and spirits employing nearly 400 people throughout the state.
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Imperial Beverage is a long-standing member of the Michigan beverage distribution community. Established in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition and purchased by Kalamazoo’s Cekola family in 1984, Imperial has grown from a one county beer distributor to a top 10 statewide beer, wine & spirits wholesaler. With 390 employees and 4 locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia, Traverse City and Ishpeming, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan County, every week, all year long.