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Top 50 - 2008

26. Pate Dawson Co.

Goldsboro, NC
Year founded: 1885
Chairman: Mike Pate
President: Mac Sullivan
2 distribution centers
1,500 accounts
88% commercial, 12% noncommercial
7,500 SKUs
70% national brands
5% private label
25% group label
24% street accounts sales ($1,700 average order size)
64% multiunit accounts ($3,500 average order size and 80% from fast food)
COP & specialty products: Fresh beef and poultry, oysters and crab meat, fresh produce, limited gourmet cheese, E&S, san-jan, and packaging
Best innovation: Introduced voice-based selection system and new demand forecasting-purchasing system.
News: Hired new executive team members.
Fuel prices: Adding fuel surcharges for chain customers and building higher margins for street customers.
High-tech operations systems: Using radio frequency and bar coding for receiving, put away, stocking and inventory control, and voice-based order selection.
Plans for human pandemic or other catastrophes: In process.
Key issues this year: Leadership training.