Zenith Data Systems (ZDS), a subsidiary of Zenith Electronics Corporation, established its personal computer manufacturing operations in St. Joseph, Michigan in 1980. ZDS subsequently was consolidated into the operations of NEC Corporation (Nippon Electronics Company). While the work by Southshore for ZDS occurred some years ago, it is noteworthy to describe this customer relationship because of the complexity and challenging nature of the work with ZDS in the rapid change environment of the personal computer industry.
The Southshore Companies accepted the task of meeting the total logistics requirements of ZDS, at the time a major consumer computer products and government computer contractor, over a six-year period from 1982 to 1988.
This project began with the development of construction specifications, analysis of site locations and the construction by Southshore of a 330,000 square foot distribution center for ZDS in three phases. Simultaneous with warehouse construction, Southshore continued to perform finished goods warehouse functions for ZDS including product receipt and storage, inventory control and management, and product shipment to ZDS customers. In addition, Southshore provided the critical dedicated transportation necessary for the project's success.
This was a very demanding project since it was Southshore's responsibility to ensure a seamless and time sensitive link from manufacturing to temporary, multiple offsite distribution facilities and then transitioning finished goods storage into newly completed sections of the warehouse as construction proceeded. While warehouse construction occurred, Southshore met strict shipping deadlines consistent with the demands of ZDS's national retail consumer accounts, its retail distribution channels and a United States Department of Defense contract.