NORMAN — Sysco hosted members of the Norman Chamber of Commerce, local legislators and other interested parties on Friday with lunch and tours of the newly expanded Norman facility. In addition to the open house, the meeting served as a Workers Compensation forum to discuss current legislation to reform the Oklahoma’s workers comp system in Oklahoma which is considered one of the most costly in the nation.
“We are honored and proud to have Sysco in our community,” said Chamber President and CEO John Woods.
Sysco is the largest food service distributing company in the world with more than 400,000 customers, Sysco Oklahoma President Chris K. Davis said.
Sysco is also a sponsor of “Restaurant Impossible” on the Food Network.
“We don’t make anything, we just deliver stuff,” Davis said.
But the Sysco label on many of the products means the company controls how those products are manufactured.
Sysco serves 17 percent of the total market.
“We can get you fish from Hawaii in two days,” Davis said.
The recent expansion of the Norman facility includes the dry warehouse where non-perishables are stored. That warehouse was expanded from 70,000 square feet to 110,000 square feet.
The physical expansion will allow for the expansion of business as the Norman facility transitions to handling $110 million more annually with expansion into Kansas.
In addition to more space, upgrades like the new robotic system make the dry warehouse more efficient adding flexibility for customers as well as space.
Inbound traffic at the warehouse runs Monday through Friday, said Warehouse Manager Don Zvacek.
Outbound starts at 5:30 and runs until 3 a.m.
Sysco serves restaurants, schools, federal facilities, casinos, jails and more. Safety of employees is a key factor. The day shift has three years and night shift two years without an injury.
Zvacek said those records exist in large part because the employees take pride in their work, but that’s not the whole story.