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Barrett Distribution: Apply Your Service Solutions Back Onto Your Business

The 10 To Watch issue of Memphis Crossroads Magazine features 10 Memphis industries whose focuses range from event planning to distribution to finance, showing that no matter what business you’re in, there’s an opportunity for success.

In this guest blog, Tim Barrett, COO at Barrett Distribution Centers, discusses how they apply their talent for "nimbleness and creativity" in customer service to their own internal business needs as a family-run firm.


The outsourced logistic business is much like the public accounting, law, or consulting business in the sense that we are a trusted advisor to our customers.  Like these other professions, we are exposed to a wide variety of businesses and industries and are able to take best practices from one industry and apply them in a unique manner for our customers in other industries.  In fact, our customers expect their third party logistics provider to bring innovation and new ideas to each meeting.

When it comes to the challenges of running our own business, we always remember to apply those same best practices on our own doorstep. Barrett Distribution is a third generation family run business. After our father passed away while the third generation was still in college, there was not a solid succession plan in place, and obviously the third generation was not quite ready to take over. Using the best practices that we've learned from and share with our clients, our team was able to pull together and manage through this difficult time, keeping open lines of communication with the family and with family members pitching in as much as we could.  We learned quite a bit from this experience and to this day talk about succession planning for all key positions in our Monthly Executive meetings. 
3rd Generation Barrett Leadership: Arthur Barrett, President (foreground) and Tim Barrett, COO (background)

Creative developers on our staff drive operational efficiencies and create actionable reporting for our customers on which decisions can and should be made.  Our customers' businesses continue to get more complex, and shifts in industry strategy continuously create new challenges for providers to keep pace.  Barrett prides itself on being an innovative supply chain partner who will satisfy the ultimate customer’s need for nimbleness and creativity. And when it comes to addressing our own business needs, we remember to apply the skills of those same creative developers back into our own growth planning, making sure that Barrett grows right along with our customers. 

 -- Tim Barrett, COO, Barrett Distribution Centers

Established as a single warehouse in 1941, Barrett Distribution Centers manages customized logistics solutions for customers throughout the United States and Canada from a network of facilities in the Northeast, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northern California, Southern California and Calgary, Canada - including a 650,000 sq. ft. facility in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tim Barrett's primary responsibility as Chief Operating Officer is to develop customized warehousing, transportation, and information technology solutions for our clients that improve their performance and reduce their overall supply chain costs. Tim has served as President of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' New England Roundtable. Before joining Barrett Distribution, Tim held positions at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Boston, Mass., where he worked with multinationals such as Bose and Tyco. Tim received his M.B.A. from The Ross School at The University of Michigan and B.A. in Economics and Accounting from The College of the Holy Cross.

Mike LaTella is Director of Customer Solutions for the Southeast. He focuses on designing fulfillment, distribution, and warehousing solutions for existing and new customers. He has over twenty years of sales and sales management experience, the last ten in the supply chain industry. 

Learn more about the Barrett Distribution leadership team on their website.

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The latest news from the Greater Memphis Chamber. For more information, contact Director of Communications Christina Meek at (901) 543-3504 ( or Communications Specialist Jenny C. Fish at (901) 543-3558 (