Ameriserve bankrupcy; irresponsible spending : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Ameriserve, the nation's second largest food distributer filed chapter 11 in January. They served 36,000 fast-food restaurants. I was curious, thought it must have been Y2K, because those businesses are booming and they should have been profitable. Its a privately owned company and there was no more news for a couple months. A new temp at my company who was an Ameriserve purchasing agent for 12 years gave me the story. He remains anonymous because of cinfidentiality agreements.

John Holton of Norway received Ameriserve as a wedding gift from his bride's father, a shipping magnate. The company was valued at $50 milion. Using OPM he increased the company's size in eight years to $9.5 billion by aquisitions. He tried to cut costs by reducing distribution centers from 63 to 18; his shipping costs to customers went up because distances increased. Then he tried to do software and accounting integration. It was a poor program and they had no inventory control for four months resulting in some items being double-stocked and others shorted, deliveries would show up late and some restaurants would get cups stamped with competitor's logos . Then Y2K upgrades cost millions.

The food distribution industry runs on extremely tight margins of .5-2%. Ameriserve was paying in 90+ days and collecting in 7-10 days. The float wasn't enough to cover expenses.

-- John (, March 26, 2000


The story sound's real good to me! Ameriserve, the pre-inron that no one talks about or know's about. I hate it hearing all the other's whining about there companies cheating them.

I am a Martin-Brower, Prosource,Ameriserve victim and survivor. We are just never talked about!!!

-- John Henke (, November 16, 2002.

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