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February 09, 2021
What began as an idea now celebrates 20 years of success
“It is a great pleasure to announce the 20th anniversary of SourceBlue, formerly known as Turner Logistics. Let’s start by giving as special “Thanks” to everyone who has been on this journey with us and those who are committed to evolve and grow with us,” said Mark Boyle, senior vice president, chief procurement officer. “SourceBlue’s success is deeply rooted in Turner’s history of innovative thoughts and processes.”
Early Beginnings in “e-Seattle”
“Seattle was the center of the “dot com” expansion of start-up companies focused on taking benefiting from the internet,” said Tom Gerlach, executive vice president. “As fast as these companies grew, they needed data center space to support them. We suggested this business company-wide and launched the ‘Turner e-technologies group’, led by Mike Raftery and Pete Kangas.”
By the summer of 2000 the e-technologies group had identified projects and spoken with companies about nearly $800 million of data centers, e.g. Amazon, Visio (known as Microsoft), and AT&T Wireless. Lead times for critical equipment such as generators and cooling towers were rapidly lengthening and threatened Turner’s ability to hold schedules.
Turner Logistics Emerges
“We discussed the idea to create a company like “Turner Logistics” where we could work directly with the manufacturers and not get caught up in their distributor networks,” said Pete Kangas, vice president, global critical facilities. “This gave us greater certainty and control over specifications and schedule. If sufficient volume could be generated, we were sure that we would also drive prices down.”
Mike Raftery, vice president added, “Early studies confirmed that our approach could work. We began talking directly with manufacturers and tested pricing in annual aggregation. The suppliers saw the benefits of working with a knowledgeable direct purchasing subsidiary and showed us pricing advantages. We began to re-engineer how the actual services would be provided in the field in cooperation with the subcontractors.”
Turner Logistics was incorporated on February 9, 2001.
A Lean Solution
From a lean perspective, both e-technologies and Turner Logistics are a natural result of continuing to improve our value to the customer.
“By focusing on delivering value for our customers, we created the beginnings of SourceBlue. Many people pitched in to build Turner Logistics,” said Gerlach. “Today SourceBlue is an important value-added service of Turner.”
“Most recently, the supply chain disruptions we experienced solidified our need to be closer and more coordinated with our supply chain partners,” said Frank Yozzo, vice president, general manager, SourceBlue. “We will continue developing processes for our clients that are flexible and agile. We create opportunities for large, small, local and national business partners. Moreover, together we will explore emerging technologies, sometimes offering original equipment manufacturer (OEM) solutions. The next 20 years are going to be exciting.”