Tom Tyler eyes the future
Thomas Tyler, with his finger set gently on the pulse of consumer desires and industry trends, has used this instinct to guide Caribbean Producers Jamaica Limited (CPJ) into waters where other companies would fear to tread.
Co-founder of CPJ in 1994 with Mark Hart, he is currently the chief executive officer with oversight responsibility for day-to-day operations.
Trained as a gemmologist, Tyler has an eye for detail, parlaying his notions of what satisfies clients into growing the company into a regional brand services company to best any in the region.
He reflects: "CPJ has journeyed a long and winding road. The beginnings were very humble, very much under the radar. It was a business founded from scratch with no base to it. We really started from ground zero."
Tyler was educated at the University of South Florida. He also has a degree in gemmology from the Gemmological Institute of America.
He began his career in business in 1977 at Ballow's Jewellers in the United States and thereafter joined Caribbean Producers, which supplied furniture and equipment to the hospitality and hotel sectors across the Caribbean.
While working there he had the vision to create an integrated distribution company that led to his establishment of CPJ, with Mark Hart.
Today, the 20-year-old company is now significantly diversified and includes an 18,000-square foot distribution facility in Kingston to meet the growing demand of its national network for branded beverages.
CPJ is now also a national distributor with a fleet of large refrigerated and smaller dry trucks, and offers a next-day delivery service.
The company, with an 86,000-square foot warehouse that incorporates specific areas for refrigerated, frozen, dry goods and bonded goods, is the only distributor on the North Coast of Jamaica with the flexibility to hold wines and spirits duty-free.
Having developed a global supply chain emphasising on-time delivery, Tyler reflects, "We feel service is the key in our industry," citing CPJ's supply chain which sends goods anywhere on the globe.
"We run a First-World service in that area."
Locally as well, the company has developed specialist services in the on-time delivery of refrigerated products to the tourist belt, this facilitated by the location of its distribution and storage hub in Montego Bay.
Tom says, "My dream for CPJ is to see the company working for further growth in the hospitality industry as the industry itself grows - that is our core business.
"I see CPJ also furthering its ventures into agro-processing and the manufacturing of goods in Jamaica for local consumption and export."
He also sees the company becoming more of a regional entity in exports and distribution, expressing the hope that the CPJ which is involved in retail for the local market will venture into new areas serving its institutional primary hotel market.