The Coleman Company has opened a massive distribution center in Gardner, Kan., that is intended not only to speed delivery of its products, but also to reduce the company’s environmental impact.
The Coleman Distribution Center at Midwest Commerce Center, opened April 9, measures 1 million square feet, or 28 acres, and could hold about 20 football fields. The sizable center is able to receive the rising volume of Coleman goods that are manufactured overseas (about 65 percent of products) and then shipped from the West Coast to Kansas, where the company is headquartered.
A lot of other warehouse facilities may be that large or perhaps even larger -- or companies may have several facilities around the country -- but the great advantage of the new Coleman center is not its size; the company said the true advantage is that it is near a major railway station, where its products arrive from the West Coast.
“The concept of building a large distribution center for the U.S. in the Kansas City area was all about getting close to the rail head,” Dan Hogan, CFO and COO of Coleman, told SNEWS®.
He said in the past, products that arrived by rail had to be shipped to Coleman’s distribution center in Wichita, Kan. From there, items were reloaded onto trucks and sent to retailers and other customers. Because the new distribution center is near the railway, Coleman (www.coleman.com) no longer has to send products to Wichita.
“Obviously, that makes for a phenomenally more efficient process to distribute our products across the country,” Hogan said. “This actually takes several days out of the supply chain lead time process -- probably about five days.
“One of the biggest advantages for customers,” he added, “is that products will get to them sooner.”
With Wichita out of the equation, Coleman is also eliminating some truck transportation, which should reduce the company’s environmental impact.
Also, the new distribution facility, which Coleman has leased, is environmentally efficient and will eventually become LEED certified. The building’s eco-friendly components include a roof covered with special paint to reflect light, and interior lights operated by motion sensors.
“If you’ve ever been in big warehouses, they are often fully lit,” said Hogan, “and it wastes a lot of energy in parts of the warehouse where you don’t have people 24 hours a day.”