Excitement is building as Colson Group USA is rapidly advancing with the development of its new national distribution center located in St. Joseph, MI. Designed with the latest in distribution practices and technologies, the advanced 170,000-square-foot facility will be Colson Group USA’s first national DC supporting distribution for all of its brands of casters and wheels.
“Our goal is to enhance our customers’ experience through faster and more reliable fulfillment, dependable inventory planning, and the ability to consolidate shipments from our various brands,” said Kevin Osborn, VP of Operations at Colson Group USA. “The DC will provide the necessary operational alignment to make this possible.”
Creation of the national DC allows Colson Group to setup a facility optimized solely for the distribution and common assembly of its broad product offering – functions currently supported within its individual manufacturing plants. This shift in distribution responsibilities will allow the manufacturing plants to further enhance their operational and service responsibilities, thus better supporting the group’s growing mix of USA-made products, customer-direct production orders, and regular supply to the DC.
The rollout of the new DC is led by Kevin Osborn, Colson Group USA’s VP of Operations. Kevin has been with Colson since 2008, where he has managed the operations for both the highly efficient and automated Jonesboro, AR and Monette, AR facilities. Kevin and his teams have carefully planned and reviewed all steps to ensure the DC infrastructure, technology, data structure, and inventory transitions are strategically staged and executed to mitigate service disruptions and create a truly world-class caster distribution center.
DC Key Updates and Features:
- New ERP and data structure created specifically for DC to support advanced transacting and processing; this includes barcoding for every part number
- Automatic data collection for real time ERP transactions and visibility for customer service representatives – thus eliminating paper transactions that later have to be keyed, and further improving inventory accuracy
- Narrow-aisle racking installation is nearing completion
- Hardware and shipment processing equipment now in-place
- Wire-guided turret trucks in-place, equipped with ruggedized tablet PCs and scanners for efficient and safe picking
- Experienced leadership for the DC assembly and distribution functions established; various employees relocated from Newnan facility
- Assembly cells now underway; to be complete late this December
The DC will be officially opening in January, and Kevin and his teams will strategically phase in supporting inventory over the following months. Watch for additional updates and details on the DC development in the weeks to come.