National DC Overview

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.


  • 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.

Heavy-Duty Caster Manufacturing

After a series of recent manufacturing investments – including a new laser, CNC machining centers and forming equipment, and multiple robotic welding cells – Colson Group USA announced plans to rapidly advance the company’s heavy-duty (HD) caster manufacturing within its two Michigan manufacturing plants throughout 2016.

The plans include more USA-made product lines with greater warranties (starting with laser cut Albion 310 & 410 kingpinless casters), innovative new designs and accessory options, and advanced processes for greater speed in custom HD development. As an important element of these plans, the company is leveraging the strengths and infrastructure at both its Michigan manufacturing plants to best support the initiatives and grow both the standard and custom sides of its HD business.

“The Albion, MI manufacturing plant will continue to advance its heavy-duty focus under the leadership of Brad Bell and his experienced team,” said Kevin Osborn, VP of Operations. “They will be working closely with the St. Joseph, MI plant to advance HD production, and will also be receiving the heavy-duty responsibilities from our Newnan, GA facility to better align HD production and leverage our new investments.”

The group’s polyurethane production is also receiving an upgrade in both equipment and capabilities, and will be transitioned to a worldclass poly environment. The transfer to one of the top precision polyurethane production facilities in the country will increase Colson Group USA’s production capabilities, enhance production control, and offer more advanced material options – including more resilient and high-temperature resins.

As a final step, the Albion, MI plant will be brought onto Colson Group USA’s new ERP system to complete the company’s goal of a unified ERP system across all of its facilities. This accomplishment allows Colson Group USA to unlock further service capabilities and process improvements for its customers across all of its facilities.

“We have a strong commitment to advancing our heavy-duty products and service,” said Brian Denisty, Heavy-Duty Product Manager at Colson Group USA. “Our planning and recent investments provide the necessary foundation to deliver this commitment to our customers, and I am excited to begin the rollout starting with the new laser cut 310/410 Series made right here in Michigan.”

Please watch for further HD product and service announcements taking place over the next few weeks.