When The Coleman Company, Inc., an outdoor products company, founded in 1900, and based out of Wichita, KS, was looking for a new distribution center, they knew early on that Hart Corporation/Hart Group International would be a great fit to help, having worked with a sister company on a similar need in the Midwest.
NEEDS & REQUIREMENTS
Coleman’s goal was to consolidate a number of their warehouses into one central distribution center. From the onset, Coleman felt strongly this new facility should be located in the greater Kansas City area. This region was ideal since many of Coleman’s overseas shipments enter the U.S. on the west coast and are transported by rail to a number of their current Midwest warehouse locations. Coleman also preferred that the ultimate site be within a reasonable proximity to the proposed BNSF railway intermodal yard. Logistics, construction time and, of course, cost were strong considerations in determining the optimal location.
Working closely with Coleman and their consultant, Jim Belcher, SIOR, a member of Hart Corporation’s National/International Sales Team, was engaged to spearhead the search. He immediately solicited the help of Jerry Fogel, SIOR, of Kessinger/Hunter & Company, Hart Group International’s affiliate in Kansas City. Both Jim and Jerry handled the site selection for Coleman’s sister company in the Kansas City area, Pure Fishing, Inc. As a team, they developed an RFP to present to potential developers, both locally and nationally. They had a very clear understanding of Coleman’s goals and objectives for this requirement. Their knowledge of the area, alternative locations, incentives, transportation, labor issues, etc., was invaluable during the evaluation process.
The HGI team presented a number of viable locations and developers for consideration. Early on, Coleman eliminated the site that they would eventually select for this major undertaking. Through their combined knowledge and persistence, Jim and Jerry were able to convince Coleman this previously eliminated site would, in fact, be an ideal location for their distribution center.
CHALLENGES & OBSTACLES
This project was undertaken during a time frame when funding for new construction projects was extremely difficult. Through an extensive and thorough interview process with developers and contractors, Jim, Jerry and representatives of Coleman were able to identify viable developers who could be competitive and have the ability and expertise to complete the project even under current market conditions. Eventually, David Buck from USAA Real Estate Company was selected by Coleman and awarded the project to build a 1.1 million square foot state-of-the-art distribution center which Coleman would lease on a long-term basis.
RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS
The consolidation of existing Coleman distribution facilities into this state-of-the-art D.C. has aided Coleman in dramatically increasing supply chain efficiencies throughout the country with a major impact to their “bottom line”. Through the combined efforts of Hart Corporation and our Hart Group International partner, Kessinger/Hunter & Company, Coleman was able to quickly and efficiently satisfy their consolidation goals and objectives in locating and constructing this new facility.