Last year, the LODI Group (parent company of Pioneer Automotive) acquired the assets of Automotive Technologies Products (ATP). As part of that acquisition, LODI has consolidated ATP’s operations with Pioneer, and is now moving ATP’s assets from Elk Grove Village, Ill., to Pioneer’s facility in Meridian, Miss. Jack Cameron, the company’s vice president of sales and business developed, discussed the move with us and described how it will impact warehousing and logistics operations.
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Why was the decision made to consolidate in Meridian?
When we acquired the company last year, the landlord was looking for a long-term lease Illinois, which we didn’t want to commit to. We then planned to move operations to Meridian. Pioneer has a 250,000-square-foot facility that we own in Meridian, compared to ATP’s 70,000-square-foot leased facility.
There are some unique product categories to each company, but there are lot of products that overlap. We’ve spent he past year consolidating the supply base. LODI manufactures a lot o those products. There are a lot of advantages.
Will all of the warehouse functions be housed at Meridian, or are there other facilities?
Everything will be in Meridian. Pioneer and ATP both had some fee-based warehouses, but now we can really serve everyone out of a single location. We’ve ended those fee-based relationships. Everything comes out of one facility, and we use a third-party logistics company.
We had the square footage immediately available. We had some product lines that have naturally obsoleted themselves over the years. For ATP we can utilize some existing space that we already had. If you had walked in before we shuffled things around, I’m sure it wouldn’t have looked like we had any space, but we just did some belt tightening.
We added racking in our bulk storage area. We do a lot of our packaging in house, and so did ATP, so we’ve had to expand there. We are maintaining the two brands because of the different markets we serve.
The real challenge came in the finished goods area. That was already mezzanined, and now we are devoting that mezzanine area to ATP. We had to tighten up inventory on the lower level to accommodate Pioneer and reshuffle some racks and relabel them.
We also have a conveyer system that had three ramps, but we were only using one of them. We’ve reactivated all of them now.
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