This case history about CARQUEST comes courtesy of FloStor. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content and style.
Chances are you’ve just seen a new CARQUEST auto parts store in your neighborhood. CARQUEST is the nation’s fastest growing chain of auto parts stores, with nearly 60 distribution centers across the country and over 4,000 retail outlets serving North America.
CARQUEST is a vertically integrated supplier of auto parts and auto body refinishing products. The company offers name brand products as well as over 30 different CARQUEST branded product lines covering virtually every part need for any repair or maintenance job to repair shops as well as the home hobbyist.
CARQUEST attributes its growth to two primary strategies: a comprehensive training program for its authorized shop mechanics and aggressive pricing. In order to maintain low prices, CARQUEST needed to control costs by increasing productivity in their distribution system.
Auto Parts Wholesale operates the west coast division of CARQUEST. The hub of the west coast operations is an all-new distribution center located in Bakersfield CA, with material handling systems designed and integrated by FloStor. The DC supplies parts and supplies to six satellite distribution centers and to 400 retail stores in three states and Mexico. The company now maintains over 200,000 SKUs in inventory at the distribution center. Special orders are fulfilled from the DC and delivered by 8AM the next day to stores from the Oregon border to Mexico.
The concept of a new DC had been in the works for six years. Jim McMurtrey, VP & General Manager of Auto Parts Wholesale, conducted extensive research and visited facilities throughout the country. “The challenge was to create a solution which best fit our unique distribution channel and truck routing.”
The new 145,000 sf DC consolidated two previous major distribution centers that covered a total of 180,000 sf. By consolidating, facilities costs are greatly reduced and “it’s much better for us to replace two $6 million dollar inventories with a single facility of $8 million — particularly when we can give our customers better service”, explained McMurtrey.
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