Opening a new distribution center isn’t a simple matter for International Truck and Engine, says Judy McLaughlin, manager of logistics planning. One reason is that the company is relocating exiting distribution facilities, not opening new ones.
Once the analysis has been completed and a location selected, International will lease a facility. That’s when the hard work begins.
International doesn’t simply close the doors on its existing facility and move the inventory to the next distribution center. Instead, it will begin receiving to the new facility and ship dealer orders from both DCs. This allows International to deplete the inventory at the old facility rather than move it. In addition to careful planning for the actual distribution process, this strategy requires close coordination on information systems, says McLaughlin.
That doesn’t minimize the complexity of the distribution operation. International receives daily orders from dealers and ships in quantities from “eaches” to pallets. Its target is next-day delivery.