Augusta, Georgia (October 25, 2016) – Bennett Distribution Services, LLC, (BDS) an affiliate of Bennett International Group, LLC, and Hoback Investments, LLC, today celebrated the opening of a new state-of-the-art, 524,700-square-foot automated warehouse in Grovetown, Ga. As the largest free-standing warehouse built in Columbia County and among the largest in the region, it will exclusively support Bennett client John Deere. Leaders from Bennett, John Deere and Columbia County gave remarks at a ribbon-cutting and open house held this afternoon on the warehouse grounds.
“We are very excited about the new warehouse, especially its proximity to our plants,” says Mary Pat Tubb, factory manager for John Deere. “We are grateful to BDS and Hoback for the vision they had to make a step function change in technology and warehouse management along with the consolidation. Outfitting the warehouse has been a joint effort between Hoback and Deere, and we expect that the efficiency gains with this consolidation should be evident to us on day one.”
“John Deere is one of Columbia County’s largest employers, and we want to do everything we can to help them grow and be successful,” said Ron Cross, chairman of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. “Columbia County is very thankful for Hoback’s investment in our community, and we look forward to working with John Deere and Bennett as this facility goes into operation.”
“The opening of this new warehouse signifies new opportunity for growth of two local businesses, John Deere and Bennett Distribution Services,” states Hugh Hollar, chairman of the Development Authority of Columbia County. “The Development Authority thanks both companies for their continued investment and job creation in Columbia County.”
Hoback Investments financed the venture to help BDS better serve the needs of John Deere. BDS will manage the day-to-day warehouse operations out of an office area of 2,500 square feet. “Currently, we’re operating 3PL services for John Deere in five buildings spread out in a 20-mile radius,” said Danny Lowry, CEO of BDS and a partner in Hoback Investments.
“Consolidating our client’s services to one location allows us to provide improved operating efficiencies, increased capacity and the ability to improve manufacturing operations for John Deere,” Lowry said. Even better, this move allows us to use our other buildings in the Central Savannah River Area to expand services for existing customers as well as new customers.”
The facility was built with 11,000 square yards of concrete to form a structure more than 1,200 feet in length, 420 feet in depth and 32 feet in height. This immense size allows BDS to offer 90 docks and multiple double rows of six levels of 300-foot racks. On both sides of the building are 180-foot wide truck courts to support convenient deliveries. Multiple truck doors allow for rapid loading and unloading. Inside the warehouse, inventory, security and fire alarm systems are supported by over 100,000 feet of fiber optic and network cabling.
The warehouse’s 43-acre site is next door to John Deere’s manufacturing plant. BDS will coordinate shipping of parts for John Deere’s products to the warehouse where they will be stored and then assembled for shipment to the plant for production when requested. Finished products will then be transported back to the warehouse for distribution.
“Every part that goes into the John Deere plant will be touched and managed by us, and every finished product that comes out of the plant is shipped and managed by us,” said Dick David, chief operating officer of BDS. “We are excited about being able to streamline operations and improve our 3PL services for John Deere.”
About Bennett Distribution Services
Bennett Distribution Services, LLC (BDS) is an affiliate of Bennett International Group, LLC, a global transportation and logistics company. BDS provides 3rd party logistics services designed through responsive, flexible, scalable, cutting edge solutions that meet a wide range of logistics requirements. Services include shared space warehousing, rail support services, contract logistics, manufacturing support, project management, transportation and oil field support.
About Hoback Investments, LLC
Hoback Investments, LLC is a real estate investment company focusing on the acquisition and improvement of properties for use in the transportation and logistics industry. Partners in the firm also own McDonough, Ga.-based Bennett International Group, LLC, a woman-owned, Women’s Enterprise Business Council (WBENC)-certified, diversified transportation and logistics company.
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