Composites One, a new joint venture distributor of composites materials, will start consolidating overlapping centers in Florida, Indiana and Arkansas in June.
GLS Corp. and publicly traded Total SA's Cook Composites & Polymers unit formed the venture April 1. The move combined two Cook operations — CMI/ Composite Materials Inc. of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., and RP Associates of Bristol, R.I. — with GLS' Composites Distribution Corp. unit in Arlington Heights, Ill.
In Lakeland, Fla., GLS Composites occupies 36,000 square feet with adjacent space to bring the center to 50,000 square feet. That's enough to absorb CMI's 18,000 square feet elsewhere in Lakeland. One landlord oversees both sites and is amenable to the move, Composites One Chief Executive Officer Steven Dehmlow said in a telephone interview from his office in Arlington Heights.
Northern Indiana poses a challenge: find 100,000 square feet to combine CMI's Elkhart and GLS' Goshen centers.
``We just located a promising existing facility and also have a set of drawings for a new building,'' he said.
In western Arkansas, GLS' center in Fort Smith will absorb CMI's location in Van Buren.
Dehmlow believes Composites One anticipated most of the logistical challenges in forming the $420 million composites material distributor, the nation's largest.
``First-month sales and income exceeded budget,'' he said.
Composites One employs about 400 and has made ``minimal'' jobs cuts so far, he said, adding that there are openings at all three organizations.
Each entity has latitude on how quickly to adopt the Composites One identity.
``RP has a different timetable and approach than CMI or GLS,'' he said.
Dehmlow anticipates some additional industry consolidation among composite material distributors. About 120 distributors existed a decade ago, and about 40-50 operate now.
Dublin, Ohio-based FRP Supply Division of Ashland Chemical Co. is the industry's other big player.