PHILADELPHIA (May 25, 1:15 p.m. ET) — PolyOne Corp. has opened a new distribution center and sales facility in San Jose, Costa Rica, to serve a region where more than 30 contract manufacturers and medical device OEMs now have manufacturing plants.
“We are the first large [materials] distributor to have a location in Central America and the first full-array distributor” to invest in a distribution center in Costa Rica to serve the medical market, said Larry Johnson, marketing director of health care for PolyOne, a global compounder and distributor based in Avon Lake, Ohio.
“Costa Rica has been a hot medical area for some time,” Johnson said at the Medical Design and Manufacturing East Show, held May 22-24 in Philadelphia. The center became fully operational just prior to the show.
“We will now be able to streamline logistics and be the supply center for our customers there by holding inventory for them in Costa Rica,” added Kurt Schuering, president of PolyOne Distribution, which accounts for roughly one-third of the company's sales.
“We can now offer them more speed in delivery, better logistics, just-in-time deliveries and minimize their risks by warehousing materials for them,” said Schuering, noting that the square footage of the center is about the same as other distribution centers in the PolyOne network.
“The big thing is that customers will not have to order full container loads from the U.S.,” Schuering said. “This will help them with their cash flow and inventory management, and they won't have to tie up their working capital in raw materials.”
Schuering and Johnson said PolyOne's customers pulled the company to Costa Rica.
“Last year, we visited our current customers in Costa Rica and other companies who are there,” Johnson said. “We saw the need to put a location down there to start to develop the market. And we decided to do it quickly.”
“One of the big values we add is that we can help companies with medical products they are using,” Johnson said. “This center is a solution to their problems because our commercial reach to health-care markets is very good.”
“We feel that South America is going to be a growing market,” said Johnson. “It gives us a beachhead that will allow us to get our brand down there. It is also infrastructure, and infrastructure and service from that infrastructure is where we can make an impact.”
“Healthcare is a focused market for us, and this distribution center is an opportunity for us to achieve strategic growth in this [geographic] market,” Schuering said. “It gives the ability to make market penetration in the OEMs who are down there.”
“The first phase will be to support the healthcare market in that region,” Schuering said. “But ultimately, it [the Costa Rica distribution center] could be the export center for us for the Latin America region. That is certainly in the scope as well.”