With an expanding product line and no warehouse space left, ARC Resin Corp. built a $2 million, 60,000-square-foot distribution center in Marietta, Ohio.
The engineered resin business had increased its inventory by 50 percent in the last 18 months, and needed more room and dock capacity than its 20,000-square-foot warehouse could accommodate.
"We decided to build what we think we need for the future," Patrick Hukill, ARC president and owner, said in a phone interview. "We tripled the building, doubled the dock space, and added additional blending and packaging capabilities."
ARC now has two warehouses in Marietta and one each in Bloomington, Minn., and Brown Deer, Wis. Hukill started the business 24 years ago and has about 20 employees. ARC staff developed a private brand of resins, worked with a compounder on specialty grades and offer resins from major chemical companies.
For example, ARC carries at least eight kinds of ABS and seven kinds of polycarbonates, including flame retardant, glass reinforced, high heat, high flow and UV stabilized. Services include on-site custom blending and compounding.
Most of ARC's customers are U.S. and Canadian molders in the automotive, electronic, boating and irrigation end markets.
"We're pretty successful in the pump industry. We do a variety of end applications," Hukill said, adding that most sales as "less than a truckload" but steady.
"Engineering resins have been stable and I see growth in all the product lines," Hukill said, pointing to reshoring, short lead times and repeat business from growing customers.
"Our suppliers want to put material on the floor so they can get market share with our customers," Hukill said.
The increased inventory makes same-day shipping possible, even after 4 p.m. Hukill said, "We have trucks stationed at the dock ready to pick up material as late as closing time."
ARC is using about 40,000 square feet of the new business space and can buy material for customers three to six months out to assure the supply line and minimize price volatility and force majeure.
The other 20,000 square feet is available for contract services or private rental to any business that needs clean, dry, heated space regardless of whether ARC supplied the raw material.
However, Hukill can see the new facility being a warehouse for customers. The location in southeast Ohio, right across the Ohio River from West Virginia, is about 500 miles from many major destinations.
"If they want to shoot and ship, but have nowhere to put it, they can ship back to ARC Resin," Hukill said. "We'll store their finished goods to ship directly to their customers. Other distributors don't even think about doing that. When you have the space, you can help your customers."