Week of April 1, 2002
  Project Watch
California, New York Centers
Expand Daisytek's Hub-and-Spoke Model

For its West Coast distribution center, Daisytek chose the 350-acre (140-hectare) Tejon Industrial Complex (pictured), which IKEA selected earlier this year for its 1.8 million-sq.-ft. (162.000 -sq.-m.) distribution center.
ALLEN, Texas - Seeking to squeeze out supply-chain costs, Daisytek International has announced that it will set up bi-coastal U.S. regional distribution centers.
        The wholesale distributor of computer and office supplies has picked Albany, N.Y., as the location for its East Coast center. The West Coast operation will be located in Tejon Ranch, Calif., just north of Los Angeles. Together, the two new facilities will create as many as 600 jobs.
        The two facilities are the first additions in Daisytek's new hub-and-spoke distribution model. The California and New York regional centers will complement the company's existing "superhub" in Memphis, Tenn.
        Based in Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb, Daisytek distributes more than 20,000 brand-name products from more than 250 manufacturers. The two new centers will enable the company to substantially increase its volume of ground shipments.
        "Bringing these centers online will help Daisytek be responsive to our customers in the eastern and western regions of the United States with low-cost, yet very timely, product delivery," said George Maney, senior vice president of operations. "Finalizing the leases ensures that our conversion to a next-business-day ground shipping model, powered by Daisytek's delivery agreement with FedEx, remains on schedule."

Coming Online Fast
Setting up the new operations in leased space will enable Daisytek to bring them online quickly. The West Coast center will be fully operational by July, while the East Coast center will go online in September, company officials said.
        Daisytek signed a 15-year lease in Tejon Ranch Industrial Complex for its California center, which will employ as many as 300 workers. The company is leasing 350,000 sq. ft. (31,500 sq. m.), which comprises half of an industrial building developed by DP Partners and Tejon Industrial Corp.
        The Albany center is a virtual mirror image: It spans 350,000 sq. ft. and will be staffed by as many as 300 employees.
        The center in Albany, though, is being set up with future expansion in mind. The 34-acre (13.6-hectare) site is big enough to accommodate an additional 100,000-sq.-ft. (9,000-sq.-m.) building, company officials said.
        Daisytek is leasing the entire building in Albany from the Galesi Group, a Netherlands-based real estate developer. The Galesi Group is buying the property from a group of Japanese investors.

Operations Boost Office Products Push
The two new distribution centers are part of Daisytek's concerted push into the office products sector, company officials said.
        Office products present a cost-effectiveness equation that's markedly different from computer supplies, Daisytek's more established business niche. While computer products like toner cartridges are light, they're also high-ticket items - making overnight air a savvy delivery strategy. Not so, though, for lower-cost office supplies such as boxes of pens.
        "These facilities . . . will economically extend Daisytek's reach on a regional basis to move lower-value products to customers efficiently," Maney said. "We've relied upon our large superhub in Memphis to provide next-business-day service on our traditionally higher-value technology items. But we're on the way to having a less expensive network that will handle those in addition to our office products line."
        The company plans to add three more U.S. distribution centers to flesh out its new logistics model. Rather than set up dozens of centers around the country, Daisytek is locating a far smaller number near its largest target markets.
        So far, the strategy is paying off on the bottom line, according to Daisytek President and CEO Jim Powell.
        "Our supply chain initiatives are proceeding ahead of schedule and are on track to yield the expected savings," Powell said. "Our management team, logistics partners, state and local officials, and the property owners have worked hard to help position Daisytek for rapid growth geographically and in our product offering. We appreciate their hard work to make these operational changes a reality in a short time."

Lexington, Kentucky
Webasto's second assembly operation will bring its total employment to 425 in Lexington (pictured).
Webasto Locating 200-Worker Plant
in Kentucky's Bluegrass Country

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Webasto Roof Systems has picked Kentucky's bluegrass country for its site to let the sunshine in. The world's largest supplier of automotive roof systems, Webasto has announced that it is building a 200,000-sq.-ft. (18,000-sq.-m.), 200-employee assembly plant in Lexington, Ky.
        The announcement marks Webasto's second assembly operation in the city, the epicenter of the state's thoroughbred industry. The first Lexington plant opened in late 1998 and now employs some 225 workers. The success of that initial operation was the catalyst for the expansion, explained Mark Wallace, general manager of Webasto's Kentucky operations.
        "We had a lot of options as far as locations go," Wallace said. "But the people of Kentucky, the city of Lexington and Lexington United (an economic development organization focused on Central Kentucky) have supported us as long as we've been here, and their help has been pivotal in the first facility's success.
        "The quality of the work force in the area, [and] their high work ethic and high level of educational achievement all contributed to our decision," he added.
        As with is first plant in Lexington, Webasto's new operation will be located in Bluegrass Business Park. The company will build its US$28 million facility on an 18-acre (7.2-hectare) site that sits across the street from Webasto's first Lexington assembly facility. The new operation is scheduled to open in early 2003.

$3 Million in Incentives
Stockdorf, Germany-based Webasto is receiving some $3 million in state and local incentives. The lion's share of that total will come over a 10-year period as tax credits from the Kentucky Industrial Development Act. "Webasto has been an excellent corporate citizen for Kentucky," said Gov. Paul Patton. "Having an existing business expand in Kentucky shows the corporate world that Kentucky is a profitable place to do business. The teamwork between the state and Lexington United was critical to the success of the project."
        Webasto's new plant will produce roof systems for a broad range of automotive manufacturers, including Ford, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Mazda and Toyota. Given Kentucky's hefty annual tally for auto production, third highest among U.S. states, further expansion could be in the offing.
        Accordingly, the new operation will be configured to accommodate projected future business growth, company officials explained. The new plant will initially house two roof-system assembly lines. Webasto's operation, however, is being designed to include enough space to ultimately support seven to eight assembly lines.
        "Webasto products - like sunroofs, convertibles, tonneau covers and complete roof systems - make vehicles more attractive to consumers. That helps our customers sell cars," Wallace said.

Briefly . . . Quick Takes

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada Motorola has opened its new Canadian headquarters in Markham, Ontario. The 224,000-sq.-ft. (20,100-sq.-m.) facility strengthens Motorola's hand for further expansion into Canadian markets for broadband, embedded processor component products and Internet wireless communications, company officials said.
        Motorola's Canadian expansion strategy has focused heavily on research and development. Eight hundred of Motorola Canada's 1,200 employees, in fact, are dedicated to R&D. That total represents the parent firm's largest concentration of research and development outside of the United States. The new Canadian headquarters reflects the R&D focus of the company's Canadian operations, Motorola Vice President Bob Bigony explained.
        "Motorola Canada is an important part of our global research and development team," Bigony said.
        "We believe the outstanding market leadership and research performed at the new Markham facility will have a significant impact on our products and services and will result in tangible benefits for our customers."
        Motorola's new headquarters facility also consolidates the company's local area distribution and repair operations.

A transparent circular skirt will surround the Australian solar power station (pictured above in an artist's rendering). Heated by the sun, the air in the skirt will rush rapidly toward the far cooler air at the top of the tower. That updraft will drive a turbine located at the base of the station, with the turbine reaching 37.2 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour).
MILDURA, Victoria, Australia – The world's tallest structure will be going up just outside of Mildura, Australia. Australia's EnviroMission is teaming up with U.S.-based Energen to build a $373-million solar power station that will stretch 3,281 feet (one km.) into the sky - three times higher than the Eiffel Tower.
        Construction of the tower will begin in 2003, with completion projected in late 2005, the joint-venture partners said. EnviroMission, said CEO Roger Davey, will build five more solar power stations by 2010. Those new stations would advance Australia's energy goals. The Australian government has set a target date of 2010 for the nation to be producing 9,500 gigawatt hours of electricity from renewable energy.
        Unlike many of the soaring structures built in recent years, the tower near Mildura won't house thousands of office workers. It will, in fact, be largely unmanned. Davey, however, claimed that the project will create 7,000 jobs "in associated industries." And the construction of the tower will create 2,000 jobs, Australian officials said.
        When completed, the tower in Victoria will have the capacity to generate up to 200 megawatts of electricity. That's enough juice, project officials explained, to meet the needs of more than 200,000 households.


©2002 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.