Bell's new warehouse facility is open for business after a year and a half of construction. In June, Bell's warehousing, receiving and shipping facilities relocated to a large 300,000 sq. ft. warehouse facility on a 32-acre parcel of land.
The new space, located about five minutes north of the Madison headquarters is the most recent addition to Bell's campus.
The new warehouse is equipped with 14 loading docks and expansion capabilities for six more. The amount of warehousing space for both finished goods and raw materials has increased, resulting in the need for expanded facilities.
"Our previous warehouse was only 100,000 sq. ft.," said Brad Huelsman, Mechanical Engineer at Bell and Project Manager. "The main advantage of the new warehouse is simply more space."
Bell's former warehouse was purchased in 2001. At the time, the 100,000 sq ft. space adequately met the growing demand. But as Bell grew, the need for a larger facility became apparent.
"More space in our new warehouse has so many advantages," explains Jesse Debroux, Bell's Materials Manager. "All of which will help Bell to ship product more efficiently and allow for future growth."
The warehouse was designed with high ceilings for easy truck access and pallet stacking. New equipment will also be part of the warehouse, including an electric pallet jack.
"This new equipment will help us to transport goods more efficiently," said Debroux. "We can load and unload trailers twice as fast, and we can pick up larger orders because we can now pick up two pallets at the same time."
A larger sample room has also been added, meaning sample orders can be processed more efficiently.
"We had outgrown our current warehouse facility," said Debroux. His words rang especially true just prior to the fall and winter peak season, when storage became so tight, operations had to store product in aisles.
As a result, Bell installed a new racking system installed to properly organize finished goods eliminating the need to store products in the aisle.
The expanded racking system allows for improved storage capabilities, taking better advantage of the headspace of the warehouse, increasing the amount of finished products that can be stored. "It will have well over 16,000 pallet locations, more than twice what we have now," said Debroux.
A unique feature of the new building, not typically seen in warehouse spaces, is the abundance of natural light. Windows line the steel building, flooding the traditionally dark warehouse with light.
"The availability of natural light is a huge benefit for the new facility," said Debroux. "Not only in terms of energy savings, but also reducing any errors from picking orders in darker environments."
The building is run by the current staff and will include non-warehouse space for the employees - offices, a break room and locker rooms.
As a company, this is an investment for the future which demonstrates Bell's commitment to customer service. We take special care in shipping all orders, whether it is across town or across the world, ensuring Bell products arrive at their final destination in the best condition.