Blog Posts Saddle Creek’s New Ecommerce Fulfillment DC Goes Live
A Closer Look with Regional Sr. Director of Operations Brian Mattingly
- Saddle Creek’s Cincinnati-area distribution center is now up and running.
- The strategically located facility offers a number of advantages for ecommerce fulfillment.
- Regional Sr. Director of Operations Brian Mattingly shares details about the facility opening.
Saddle Creek’s new ecommerce fulfillment distribution center (DC) is now live in Walton, Ky. The 544,320-square-foot facility began inbound operations in mid-June and will start outbound shipments in July.
Brian Mattingly, Regional Sr. Director of Operations at Saddle Creek, has been leading fulfillment operations for Saddle Creek in the area for nearly a decade. He now oversees the new Walton facility as well as the company’s nearby operations in Lexington and Shepherdsville, Ky. – more than one million square feet of space in total. He recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at opening the new facility.
Q: What drove the decision to open a facility in Walton, Kentucky?
A: Expanding our geographic footprint with a strategically located facility was part of our long-range plan. With the current ecommerce boom, we felt the timing was right. We’ve had many clients and prospects looking for help managing their growth and providing distribution from the central U.S. to improve their speed to consumers. The Cincinnati/northern Kentucky area is an ideal location for fulfillment business because it allows you to hit the majority of consumers in two days or less with ground transit.
The Walton area also has good labor availability – and that’s essential given the tight capacity in our industry. We also have two other facilities nearby, so we can draw on their resources – labor, leadership and engineering support – if needed.
Q: How has Saddle Creek approached this facility opening differently?
A: With high demand for ecommerce distribution space in this area, we made the strategic decision to open the Walton DC without a commitment from an anchor client. We don’t do that often, but we knew it was the right move to make the investment for the continued growth of our omnichannel fulfillment business segment.
Building out warehouse space before securing clients required a certain degree of speculation, but thanks to our experience in other locations – including two facilities in Kentucky – we have a good sense of the needs of clients in the fulfillment space and a solid understanding of industry trends and where the market is going.
We were able to put the right infrastructure in place to help address common ecommerce fulfillment needs yet offer the flexibility to customize solutions based on each client’s unique requirements.
As we anticipated, the space is filling quickly. We have had heavy interest and already have two clients up and running in the facility. Operations for additional accounts are scheduled to start up in Q1 2022.
We’ve had many clients and prospects looking for help managing their growth and providing distribution from the central U.S. to improve their speed to consumers.”
– Brian Mattingly, Regional Sr. Director of Operations, Saddle Creek Logistics Services
Q: Why is this facility particularly advantageous for ecommerce fulfillment?
A: Obviously, the central location is a major plus for ecommerce business. And with over half a million square feet of space, we can scale to help our clients support business growth and fluctuations.
To process a high level of order volume more efficiently, we’ve invested in a fleet of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) as well as robust order management and warehouse management systems. The facility also has 36-foot ceilings, 110 dock doors and flexible layout and storage options to accommodate a variety of order profiles.
Our close proximity to a major parcel hub and centralized pack-out solution with outbound parcel sortation will allow us to handle a high volume of parcel shipments.
Q: As a leader, what is your top priority in opening this facility?
A: Saddle Creek has a long-standing reputation for integrity, accountability and service excellence. As we enter this new market, it is imperative to uphold that reputation.
From the word ‘go,’ our focus has been on building a team that shares our values and drives the right culture. We have one shot to do it the right way. Today, as we start up operations, I’m proud to report that we have assembled a team of dedicated, hard-working associates ready to do Whatever It Takes to satisfy our clients. I look forward to embarking on this journey together.
Related to: DC Network Configuration, Managing Growth, Multiple Sales Channels, Selling Online