Wagner Industries–Growth through Customer-Driven Solutions

Kansas City, Missouri USA
July 23, 2002
By
Evan Armstrong

Founded in 1946, Kansas City, MO based Wagner Industries is a solid value-added warehousing 3PL with expanding transportation management capabilities. Wagner has operations at 21 distribution centers with approximately four million square feet of space. Wagner has fostered strong relationships with Hallmark, Barton Beer, Clorox, Sam’s Club, and many large paper companies.

The following are summaries of site visits to select Wagner operations in K.C.:

Wagner’s Clorox operation is run out of a 220,000 square foot facility managed by distribution center manger Keith Eberth. The main commodity handled is cat litter with Wagner receiving large inbound shipments and providing outbound distribution to stores. The Clorox operation required a complete D.C. reconfiguration and integration with Clorox’s order management system. Wagner provides limited case picking and ongoing cycle count information to Clorox. The facility utilizes 15 inbound dock doors and 8 outbound dock doors.

In a separate 250,000 square foot facility, Wagner’s soda can distribution operations support Kansas City’s beverage filling plants. Pallets of empty cans are stored forty feet high and unitized per strict requirements. Every pallet picked is inspected by quality control personnel during the facing/outbound load inspection operations to insure that there are no missing or dented cans. Customers include Metal Container Corporation, Ball Metal, and Rexam.

Another D.C. with 180,000 square feet, 48 dock doors, and a rail siding with eight doors is used to distribute rolled paper and transload inbound beer shipments. Wagner receives inbound beer shipments from Mexico for distribution to wholesalers in the Midwest. During the winter months, Wagner transloads all of the inbound Mexican beer destined to the Chicago area from boxcars to insulated cars to protect it from freezing.

Wagner is also proficient at cross docking. Utilizing a 94 door cross dock facility, Wagner runs inbound distribution for 21 Sam’s Clubs in a five state region. As part of the operation, Wagner creates barcode labels for all inbound shipments, quantities are verified versus the bill of lading, and all shipments are scanned into Sam’s order management system using forklift scanners. As outbound club loads are built, the scanners continually update the system. Seventy inbound trailer loads are worked per day loading out 55 outbound trailers.

In 241,000 square feet of subsurface warehousing space, Wagner’s manager Jim Criswall runs the Hallmark SRG (Specialty Retail Group) operation. The SRG operation provides pick and pack fulfillment operations to approximately 400 Hallmark stores. Value-added services include applying price tags to merchandise, specialty packaging, and returns processing. Wagner is directly integrated with Hallmark’s order management systems.

In a separate 300,000 square foot subsurface location, Wagner’s wholly-owned subsidiary PDI (Packaging Dynamics, Inc.) is housed. PDI is managed by Glynda Jacobson and specializes in labor-intensive light assembly, kitting and display building fulfillment projects. Examples include displays for Fisker’s scissors, Sanford pens, and Nike shoes. In a project for QVC, PDI built 65,000 tropical flower bulb kits in three weeks time and shipped them all in three days. PDI utilizes Wagner’s WMS and has two high-speed shrink wrap machines and two large “L-Bar” machines.

Utilizing a 497,000 square feet attached to Wagner’s home office, fulfillment operations for all of Hallmark’s boxed cards and gift wrap are performed. In addition, Wagner is also processing returns for Hallmark at this location.

In addition to the above operations, Wagner has developed strong freight brokerage capabilities to compliment existing transportation management and warehousing operations. Wagner is also looking to purchase top-notch TMS to tackle large integrated value-added warehousing and transportation management business opportunities. In 1997 Wagner purchased Integrated Distribution, Inc. (IDI) from Arkansas Best Corp. This added distribution facilities in Atlanta, GA; Little Rock, AR; and Grand Prairie, TX. Other primary warehousing locations include: Jacksonville, FL and Denver, CO.

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