While many Grundfos facilities in North America are bulging at the seams, this distribution center in Allentown, Pennsylvania still has room for growth.
Grundfos’ presence in the region dates back to 1988, when the center opened in a rented space. Two years later, Grundfos moved into its own 22,000 square foot building.
When John Petrella began working at Grundfos in the year 2000, one of his first projects as warehouse supervisor was to expand the building.
“In 2000, we added 16,000 square feet which became our primary finished goods warehouse,” said Petrella, now operations manager. “And in 2008, we completed construction on a 64,000 square foot addition.”
In 2007, when the second expansion was planned and built, the U.S. economy was very different and so was the intent of the facility.
“At that time, our intent was to add some additional assembly capacity here in the Allentown area to support our customer base on the east coast,” Petrella said. “The recession in 2008 caused us to change our strategy. We have a vacant area that has given us some flexibility for additional activities in the future.”
Today, the Allentown facility receives four truckloads of shipments per week from California, one or two mixed shipments from its European vendors and weekly containers from acquired companies in Italy.
“The long-term goals of our facility are to transition from just a Grundfos Fresno-operated distribution center for Grundfos Kansas City purposes into a truly North American distribution center offering support to all the companies in the region,” Petrella said.
The distribution center may look very different from other Grundfos facilities in North America, but the “one company” mentality persists and so do the Grundfos values. In particular, those at the Allentown facility have made strides in living out the value of sustainability.
Thanks to two baler machines, Grundfos Allentown is able to recycle all of the plastic wrap and cardboard the facility receives. They also recycle wood pallets and paper.
In addition to serving as a distribution center, the Allentown facility also features service and repair, production, testing and training.
“It’s important to assemble pumps here in Allentown because we’re closer to the customer base in the Northeast,” said Scott Sykes. “We also have a smaller group here in production, which gives us the flexibility and the ability to produce and deliver to our customers quickly.”
Likewise, the ability to repair pumps at Grundfos Allentown limits the transportation time for Northeast cusomers, who would otherwise have to send their pumps all the way to the Fresno facility.
And Grundfos Allentown’s capabilities are only expanding.
“In 10 years I’d like to see this facility occupied to its optimum capacity serving as a gateway from Europe into North America,” Petrella said.