The new Dunlap & Kyle warehouse in Madison, Tenn., gives General Manager Adam Waldrup almost everything he needs to take care of his customers. It doubles the size of the company’s former warehouse in the greater Nashville area. It was designed for efficiency, with permanent racking and automatic lighting. There is also wire guidance between aisles for the forklifts.
“Whenever you’re driving forklifts down aisles that are just seven-feet wide, it’s easy to beat up the racking,” he says. “With this system, they can actually pull from the left and right side and don’t have to worry about guiding the forklift.”
There is even room to grow. The company only uses half of the 500,000-square-foot warehouse, and leases out the rest.
Dynamic routing in the metropolitan area needs to be improved, however. “We’ve got these set routes throughout the city, and I’d like to come up with more of a dynamic way of delivering,” says Waldrup. “Sometimes a truck will go out, and it’s on this set route. It may go 40 miles and just have five or six stops. We need to do a better job of routing in the city or coming up with a dynamic routing system.
“If it’s done right, you can come up with a 10- or 12-mile route and you’re just not driving from one end of the city to the other hauling nothing but air. And we could actually take a truck off the road each day if we could do a better job of delivering.”
Waldrup says he delivers two or three times a day to some of his larger customers in the city.
“In the metro areas you have to, or they’re not even thinking about you. We just don’t have the stocking dealers we used to. They’re relying on deliveries multiple times per day.”
Order times for same-day deliveries vary, according to Waldrup.
“It changes. We have hotshots throughout the city, which is what I want to replace with the dynamic routing. It’s like 10, 12 or 2 depending on the location. We have more intermediate routes that are maybe 50 or 60 miles away. We can get most of those guys two times a day. Everybody within 125 or 150 miles is getting daily delivery.” That includes the 11 Dunlap & Kyle stores within an 80-mile radius of the warehouse.
Orders made by 5:15 p.m. will be loaded on a truck and delivered the next day.
“At our other warehouse, we only had four loading bays. We were staying late at night because we’d load trucks, then have to pull them out and bring more in to finish loading. Now we’re running with 14 bays. We have a lot more staging area. We’re getting out at 7 p.m. instead of 9 or 10 with the same amount of sales.”
In addition to Tennessee, Waldrup says his truck drivers deliver to Kentucky — “We run into our Cincinnati warehouse up around Louisville” — the far southern tip of Indiana, and northern Alabama to the Tennessee River. “We also have a way of getting tires to North Carolina, a small part of it that nobody else goes to. And we cover northern Georgia.” ■
Madison Warehouse Facts
Size: 250,000 square feet
Height: 22 feet, six inches
Tires: passenger, LT, truck, farm, OTR, specialty.
Main brands: Toyo, Hankook, Kumho, Kenda, Federal, Falken, Yokohama, Bridgestone, Duro, BKT, Alliance, Firestone and “lots of American Omni.”
Inventory: $9.7 million
Annual turnover rate: 6 times
Loading bays: 14
Delivery trucks: 22-23