A $150 million investment by GE Appliances (GEA) and its strategic retail partners will begin paying dividends in Denver.
That’s where the appliance giant has just opened a new smart distribution center that’s twice the size and capacity of its predecessor and who’s advanced sensing and tracking technology make it the blueprint for future GEA warehouses, said distribution VP Mark Shirkness.
The warehouse is the second of four planned facilities in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and Northern California that are the beneficiaries of the investment dollars. The monies represent the warehouse wing of a larger five-year cash infusion in new connected products and technologies, and expanded production and distribution facilities.
The capital improvements, fueled in part by corporate parent Haier Group, are designed to ultimately make GEA the leading U.S. appliance maker, the company said.
The Denver warehouse represents “a complete redesign of everything we’re doing in our distribution network,” Shirkness said, including a reconfigured material flow for greater efficiency, the use of vehicle RFID tags to better track shipments, and VR training for new employees that gets them warehouse-ready in 60 percent less time.
Shirkness said the innovations will further improve an already industry-leading distribution network that can drop-ship appliances to 90 percent of U.S. homes in three days or less.