On August 22, Columbus Chemical held a ground breaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of their new 36,000 sq. ft. warehouse. This new building will replace assets lost in our May 11 fire, increase efficiencies and allow for future growth and expansion.
Following the catastrophic fire that occurred at Columbus Chemical Industries (CCI) on the night of May 11, most news has been good news! Steve Quandt, Executive Vice President, reports that because of the amazing cooperation of employees, contractors, regulators and the community, CCI conducted limited operations twelve days after the fire and was back in full production on the 20th day. In fact, in the month of June, a herculean effort by both the Columbus and Phoenix, Arizona plants combined to achieve a record sales month! No customers were lost as a result of the fire and incoming orders continue to remain exceptionally strong.
“When we first began to see signs of a slowing economy last October, we re-focused our sales efforts”, Quandt said. “Our broad product offering allowed us to concentrate on market segments that were not as heavily impacted by the slowdown. Growing our business in those areas allowed us to survive until our normal business rebounded. The rebound began for us in early May. And then the fire hit us! Fortunately, we recovered from the fire quickly and our customers were patient.”
Richard Sheard, President of CCI, said, “I’m pleased to be able to make this investment in a new 3,000 pallet warehouse. I have confidence in the demand for our product, the quality of work that our employees produce and the resilience of our customer base. This new warehouse will be state-of-the-art. It will feature fire suppression, hazard segregation, narrow aisle, 7-pallet high storage bays and a new training room for 100 employees. We’ve not only replaced what we lost, we provided for 50% more storage capacity and anticipate a huge improvement in material handling efficiencies.
Financing is being provided by the Farmers & Merchant’s Union Bank of Columbus. Keller, Inc. from Kaukauna is the designer and contractor. The building is anticipated to be completed for occupancy this fall”