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Blish-Mize Invests $6M in Distribution Center Logistics Upgrades

In December 2020, Blish-Mize embarked on a $6 million investment in its Atchison Distribution Center to continue the company’s commitment to staying agile and delivering in-demand products to customers quickly and efficiently.

The investment—a brand new conveyor system—included replacing all of the existing conveyor and making additional modifications throughout the facility. 

The majority of incoming products and cartons are now placed on a moving conveyor system, up a large spiral conveyor, delivering products to one of many drop points. The use of the unique spiral conveyor in this area has increased the space available by more than 30 percent.

“In order to stay current in today’s marketplace, businesses have to constantly leverage state-of-the-art technological practices and equipment. Customer expectations are at an all-time high, and they are constantly evolving at an accelerating pace,” says Jonathan Mize, Blish-Mize CEO and president. “We feel as if we’ve been able to stay modern and valuable with this singular investment, as it is already bringing the most returns in efficiencies and accuracies we’ve ever seen in our warehouse.”

In addition to making space for more products in the 450,000-square-foot warehouse and adding efficiencies for customers, the new conveyor will also assist the Blish-Mize distribution center staff, as reduced lifting, walk times, improved accuracy, back stock improvements and productivity are all resulting from the changes. The company also implemented a new picking process to reduce labor for the over 30,000 items in stock.

The culmination of the upgrade project comes at the same time Blish-Mize is celebrating its 150th anniversary, and Mize recognizes that timeliness.

“I’m confident our founders, David P. Blish, Edward Mize and Jack Silliman could not have imagined our world would look as it does today. They wanted to build a business that would help The Wagoneers headed west, outfitting them with goods to last through their difficult journey,” Mize says. “If you know the retail landscape, this is not unlike what we do today, helping our customers navigate those challenging roads that lay ahead. Modern technology will undoubtedly play a role in that.”

About Melanie Moul

Melanie is the communications and content manager for the North American Hardware and Paint Association. She joined the NHPA team in 2016 as an editor for Hardware Retailing and now helps lead the communications team to deliver relevant, timely content to the industry.

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