Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - 64

MANUFACTURING

"The hub-and-spoke network allows us to control freight and move products
in a highly weather-dependent business." -James Merwin, VP of supply chain

Designed
to Deliver
ARIENS CO. HAS
TRANSITIONED INTO A
HUB-AND-SPOKE
NETWORK TO OPTIMIZE
DISTRIBUTION.
>ARIENS CO.

BY JANICE HOPPE-SPIERS

Now in its 84th year and fourth-generation of leadership, Ariens Co. is
considered a leader in durable and
high-performance snow throwers and
commercial-grade zero turn mowers. To
ensure it continues to get its products in
the hands of consumers, the company
revamped its distribution model to a huband-spoke network. "We have to be in a
true hub and spoke because we have to
keep our product closer to our customers," says James Merwin, vice president
of supply chain. "The industry is getting
to the point where they expect it fast and
they expect the product close."
The Brillion, Wis.-based company
specializes in manufacturing outdoor
power equipment for both consumer and
professional use. "Our lawn and garden
products focus primarily in zero-turn
mowers and walk behind mowers, as well
as chore equipment like log splitters,
power brushes, string trimmers and edgers," Merwin says. "Of course, the Ariens
brand is best known for snow throwers.
A bulk of our business is in two-stage
snow throwers. Single-stage are smaller
and weigh less than 100 pounds while
two-stage has a big auger in the front and
an impeller in the back that throws the
snow out the chute."
The Ariens brand specializes in
residential equipment while the Gravely

64

TLIMAGAZINE.COM SPRING 2017

// Ariens' lawn and garden products are
distributed to a network of about 2,000 dealers
primarily in the United States and Canada.

brand targets commercial lawn and
garden users. "It's all about durability
and performance for us," Merwin says.
"We build our products to take a beating
- whether that's snow blowers or the
lawn and garden equipment. When you
call something a commercial-grade
product, it's meant to mow yards all day
long every day. Performance is how we
define quality from the cut of the grass
to drivability."
Logistical Changes
Ariens' products are distributed to a
network of about 2,000 dealers primarily in the United States and Canada. The
company's manufacturing facilities are
located in Brillion and Auburn, Neb.
It operates three regional distribution
centers in Dallas, Gainesville, Ga., and
Allentown, Pa., and recently opened a
distribution hub in Kenosha, Wis. "We
consolidated a few Midwestern distribution centers into one big building,"

Merwin says. "We were in 400,000
square feet across three warehouses in
Illinois and Wisconsin and consolidated
those into one building in Kenosha."
Ariens moved into its new
600,000-square-foot distribution hub
in December and has begun moving
products from its fourth distribution
center in Jasper, Ind., to the new location. "That was a single point for our
OEM parts and accessories," Merwin
explains. "Moving that business into our
hub gives us the ability to feed the fast
moving and strategic parts within the
regional DCs as well, to better serve our
customers and control our costs."
-------------------------------------- [ PROFILE ]
Ariens Co.
www.ariensco.com
Headquarters: Brillion, Wis.
Employees: 1,500+
Services: Lawn tractors and snow throwers
---------------------------------------------------


http://www.TLIMAGAZINE.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017

Table Of Contents
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover1
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover2
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - 1
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Table Of Contents
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Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover3
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover4
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