Premier1Supplies in Washington is preparing for an expansion of their distribution center that is expected to add 40 new jobs.
Located just south of Brighton, Premier is a mail-order catalog business with more than 55 employees from the surrounding area. In addition to having its own marketing department and on-site family farm, they sell and distribute farm and fence supplies, manufacture and assemble their own brands of clipping and shearing and machines, electric fence energizers and customized livestock ear tags.
They also distribute supplies via their website or Amazon, direct to consumer, producer or farmer out of their 65,000 square foot distribution center. They have recently outgrown the building and will be adding an additional 40,000 square foot building in July.
“It’s to give us more capacity to sell and distribute the products directly from our distribution center here in southeast Iowa,” said CEO and co-owner of Premiere1Supplies, Ben Rothe. “It’s simply a capacity thing. It will allow us to take more orders and fulfill more orders in a single day.”
Rothe said the expansion of their distribution center has become necessary after an increase in sales, which Rothe attributes to their website and ability to sell on Amazon. Workers in the distribution center are responsible for packaging supplies that are put together on site, then sent out to customers.
“To be able to push more packages in a shorter window of time, we needed more room for that packaging line,” he said. “By building a new building, it gives us options to expand our packaging line.”
Rothe said the project has been in the works for 18 months with ground-breaking to take place in July. Weather permitting, he said the company hopes to open the expansion by the end of 2019. He said the new addition will be specifically for distribution, and the space previously occupied by distribution will allow for other departments, such as manufacturing, to grow. Other departments also will benefit from the new addition because as the company grows, more workers will be needed to fulfill jobs.
“It allows an overall expansion in all of our job types from sales (and) marketing, to fulfillment center workers,” he said.
Rothe said the growth curve the company is experiencing is exciting and he is looking forward to having more space to continue the growth of the company.