Over the years, major companies have seen the advantages of operating distribution warehouse space in DeSoto County. The centralized location and its proximity to air, rail and roads have made the county a prime spot to be.
Chervon North America is the latest manufacturer to discover those advantages in opening a 200,000 square foot distribution center just south of the Mississippi-Tennessee state line on Hacks Cross Road in Olive Branch.
Chervon itself may not be immediately known to consumers, but if you have used a Skil power saw or any of the EGO lawn products, you have benefitted from a product that comes under the Chervon name.
Chervon made its foothold on the power products industry with the EGO brand and has recently acquired Skil products, according to Chervon Chief Financial Officer Arun Roy, among company officials who attended a recent ribbon cutting event with Olive Branch city and business officials and state Sens. David Parker and Kevin Blackwell.
With the Skil acquisition, Chervon needed additional space to add to its present 200,000 square foot presence in Chino, Calif., Roy said.
Olive Branch became the perfect solution for all of the right reasons.
“We had to increase our warehousing capacity,” Roy said. “Along with this need, it became clear we needed a major partner as well as a location that could be more central for us and Olive Branch became abundantly clear as the location of choice. In nine months, today we have a functional warehouse. It was a phenomenal task and effort that was put in by both teams and all of the stakeholders to make this successful.”
The other “team” Roy referred to is a logistic services company called Kenco. The group oversees the operations of Chervon’s California facility and will do the same in Olive Branch.
Roy said the combination of Kenco with local support helped make the new center go online within nine months of construction.
“We partnered with Kenco but we also worked closely with the Olive Branch Chamber of Commerce and Jim Flanagan from the DeSoto County Economic Development Council,” Roy said. “It took a lot of work and had it not been for the Olive Branch officials and the State of Mississippi, this would not have happened.”
The Olive Branch center will handle all of the United States and Canada shipping for the Skil saw division. The products that come through the facility will eventually be found in your local Home Depot or Lowe’s locations.
“The ease of doing business in Mississippi really got us excited,” Roy said. “We needed this up and running quickly. We didn’t have the luxury of time with us as we were transitioning.”
Officials say Chervon easily does $100 million of revenue annually with its products and the Olive Branch facility will become the support for that revenue.
Roy calls the relationship with Kenco as a partnership. Kenco shows Chervon how to operate efficiently to save money.
“Kenco showed us a commitment, they brought technology to the table and they are a very innovative group to work with,” he said. “It’s not us driving the cost saving, but rather it is them driving the cost saving and that was a big thing for me.”
David Seiler of Kenco will be the general manager for Olive Branch facility.
The Olive Branch center presently employs 20 people working two shifts.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 6623-429-6397 ext. 240.