GE leans on high-tech warehouse to capitalize on booming Denver market
- GE Appliances new warehouse in Commerce City, Colorado, uses RFID tracking technology and virtual reality training for employees, the company said in a press release.
- The new facility covers 340,000 square feet with 70 dock doors and parking for 100 trailers. It is the second of four next-generation distribution centers that support GE's $150 million strategy to reach 90% of U.S. homes in three days or fewer.
- The new Denver-area warehouse is twice as large as the company's previous location to serve the growing regional market, with room to stock additional products and accessories to deliver to homes in the Denver Metro area.
In Denver, total new construction starts are up 12% and completions for single-family and multifamily homes are up 14%, so GE Appliances built the expanded facility to serve the booming population growth.
“This facility allows us to grow with the region as it continues to attract more owners," said Randall Fong, regional sales manager for GE Appliances. "It also gives us the ability to serve our customers quickly and efficiently, so they can meet the high demand."
GE Appliances' new facility was designed around radio frequency identification or RFID technology that allows real-time feedback on all vehicles entering and exiting the building. That data feeds GE Appliances' “mission control” in Louisville, allowing the company to provide updates on any shipment across the country. The GE distribution center reflects the resurgence in RFID technology in the supply chain, as costs have fallen and read accuracy has improved to nearly 100% in many cases.
Overall, the expansion will create more than 220 jobs in distribution, delivery and in-home installation. These new employees will be trained on virtual reality systems to help learn equipment operations, such as driving a forklift. The VR system cuts training time by 60%, according to the company.
GE Appliances sees the new warehouse as a blueprint for future warehouses and distribution centers.
"It’s a smart facility — a complete redesign of everything we’re doing in our distribution network to better serve our customers," said Mark Shirkness, vice president of distribution for GE Appliances in the release.