IBT St. Louis Location Relocates

By IBT Inc

August 07, 2009


IBT’s Branch 10, established in St. Louis in 1972, has relocated to a new home in O’Fallon, Mo. The new location, 1225 Tom Ginnever Avenue, replaces 4323 Woodson Road, in Woodson Terrace, Mo. which IBT occupied from June, 1989.

As you might imagine, pulling up stakes and relocating a business is not an overnight thing.

“We had our work cut out for us,” reports Regional Operations Manager Ken Prettyman, who oversees St. Louis and eight other IBT branches. “A lot of material – essential and nonessential – can accumulate in twenty years. We wanted to make sure that we kept what we needed and got rid of the rest. So before we moved from Woodson Terrace to O’Fallon, we had to do some serious evaluation and clean up. We got rid of obsolete records, paperwork, old parts, junk, and just plain old whatzits before we moved.

“Then, we had to design the new location to be the type of easy-to-use workspace we knew we needed. It took a bit of doing.”

“Our new home is a bit smaller than our old location,” store manager Randy Ray observes. “So the critical nature of making good decisions about how to organize our stock and our administrative areas were clear. We think that our new situation will work out well. We are already noticing improvements in our efficiency. It makes a difference.”

The old location had 10,000 square feet, of which 3,500 were office, 6,150 were storage, and 350 were the counter and customer area.

The new location has 6,000 square feet, of which 1,800 is office, 4,000 is storage, and 120 is the counter and customer area.

With a reduction in total space of 40 percent and storage space of about 35 percent, the branch staff and operations people had to carefully plan how to get best usage out of the new space.

More than just a smaller footprint was involved in the move. The new location has a higher ceiling, which provided greater storage height. However, to realize the advantage that the new ceiling height afforded, IBT had to totally redesign their pallet racks to stack higher. The old hardware was recycled within the IBT system. As a seller of pallet rack, IBT had ample supply and expertise to draw upon.

The new building configuration also necessitated new fork lifts with higher reach, smaller footprints, and less turning radius.

What should have been a routine matter, transferring telephone service, turned out to be a barrier to be overcome. Since the relocation involved about 20 miles into another municipality, there were significant telephone issues. It wasn’t possible to just relocate the number, as the central office for the old location would not cover the new site. And just to make things more involved, another telephone service provider was involved.

“The relocation has been a journey, to be sure,” Ken Prettyman observed. “But we have been able to get ready, move, reorganize, and reopen – without too much downside. We are operating in our nice and neat new home and eager to expand IBT’s impact in the St. Louis area.”