KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA has made a significant amount of progress in the relaunch of its brand across North America since announcing the company would end its joint venture agreement with CNH at the end of 2012. Its U.S. based headquarters opened in March with the first independently branded KOBELCO excavators arriving in dealer yards just a month later. While these two key milestones were occurring, critical product support operations were underway behind the scenes.
“Once our location was selected, we quickly designed our entire parts distribution facility. The layout implemented is conducive to meeting the timely parts fulfillment required in today’s competitive marketplace. Everything from its location to the selection of shelving units to house inventory has been thought through with the many years of industry experience our management team brings to the table,” states Eric Hoffman, National Parts Manager for KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA.
Houston serves as an ideal location for KOBELCO’s 53,000-square-foot parts distribution facility. “From a strategic standpoint it provides us with timely access to a port, major airports and a rail hub, plus serves as a crossroads for many major highway systems. This gives us easy access to various types of transportation to deliver parts coast-to-coast as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible,” continues Hoffman.
Parts will be stocked for all new KOBELCO crawler excavators, as well as legacy model machines. Legacy models are considered those sold by KOBELCO prior to the company’s 10-year joint venture agreement with CNH. CNH will continue to provide ongoing service and parts support to customers who purchased KOBELCO products from CNH.
The opening of KOBELCO’s U.S. based parts distribution facility is just one of many product support initiatives currently underway. The company will continually increase the parts inventory on hand at its Houston location as KOBELCO’s equipment population and market share in the United States and Canada expands. The company anticipates a $5 million parts inventory by year end 2013, increasing incrementally to $40 million over the next five years.