CLAAS, a leading agricultural machinery company, has officially cut the ribbon on a critical expansion project that increases the footprint of their U.S. parts distribution center by 75 percent to 175,000 square feet and expands the facility with an additional 18 shipping and receiving docks.

“This expansion not only gives us more space for parts, it has allowed us to streamline our inventory management process,” explained Roger Parker, Vice-President North American Parts. “With the addition of 18 new truck docks, we are able to support the growing number of parts orders in the most efficient and cost effective manner. This expansion has also helped facilitate many other efficiencies.”

The CLAAS Parts Center, located in Columbus, Ind., an hour south of Indianapolis, was originally built in 1981 to be the corporate headquarters for CLAAS of America. Corporate offices were eventually moved to Omaha in 2002, when the company built its state-of-the-art combine assembly plant at that same location. After the move, the Columbus facility was transformed into the company’s North American Parts hub. The Parts facility was expanded 42,000 square feet in 2007 and the current expansion helps the company stay on top of growing demand as well as allow for projected growth.

According to CLAAS Group Executive Board Member, Jan-Hendrik Mohr, “CLAAS finished last business year near record levels, which is good in an environment where the global markets have been trending down. Here in North America we have made a big step in Columbus with this expansion. This facility, along with a new Parts facility in Saskatchewan will help ensure that we are prepared to support our customers well into the future.”

The Columbus facility is the primary distribution hub for CLAAS customers in the United States. Additionally a Parts Logistics Centre & CLAAS Academy was opened in Regina, Saskatchewan to better serve CLAAS customers in Canada. Both warehouses are served by the Parts Distribution Center in Hamm, Germany, the company’s worldwide distribution center.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was well attended by local dignitaries, CLAAS dealers, as well as a number of U.S. and global representatives from the Group Executive Board. Among the local leaders were Ted McKinney, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Trevor Lane, Indiana Department of Economic Development, and Kristen Brown, mayor of Columbus. Spokesmen for the company included Leif Magnusson, president of CLAAS of America, Jan-Hendrik Mohr, member of the CLAAS Group Executive Board, and Roger Parker, Vice-President North American Parts.