Walmart’s new 412,000-square-foot distribution center is ramping up operations this month, with the company saying that the facility will add 1,000 new jobs to the area.
Walmart said in a press release that it has already hired 500 employees for the facility, with another 500 to still be added.
Employment projections for the facility have increased considerably since the project was announced. Last fall, the company was projecting 600 jobs to be added in conjunction with the new warehouse.
The site lies east of the small North Lebanon Township village of Heilmandale. The property has been zoned for industrial use since at least the mid-1970s.
The warehouse was built for Walmart by Transwestern Development Co.
In a concession to neighbors concerned about their view being ruined by the enormous structure, a massive berm was built along Heilmandale Road. A traffic light was also installed at the intersection of Route 72 and Heilmandale Road.
Job listings on the Walmart careers portal include:
- Area Manager – Maintenance
- Area Manager, Environmental, Health, and Safety
- Area Manager – Floor
- Manager II, Zero Based Analytics Leader
As you might have guessed from the last job on that list, this is not your typical warehouse. Larger than 17 football fields, the facility is only the second “high-tech consolidation center” to be inaugurated by the Bentonville behemoth.
Consolidation centers receive goods from suppliers in “less than a truckload” quantities and consolidate them into full truckloads to be shipped to regional distribution centers, where the merchandise is then sorted and delivered to stores.
Walmart said that suppliers will now be able to deliver merchandise to one singular location for consolidation rather than shipping separate orders for each of the 42 regional distribution centers, all of which will be served from the new Heilmandale Road facility.
The first Walmart consolidation center was opened three years ago in Colton, California.
Walmart said that the facilities, and the automation they contain, simplify purchase order fulfillment, reduce lead times, and increase speed to customers.
“We’ve made continued investments in our people, facilities and technology to ensure we have the right product, in the right place, at the right time,” Mike Gray, senior vice president of supply chain operations at Walmart, said in a press release.
“As part of these investments, the Lebanon facility will provide even more opportunities for small to medium sized suppliers who do not ship nationwide, the ability to provide product to all 4,700 Walmart stores.”
The automated technology in the consolidation centers will soon be rolled out to all 42 regional distribution centers.
“Walmart is creating the future of supply chain—a modern system that pairs the latest in software and automation technologies, with a highly trained and specialized workforce of Walmart associates—to disrupt the industry as we know it,” said David Guggina, senior vice president of innovation & automation for Walmart U.S., in a press release.
“It’s an exciting time to join our second high tech consolidation center in Lebanon. At this facility, we’re implementing the technologies Walmart will continue to roll out throughout our supply chain network.”
For a sense at what’s inside these facilities, check out this video produced by the company about its plans for next generation fulfillment centers.
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