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Space: New Urbandale Facility

In 2019, API began to outgrow our existing facility and decided to build our own space, catered to our customer's needs in Urbandale, IA. To do this, we chose a uniquely API approach, guided by pragmatism and the desire to control our destiny. We received best practice recommendations from a team of industrial engineers from Iowa State University and racking vendors for the new warehouse setup. However, taking these into account, the ultimate layout was designed by the API warehouse and production teams (on a single page in Excel used as graph paper). This included some unconventional choices, like varying aisle sizes to allow room to maneuver extremely bulky customer parts, partial use of double-deep racking for special crates and slow-moving inventory, etc. The result was a facility that maximizes flexibility to serve our customers efficiently even as their needs change.

The transition to the new facility also enabled us to upgrade our warehouse system to accommodate new customer requirements, such as providing license plate labels and EDI advance shipping notices detailing the contents of every single pallet we ship. The system, like the building, was designed to suit API; user-friendly and focusing on accuracy without needless bureaucracy so that our time is spent on activities that add value for our customers and employees.

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