An international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products, Cargill, will invest $48 million in a new automated order distribution system at its Dodge City, Kansas
, beef plant. The order distribution system will be housed in a 62,000-square-foot building specifically constructed for that purpose.
Strategically located on 1,400 acres in western Kansas, the Dodge City plant employs a workforce of nearly 2,700 and supplies beef products to retail, foodservice and processed foods customers throughout the U.S., and internationally. The new system will allow Cargill to better support its customers and improve the plant’s ability to keep highly perishable fresh meat products flowing to hundreds of destinations, the Kansas Department of Commerce said.
The expansion, which will be operational in 2015, will increase boxed beef capacity at the Dodge City plant by 130,000 boxes. The new system uses Retrotech automation and Viastore equipment, and replaces a system that has served the plant since Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, Kansas economic development officials said.
“This new distribution system will benefit our customers by improving order accuracy and on-time delivery, in addition to providing better capability to handle the ever-increasing complexity of product offerings shipped to domestic and international markets,” said John Keating, president of Wichita, Kansas-based Cargill Beef. “Installation of this new system will help us better meet our customers’ expectations, something we have demonstrated as a core competency through similar investments made in recent years at our Schuyler, Nebraska; Friona, Texas; and High River, Alberta, Canada, beef processing plants.”
Operationally, the new order distribution system at Dodge City will deliver increased efficiency, improved reliability, reduced maintenance, lower operating costs, increased capacity and utilization, in a more sustainable way due to improved energy use compared with equipment manufactured three decades ago, he added.
“We take a great deal of pride in the products and services we provide to our customers, always mindful that we operate in a highly competitive business environment and they have options,” Keating added. “I believe Cargill people do a tremendous job serving our customers and the proof is when they continue coming back for more of our beef.”
“Cargill’s investment in its Dodge City plant is great news for our state,” Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George said. “For more than three decades, this plant has had a significant positive impact on the Kansas economy, which will be strengthened with this investment.”
The investment at Dodge City continues Cargill’s ongoing commitment to invest in its facilities with an emphasis on providing superior customer service. The company has invested more than $760 million in capital expenditures in its North American beef processing plants over the past 10 years, Kansas officials said.