American industrialist Henry Ford developed the assembly line to mass-produce his company’s Ford automobiles. The process revolutionized the auto manufacturing industry.
A cluster of manufacturing businesses in Central Ohio is adopting the same supply-chain assembly line process for the health and beauty industry, hoping for the same results. Ten light manufacturing companies have taken up residence in a recently built business park known as the New Albany Personal Care and Beauty Innovation Campus within the New Albany (Ohio) Business Park, just northeast of Columbus.
“We are a master-planned community,” says Scott McAfee, public information officer for the City of New Albany. “Fifteen years ago, everything out there was a vision in a cornfield.” But that has changed. The business park has garnered $342 million in private investment in the last three years, according to McAfee, and now hosts 2.5 million square feet of office space, with hopes that more companies will come to call New Albany home.
A production line at KDC, a developer and manufacturer of health and beauty products.
The commitment to the business park is serious. The New Albany Community Authority recently authorized $2.9 million for local infrastructure projects, many of them aimed at the business park. New street lighting and trees will be added to the area at a cost of $700,000. Another $400,000 will be earmarked for extending the sewer system, and $50,000 will be used for fiber-optics improvement.
Additionally, many of the companies are being incentivized by the city of New Albany to build LEED certified buildings. “We are incentivizing them for being green,” McAfee says.
Developing a Synergy
The companies have located to the business park from Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, Canada, and England. They include Accel, Alene Candles, Jeye’s, Vee Pak, Knowlton Development Corp. (KDC), and Axium Plastics.
What makes the campus most newsworthy, however, is the synergy that the tenants have deliberately developed in order to grow their businesses and create cost efficiencies. The companies work together as a supply chain to create a wide variety of packaged healthcare and beauty products, including cosmetics, soaps, shower gels, and air fresheners.
Some of these companies manufacture the soap products, some make the plastic bottles or tubes that contain the product, and some make the cap that goes on top of the bottle or tube. Rather than sending trucks across the country to complete the manufacturing process, products are now developed and completed at the business park and then shipped all over the world.
A manufacturing area at the Accel facility, a leader in contract packaging solutions.
“Many of the companies are working together and creating this vertical supply chain to create products on one campus,” explains McAfee. “The products would literally have to travel thousands of miles to be completed otherwise.” McAfee points out that the business park is ideally situated in terms of logistics, since Central Ohio is located within 500 miles of half the populations of Canada and the U.S.
The synergy between the companies has proven good for expansion. “These companies all came with some of their own clients, and now they are able to expand because they have been working together to help each other,” McAfee adds. “They are pulling their resources together and finding new markets that weren’t open to them before they moved here.”
No doubt, Henry Ford would be proud.