By Aimee Chanthadavong

Danks will be relocating its Victorian distribution centres to a new facility to commence operation from March 2012.

Ken Pike, Danks national supply chain manager, told Retailbiz that the facility will be an updated version of its current operation.

“Whilst the warehouse is a pre-existing facility, we have partnered with the owners to bring the facility up to modern operating and compliance standards, which has required multi-million dollar investment by both parties. These are investments that are easier to justify for the combined business,” he said.

Located 25 kilometres southwest of Melbourne CBD, the 50,000 square metre facility will provide more than double the storage capacity of its existing distribution centres, with area set aside for a further 30 per cent expansion. It will be consolidating its existing and South Dandenong Distribution Centres.

According to the company, the site will utilise the latest material handing and computerised warehouse management system to improve the efficiency of service to Danks members across the Home Timber & Hardware, Thrifty- Link Hardware and Plants Plus Garden Centre groups, suppliers and Woolworths home improvement.

“The Woolworths home improvement launch will significantly increase the product range distributed by the supply chain. The increased product range combined with the projected volume growth over the next 10 years necessitated a doubling of the warehouse capacity in Victoria,” Pike said.

“Combining the businesses on one site will deliver synergies and allow investments in materials handling technology which will benefit the Danks customers. The two existing Danks sites coming together is an initiative we had been planning for several years, which we anticipate will have spin-off in freight efficiencies which will benefit the pre-existing stores.”

Danks and Woolworths have a team on the ground that will ensure a smooth transition to the new site and will continue to be business as usual at the Braeside Distribution Centre until the new site is fully operational.