Briggs & Stratton to open Alabama distribution hub, creating 20 jobs

Briggs & Stratton to open Alabama distribution hub, creating 20 jobs
The distribution center is the second major expansion of Briggs & Stratton's Auburn operations announced in less than a year. (Hal Yeager/Governor's Office)

Briggs & Stratton Corp. announced plans to open a 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Alabama, adding 20 jobs to its significant manufacturing presence in Auburn.

The new Alabama distribution hub, focusing on Briggs & Stratton engines and other products, will allow the company to reduce delivery times to its customers in the Southeast. The facility is expected to be operational by spring.

The Auburn center is part of a broader strategic plan by Briggs & Stratton to consolidate a number of smaller warehouse operations throughout the U.S. into two large operations. The company will also open a new distribution hub in Germantown, Wisconsin, under this plan, which will be in addition to the company’s existing service and parts distribution center in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

“By consolidating our current footprint into two large distribution centers, we’re increasing efficiencies to more effectively serve our customers,” said Bill Harlow, director of global distribution and warehousing at Briggs & Stratton. “The locations in Germantown and Auburn will provide a North American enterprise distribution footprint that supports our strategy and customers with optimal inventory and order delivery while managing space and capital investment.”

Briggs & Stratton, which has operated in Auburn for 23 years, is one of the city’s largest industrial employers, with more than 430 workers. (City of Auburn)

Growth plans

Briggs & Stratton’s decision to add the Alabama distribution hub comes less than one year after the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company launched a major expansion at its Auburn manufacturing facility.

In October 2017, the company announced a $12 million project to begin production of Vanguard commercial V-Twin engines in Auburn, eventually creating 50 jobs. The new warehouse will be used to store these engines, along with other products, for final shipment.

“I’m encouraged to see Briggs & Stratton expand again in Alabama because I know that means that they are finding all the ingredients they need for success right here in our state,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “This represents a powerful endorsement from a leading manufacturer and shows once again that we are open for business.”

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the addition of the distribution hub reflects the high level of confidence Briggs & Stratton has in its Auburn operation and the workforce there.

“Supporting world-class companies like Briggs & Stratton that are looking to grow in Alabama is a high priority for the state’s economic development team,” Canfield said. “They’ve been a great corporate citizen in Auburn for many years, and we look forward to seeing them continue to grow in the state.”

Briggs & Stratton announced plans to produce commercial Vanguard engines at its Auburn plant in late 2017. Now, it plans to open a massive distribution center in Auburn. (Hal Yeager/Governor’s Office)

‘Exciting time’

Briggs & Stratton, which began operations in Auburn in 1995, is one of the city’s largest industrial employers, with more than 430 workers. Its existing manufacturing facility primarily produces twin-cylinder engines for lawn-mowing equipment.

“Auburn is happy with the continued commitment of Briggs & Stratton to our community,” Mayor Bill Ham said.

Dave Rodgers, senior vice president and president — engines and power at Briggs & Stratton, said the decision to open the new distribution hubs aligns with the company’s commitment to invest in being a “partner of choice” in the communities where it operates.

“We’re already enhancing two of our existing plants in Auburn, Alabama, and Statesboro, Georgia, to bring production of our commercial Vanguard V-Twin engines back to the U.S., and we’re continuously investing in our research and development efforts to create products that help make work easier and lives better — it’s an exciting time to be at Briggs & Stratton,” he said.

Briggs & Stratton is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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