SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. — Gurtler Industries Inc., a manufacturer of advanced detergents and specialty chemicals for the commercial and institutional laundry industry, reports it has completed the first phase of a planned expansion and renovation of its corporate headquarters located here.
The increase in footprint and upgrading of facilities was necessary to accommodate continued growth of the company, Gurtler says.
“We recognized several years ago that to in order to continue serving our current customers and support our record growth, we needed a larger building,” says President Greg Gurtler. “At the time, our only option was to look for another location to purchase or build upon. But during our search process, the opportunity arose to expand at our current location, and we were able to stay in South Holland, while meeting our goal for increased space.”
Gurtler added approximately 68,000 square feet of space by purchasing the building and land of its southern neighbor, which relocated to another state. The acquisition allows Gurtler to keep all office, laboratory, production and warehouse space at one location, split between two adjacent buildings.
The purchase kicked off nearly 18 months of renovations to both buildings and the surrounding grounds.
“It was a challenge to manage all the construction and upgrades while maintaining production and fulfillment operations,” says Lester Gurtler, vice president of operations, who oversaw the expansion. “But in the end, we were very pleased with the increased capacity and site improvements, which improves efficiencies in our internal processes and translates to better service to our customers.”
The renovations to the newly acquired building include removing almost all existing structures and utilities under the roof, installing new mechanical and electrical systems, adding skylights and new energy-efficient LED lighting, rebuilding two shipping and receiving docks, and building a new lunch and locker room for employees.
The new space now serves as a finished goods warehouse and order fulfillment center.
“We’ve been able to reduce order fulfillment lead times by 30% and increased our flexibility to accommodate the ever-changing needs of our customers,” adds Lester Gurtler. “The increased warehouse space has also allowed us realize efficiencies in raw material procurement and blending operations, further driving our continuous improvement program in operations.”
Over the last 18 months, with the new space Gurtler has also increased production, planning and order fulfillment staff to accommodate a growing customer base.
Other improvements to the grounds and existing building included replacing and widening of the tanker receiving driveway, replacing the asphalt parking lot with concrete, rebuilding four shipping and receiving docks, and enhancing the front façade of both buildings. All told, more than 250 yards of concrete was poured across all site improvements.
With the new dock space, Gurtler says it has increased its bulk product shipment capacity by 50%, allowing for an ongoing increase in bulk laundry chemical shipments.
“This expansion allows us to enhance our industry-leading service to our customers and support our tremendous growth,” says Greg Gurtler. “We are truly blessed to have a thriving, family-owned business that is positioned to serve our customers and industry for many years to come.”
The next phase of improvements, slated to start this winter, includes the addition of 5,000 square feet of new office space, a 40% increase in new pallet racking, and upgrading blending and packaging equipment.