The BlueLinx millworking facility in Houston, the second stop on the World Millwork Alliance plant tours of the area, shows how a large, multi-site company can leverage its size and reach to store and ship products in a cost-effective manner.

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Here, BlueLinx houses every kind of building material.

Unlike BMC, there is no manufacturing going on here. Instead, the plant, which is adjacent to a rail line and major highways, houses every conceivable kind of building material.

BlueLinx began in 1954 as the distribution division of Georgia-Pacific. In those early days, the company stored and shipped plywood exclusively, but it branched out into other building materials as it grew to 130 locations across the U.S.

In 2004, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management purchased the distribution business from Georgia-Pacific to form BlueLinx. Today, the publicly traded company’s 1,700 employees serve nearly 11,500 customers through more than 50 distribution centers with a fleet of over 500 trucks and 900 trailers.

BlueLinx offers more than 10,000 products across 70,000 stock keeping units (SKUs). Additionally, it uses a variety of high-tech software, such as Appian Logistics Direct Route and DRTrack for truck routing, scheduling and dispatch; PeopleNet GPS onboard computers in its delivery vehicles; and Doma Sizer design software to make engineered lumber.

 

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