DeSoto County’s attractive centralized location to interstate highways, air traffic, along with the Mid-South headquarters of the global delivery services giant FedEx have nabbed another company to locate with the addition of the new Navistar Parts Distribution Center on Polk Lane in Olive Branch.
Navistar is a leading commercial truck and bus manufacturer based in the Chicago-area suburb of Lisle, Illinois.
The Olive Branch Parts Distribution Center, or PDC as it is called, is one of nine the company has located throughout North America. The newest PDC opened in late August and late last week held a celebratory event and ribbon cutting with company, city and business officials on hand.
The state-of-the-art 300,000 square foot facility serves regional dealers with stock and emergency orders. It also enables Navistar to deliver parts the next day to over 95 percent of its dealer service locations due to its centralized location and proximity to the FedEx World Hub in Memphis, according to Navistar officials.
“FedEx allows us to set a new standard in the industry,” said Navistar President of Aftersales Freidrich Baumann. “You can order parts at 9:59 p.m. on a Tuesday evening and it will be on your doorstep at 8 a.m. the next morning. That is what the combination of the Olive Branch PDC, together with the FedEx hub in Memphis allows us to do.”
Twenty-eight people work at the PDC facility in Olive Branch and the center is another in a growing number of distribution centers located in the eastern part of the city, said Mayor Scott Phillips.
“First of all, it’s our ease of doing business here in the city of Olive Branch,” explained Phillips. “Our Board of Aldermen and the County Board of Supervisors make it worthwhile to come and consider DeSoto County and land these projects that come here. Navistar is a big deal to us and to this area.”
Navistar invested more than $10 million in this facility, which has the capacity to house truck and bus parts that fit International Truck and IC Bus brands, as well as competitive make vehicles.
As with most projects of this type, Phillips said incentives were used to attract Navistar to come to Olive Branch.
“We ended up doing our standard tax exemption through the county and the city through the Mississippi Development Authority,” Phillips said. “We participate in all of it to assist them in locating here. It’s one of the things that has kept our millage rate low in Olive Branch and we want to continue to grow these businesses here.”
As a corporation, Navistar employs about 11,500 people, and has the largest dealer network in America with the largest parts distribution network in North America.
At 300,000 square feet, the PDC can fit five NFL football fields and the PDC has the capacity to fill about 51,000 individual part numbers.
“The shared vision that we have is to be the most customer-centric, innovative, and value-creative bus and truck manufacturer in our market,” Baumann said. “I see this as a significant piece on our journey to become a leader.”
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.