INTERNATIONAL automotive accessories manufacturer and retailer Aeroklas Asia Pacific Group has opened a state-of-the-art distribution and warehousing complex north of Melbourne that aims to reduce customer delivery times.
The $30 million distribution facility is in Merrifield, about 40 minutes drive north of Melbourne, and is a 13,000 square metre greenfield facility. It increases its warehousing capacity in Victoria by up to 57 per cent.
Aeroklas Asia Pacific Group (AAPG) specialises in designing, producing and selling four-wheel drive automotive accessories.
It is the third distribution centre Aeroklas has opened in Australia and is the biggest. It will service business retailers, customers and OEMs in Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia.
The company picked Merrifield as the location because of its proximity to its Campbellfield and Tullamarine centres.
Aeroklas said that the new site has eight loading and unloading bays that will “virtually eliminate truck waiting times and expedite onsite logistics.”
“The new site has been strategically set up to reduce stocking, picking, packing and delivery times to improve the organisation’s promise to the customer within the southern region of Australia,” it said.
“The high-tech site is also fitted with a paint line, set to begin operations in February. This will enable faster customisation of Aeroklas canopies and other products offering greater flexibility and reduced time to market.”
To cater to some of the more specialist needs of key market segments, Aeroklas has fitted the facility with smart design and enhanced capability. It said that as an example, OEMs have the option of greater confidentiality around pre-launch accessory design.
It said that the Merrifield complex is fully equipped with a separate private entrance, a totally enclosed and locked double bay engineering and design area “for the upmost confidentiality and privacy on OE projects.”
AAPG CEO Greg Kelly said: “Being a Brisbane-based organisation we needed to make a significant investment in our supply chain capabilities in the southern part of Australia to see real change in our growth prospects in the southern states.”
“At the end of the day, our ability to offer customers what they need, when they need it, on time, every time, is central to our success. The efficiencies available in our facilities in the south now match our capability in the north creating some really exciting prospects for our business.
“This facility is really a game changer, it will significantly impact how we perform in these southern markets, from shorter lead times to increased range and stocking capacities. Customers from Hobart to Moree, Mallacoota to Streaky Bay will notice the difference.”
The development lead of the site was Aeroklas group operations manager Meg Child who said the project had been a long time in the making.
“Getting this bespoke facility up and operational from a greenfield site to market leading operation in just under two years has been a mammoth task,” she said.
“This is truly a fantastic facility and one that we can all be very proud to have put together.
“Building this has been a great example of teamwork, and I’d like to thank my entire team for their tireless energy in bringing this project to life and everyone in Aeroklas that played a role in realising this opportunity.
“Looking forward, I can’t wait to see the improved customer experience and the difference it will make in their businesses.”
Aeroklas Asia Pacific Group (AAPG) is part of the Eastern Polymer Group of companies, an international producer of automotive accessories and other polymer and plastics products.
Aeroklas in 2015 bought TJM 4×4 Accessories which has a national network of more than 100 retail stores and a rich history in Australia that dates back to 1973. TJM specialises in providing high quality 4×4 aftermarket products that enhance the experience and lifestyle of heading outdoors.
It also has a light-commercial fleet fit out business, Aeroklas Fitment Centres, which offers a full range of vehicle customisations for commercial vehicles.
Under the Aeroklas umbrella are a stable of brands including TJM, Flexiglass, Bocar, Tough Dog and Aeroklas, that produce ute canopies, trays, suspension and accessories.