Forklift vendor Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (TIEM) will expand the facilities at its North American headquarters in a $17.5 million bid to streamline internal logistics operations, the company said Tuesday.
Toyota will consolidate external warehouses to internal storage and distribution onsite, reducing its internal logistics route distance by 50 percent and expanding space for its growing aftermarket parts business, the company said. Construction on the Columbus, Ind., facility will begin this month and expand the one-million-square-foot space to 1.3 million square feet.
"This is an important step to position Toyota Industrial Equipment for the future," Tony Miller, senior vice president at TIEM, said in a release. "This expansion will enable us to improve our operations, drive out waste, and reduce total lead time."
The plans represent the third expansion of Toyota's North American corporate headquarters in recent years, following a $16 million dollar expansion in 2015 and the addition of a fitness and wellness facility in January.
Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing is a unit of Toyota Industries Corp. (TICO), which acquired systems integrator Bastian Solutions LLC in February, making an attempt to move beyond its roots as a forklift vendor and sell integrated automation and productivity solutions to material handling and logistics firms struggling to keep up with the growth of e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment.