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Bobcat expands operations

Industry News, Supplier News

The company has launched an Innovation Center.

| April 18, 2012

Bobcat Company and Menlo Worldwide Logistics today announced the expansion of operations at Bobcat’s Manufacturing Support Center in Bismarck. Bobcat also announced plans to acquire additional land at the Northern Plains Commerce Center, to create an Innovation Center for product development and testing.

Production of Bobcat compact attachments will begin moving to the new MSC (the former Bobcat production facility) immediately. Menlo has operated in Bobcat’s facilities as a strategic logistics partner since 2006. As many as 150 new positions will be created to support expanded production operations for the compact attachments line, which is being shifted to the MSC from a Bobcat Company-owned plant in Litchfield, Minn.

“This move enables us to better respond to customer demand for our attachments while leveraging the expertise of our strategic logistics partner in the process,” said Rich Goldsbury, president of Bobcat. “This is a positive move for Bobcat, Menlo, Bismarck and North Dakota.”

This move will allow increased production of Bobcat attachments and equipment in the state of North Dakota, Goldsbury said, adding that market demand for compact attachments has increased as customers seek new ways to diversify businesses by adding more attachments to their existing compact equipment.

“Menlo and Bobcat have enjoyed a strong relationship for six years, and we look forward to expanding that relationship,” said Bob Bianco, president of Menlo Worldwide Logistics.

While increased compact attachments business has outgrown the Litchfield plant’s capacity, Bobcat will continue operating the Litchfield facility by moving heavy equipment attachment operations from a Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment facility in Statesville, N.C. The move will involve around 65 positions, replacing more than a third of the jobs currently in Litchfield.

Bobcat also announced plans for the former MSC building and the acquisition of additional land at the NPCC. The company will build an Innovation Center, designed as a center of excellence in product design. Bobcat officials say it will bring together customer-, product- and dealer-focused functions and processes, creating a dedicated environment for evaluating customer research, conducting product testing and training, and refining manufacturing processes. Approximately 175 positions will be based at the Innovation Center, centralizing existing engineering jobs and adding new positions as well.

“The Innovation Center concept comes from the very foundation of our company,” Goldsbury said. “That innovative spirit developed the very first skid-steer loader and launched the compact equipment industry — and it continues today in how we develop concepts and bring them to market.”

Work will begin on the Innovation Center later this year, with a full build-out at the NPCC to be completed by the end of 2014. The former MSC will be renovated, plus a 50,000 square-foot indoor arena will be added with a 5-acre outdoor operation area.

The additional employees and the attachments business will join the current logistics management, sub-assembly, kitting and delivery services, which have all been primary functions of Menlo at the MSC.

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