The e-commerce boom is fueling the growth of online retailers, and companies such as Ohio-based Honeywell Intelligrated, which supply machinery and packaging to these businesses, are also growing.
A Rapid Expansion for a Rapidly Expanding Market
Due to an increasing number of online shoppers, both physical stores and online retailers are opening distribution centers to keep up with customer demand. Intelligrated designs, manufactures, integrates and installs automated material handling solutions for retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers in the U.S. and around the world. Its products and services appealed to Honeywell, which purchased Intelligrated in August 2016 for $1.5 billion.
In 2014, Intelligrated sought to establish a facility dedicated to the research and development (R&D) of automated technologies for logistics with the goal to commercialize new technologies that increase efficiency for new clients, including a major parcel carrier. Intelligrated won a contract with the carrier to prototype a new conveyor technology, a project that would dedicate 70% to R&D and 30% to manufacturing.
Reinvesting in a Proven Area
By the fall of 2014, Intelligrated decided to expand its headquarters in Mason, Ohio, for a third time since it was founded in 2001. The company planned to invest $12.2 million to build an 84,000-square-foot facility and committed to create 238 jobs, primarily in the engineering field. This investment would also enable Intelligrated to continue its close relationship with the University of Cincinnati, maintaining a pipeline of young talent educated in artificial intelligence and engineering.
The company’s R&D would increase the reputation and visibility of Ohio’s research expertise, keep the company competitive and develop talent within the automation industry. It would also create high-paying tech jobs in partnership with Ohio universities and students, and promote technology-based economic development that gets ideas to market. The return on investment both for the company and for Ohio would be significant, so JobsOhio provided a grant to help offset expansion costs.
Above and Beyond Commitments
As of 2018, the company exceeded its initial project commitments, creating 986 jobs — over 750 more than the agreed-upon 238 jobs. The company also reported $12.47 million committed to investment rather than the projected $12.2 million.
This over-delivery is due, in part, to the rapid growth of e-commerce. But it’s also due to Intelligrated’s commitment to improving production monitoring, traffic management, and the speed and reliability of package tracking — all functions critical to the success of companies involved in e-commerce.
JobsOhio saw the potential of Intelligrated, an already successful company in a growing industry, to create additional benefit for its community and Ohio. JobsOhio intends to continue to invest in companies like Intelligrated that are growing rapidly, creating jobs and investing in the workforce of the future.