Mid-States Experiences Steady Growth

Gail BryantWorkforce

Mid-States Distributing

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Mid-States Distributing has experienced strong growth since it began its operations in Lee’s Summit in 2018. The Lee’s Summit facility is a distribution center for Mid-States Distributing Company, Inc., a farm, ranch, and home retail cooperative based out of Fort Worth, Texas.

Mid-States Distributing Company, Inc. was established in 1954. It has nearly 40 member companies, which combined own approximately 700 retail stores throughout North America. The stores generate approximately $5 billion in annual sales in everything from air fresheners to tractor seats.

Prior to the purchase of the Distribution Center near 291 highway and Southeast Thompson Drive in Lee’s Summit, the company had used a third-party distributor to get its products from the manufacturers to its member companies. But in 2018, they decided to take the distribution into their own hands. They chose Lee’s Summit because of the existing building, which already had automated sorting capabilities from the previous building owner, Toys R Us. Rodriguez said Lee’s Summit was also appealing due to its highway access and central location in the U.S..

“In distributing it’s a type of hub and spoke Distribution Model,” said Rodriguez. “We can get to anywhere in the continental U.S. easily, where if we were on a coast, it would be difficult to get from one coast to another.”

Rodriguez said at nearly 800,000-square-feet of warehouse space, Mid-States Distributing has room to grow.

“When we bought this building, we knew we were purchasing a facility that had plenty of room for the anticipated growth, but we are expecting 30 percent growth in the next five years, or more,” said John M. Rodriguez, Mid-States Distributing’s Director of Warehouse Operations.

In addition to managing the growth of the distribution operations, Rodriguez said it is one of his personal goals to ensure that employees have a positive work environment. Through open communication with his staff, he has already identified ways to support his staff through activities, additional benefits, and increased schedule flexibility.

“This is not corporate America,” said Rodriguez. “I pride myself on getting to know each of my employees.”

He has proven he can accomplish both goals simultaneously. Mid-States Distributing grew by 30 percent in 2020. Its workforce also increased by more than 50 percent, from 35 employees when it opened to 75 employees. And it’s still growing. Currently, Mid-States is hiring for full and part time positions for experienced and non-experienced candidates.

“We are just looking for people who want to put in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay and go home and feel like they’ve accomplished something and have a good work-life balance,” said Rodriguez.