Hodges Adapts To Serve Customers Even Better



As Hodges Warehouse + Logistics/Hodges Commercial Real Estate began adding more and more Korean clients and tenants, that created a new need: hiring someone with foreign language skills.

They found someone, Ena Park, who speaks both Korean and Chinese in addition to having a master’s degree in business administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. The company also added Korean and Chinese language websites.

“We have clients who are more comfortable speaking in their native languages,” said Paul Hodges, vice president/shareholder and real estate broker. “We are actively talking with Korean clients every week and there seems to be new business on the horizon.

Company officials are currently in negotiations with a steel supplier, Hodges said.

It’s just one example of Hodges identifying a growth area and seizing on the opportunities. With seven or eight suppliers to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama as clients, Hodges has capitalized on the fast-growing automotive sector. They have clients that also supply the Kia manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia.

It doesn’t end there. A current Hyundai supplier is expanding to also supply the Toyota and Nissan manufacturing plants in Mississippi and has asked Hodges to handle those operations. And Hodges handles a wide range of operations from providing all the services inside a warehouse, including personnel and equipment, to inventory management system and delivery. Hodges also leases to clients, who operate the facility themselves.

“We have developed commercial lots; sold lots; and built buildings for built-to-suit clientele,” Hodges said.

About 2½ years ago, Hodges, which has 150 commercial real estate properties, made a move into the residential real estate market. “We saw a niche in the Montgomery market, where $30 million worth of homes are bought and sold each month,” Hodges said. “And we weren’t participating in that. We recruited an agent that wanted to focus exclusively on residential real estate. We decided it might be a good opportunity, especially at the bottom of the market.”

Hodges partnered with Exit and Exit Hodges Real Estate was born. The company has sold about 100 homes since entering the residential market, according to Hodges.

Changing with the times and diversifying have been two of the reasons for the company’s success. Hodges actually started in the cattle auction markets and had a number of facilities in Texas and Louisiana before moving operations to Alabama. Montgomery was the first location in Alabama, with Hodges adding three other sites in the state.

The company invested some of the profits in real estate, buying an old cotton warehouse next to its Montgomery facility. “We rented out the building and acquired the adjacent building,” Hodges said.

That was the beginning of the warehouse operation. “Our niche has been to acquire older facilities that have been used for manufacturing or distribution and convert them into warehousing,” Hodges said.

Hodges has more than 4 million square feet of warehouse space, which is heavily concentrated in Montgomery. The company does have a 600,000-square-foot facility in Dothan and warehouse space in Prattville.

“We have excess space and we acquired it at very favorable prices over the years,” Hodges said. “As the market improves, we should be in a good position.”

The company has been successful because “we work to bring the functional capabilities of a large company to the clients we serve while maintaining the close customer service of a small company,” said Lance Hunter, CEO of Hodges Warehouse + Logistics. “Our relatively small staff is empowered to make decisions quickly and commit any of our resources.

“We think a huge part of our success is because we are lucky enough to be located in Montgomery, Alabama. There are so many institutions in this area that are willing and able to help small companies achieve big results.”

Hodges Warehouse + Logistics selected as finalist for 2012 River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Awards

Lance Hunter, CEO of Hodges Warehouse + Logistics announced that the company has been selected as one of three finalists for the medium business award for the 2012 River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Awards. The awards luncheon will be held on Monday, October 15, 2012 at Wynlakes Golf and Country Club and will feature Dan Cathy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chick-Fil-A as the luncheons featured speaker. Lance remarked. “We are pleased to be considered for this award, considering all the great things done by so many members of the Montgomery business community in public service and the high ethics we observe in our daily business activities in the River Region.

Hodges Warehouse + Logistics Announces New Cross Dock Operation in Support of National Retailers

Lance Hunter, CEO of Hodges Warehouse + Logistics announced a new cross docking operation as part of a supply chain solution for national retailers. Hodges will be consolidating shipments originating in the Southeastern United States in Montgomery, Alabama for shipment to regional distribution centers throughout the United States. Lance Hunter said, “This is a great opportunity for us to provide local facility and warehouse operations to support a national supply chain and multi-modal efficiency program. Operations will begin in August 25, 2012”.

Hodges Warehouse and Logistics congratulates client on prestigious award.

Whitfield Foods, based in Montgomery Al recently received the Contract Manufacturer of the Year Award for excellence in productivity, cost control, quality and customer service from its primary customer, PepsiCo. Whitfield Foods is one of 64 PepsiCo Contract Manufacturers and produces Tropicana, Dole, Lipton, Sobe, Amp Energy, Gatorade and food service juices and drinks.

Jackie Greene, Hodges Warehouse Operations coordinator leading Hodges, Whitfield operations, commented, “We have enjoyed serving Whitfield with their PepsiCo account. Whitfield is another family owned company in Montgomery, Al (as is Hodges) and we have worked together for years. We are both proud to be locally owned but able to provide business services that exceed the expectations of globally competitive companies like PepsiCo.”