By Reginald Tucker—Republic Floor continues to expand its logistics capabilities as part of a strategy to better serve customers nationwide via not only ample product availability but also warehousing and transportation services. Just last week, the company received 10 new Peterbilt tractor “sleepers,” bringing its fleet to 75 units.
The milestone, according to Rotem Eylor, Republic Floor CEO, is especially significant given the challenges most suppliers are facing in getting products to customers quickly and reliably. “The market in general is very challenging today; you cannot get any orders for almost any materials—it doesn’t matter where,” Eylor told FCNews. “If you try to order a tractor trailer today, you won’t get any date or commitment from the manufacturers. We were able to secure supply a couple years ago, ahead of all this, when we partnered with Peterbilt, which is the Rolls Royce of tractor trailers. We made a strategic deal with them for the next five years. It’s the same approach to planning that we take with anything we do with the company.”
Not one to rest on its laurels, Republic Floor is not done building its national trucking fleet by any means. The goal over the next five to seven years, according to Eylor, is to add another 75 tractor trailers. “That’s double the amount we have now,” he said.
Republic Floor’s expansion of its trucking fleet is just one component—albeit a critical one—of its overarching go-to-market strategy. Over the past year and half, the company has been aggressively opening up distribution centers and warehouses in target markets across the U.S. The supplier has also purchased select floor covering distributors outright.
For Republic, it’s not about sheer size and scale alone. Rather, the moves are calculated based on those markets with the greatest growth potential. “It’s about the long-term strategy of where we’re going to be in five to seven years, and which locations we’re going to open,” Eylor said. “We’re looking to add another 20 locations on top of what we already have today. We are also working to beef up existing locations.”
Case in point is the Miami market, an area Republic Floor is looking to further penetrate. “We know we’re going to need more trailers if we are going to handle distribution there,” Eylor said. “But it’s not based on a belief or feeling—we know there is a lot of business in Miami.”
There are also other key regions of interest for Republic—areas the company would not disclose just yet. However, Eylor did offer this nugget: “A big part of my day is planning for new locations. For instance, at this moment, we are in escrow to buy 45 distribution centers, and each one is more than 100,000 square feet.”
Many moving parts
For Republic Floor, everything ties in together—the expansion of its trucking fleet; the increase in the number of warehouses and distribution centers; the arrangements made with vendor partners and shipping companies; and, of course, the rapid growth of its customer base.
“Much of my focus these days is growing the infrastructure of the company, whether it’s buildings, distribution centers, buying distributors, trailers, future management—anything that has to do with future resources,” Eylor said. “So when the time comes to move into a certain market, we’re already set up for that. So many companies don’t have the know-how—they open up new locations without setting up the infrastructure. That has worked well in our favor, especially during the time when the pandemic hit. We were already ahead of the game.”