OUR OPINION: Just-in-time supplier chooses Sherman

By NEMS Daily Journal

Tuesday’s announcement that KC Integrated Services would operate a 100-employee plant in Sherman provides each of the three PUL Alliance counties (Pontotoc, Union and Lee) with at least one plant in support of the Toyota assembly plant in Blue Springs.
KC Integrated, a Michigan-based, nine-year Tier 1 Toyota supplier and one of the nation’s largest minority-owned logistics operators, will invest $5.1 million adapting a former manufacturing plant building in Sherman to its work as a truck servicer and warehouse for Toyota. The sprawling Blue Springs plant is minutes away adjacent to U.S. Highway 78 and also accessed by Magnolia Way, which begins in Sherman.
Tuesday’s announcement was made even more timely because Toyota confirmed Wednesday that production at the plant – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi – will begin in October, with a formal state-of-production celebration in November.
KC Integrated, in more than a contractual sense, becomes a “just in time” supplier, with its services expected to be on line by early 2012.
The announcement was good news not only for Pontotoc County officials and leaders who have worked for years to bring Toyota-related jobs into the economy, but for Sherman residents and city leaders, who expressed excitement. Sherman Alderwoman Dianne Jolly said the payoff for Sherman will start immediately with sales tax revenue, some street improvements, and, later, with property tax revenue.
The operation will be located in the former EPI Plastics building, which is in west Sherman, but near the main access roads to Toyota.
“KC Integrated Services is looking forward to this new opportunity with Toyota and the people of Mississippi,” said Ken Calender, chief executive officer of KC Integrated Services. “We think there will be great growth potential within the Blue Springs area.”
The Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi’s lead professional promoter, worked with company and local officials to help facilitate the project, including a loan to purchase the 115,000-square-foot building.
Headquartered in Carleton, Mich., KC Integrated Services was established in 1986 and has grown into a full service supply-chain solutions provider.
More than 1,500 jobs are assured with the start of production at Toyota – jobs that did not exist before the 2007 announcement that Toyota would locate in Northeast Mississippi.
Full employment when the plant reaches full production is expected to be 2,000, with a similar number expected to be working for Toyota’s suppliers in the region.
That projection does not include any new jobs that could develop with unrelated investment.
Patience has its own rewards.