3 questions with CEO of the expanding Planes Moving & Storage

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3 questions with CEO of the expanding Planes Moving & Storage

COMPANIES EXPANDING WEST CHESTER HEADQUARTERS

Several companies have opened new headquarter offices or announced plans to expand their base of operations in West Chester Twp. over the last year in addition to Planes Moving & Storage Inc., according to the Butler County jurisdiction.

Some examples are:

• Growing restaurant chain Hot Head Burritos last year relocated its headquarters from Kettering to West Chester Twp., where it has better highway access and a location closer to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, said co-founder and co-owner Ray Wiley;

Frutarom USA Inc., an Israel-based flavors company, planned to consolidate operations and production to create a U.S. headquarters at its existing West Chester facilities;

• Storopack Inc. announced in September plans to consolidate its North American headquarters with its existing manufacturing and service operations in West Chester;

• Freight brokerage firms Bridge Logistics and Kingsgate Transportation both announced expansions in 2015, and Kingsgate relocated to bigger office space in the township;

• Information technology company Contingent Network Solutions last year opened a new innovation center at its West Chester facility and planned a “series of expansions” moving forward;

Hydrotech Inc., which distributes and repairs hydraulic, lubrication, filtration and other products, broke ground in 2015 on a 23,000-square-foot expansion;

• Manufacturer Paper Products Co. is relocating from Cincinnati to LeSaint Drive; and

• Pork processor Sugar Creek Packing Co. was set to open last year a renovated facility for its new consolidated headquarter operations on Thunderbird Lane, in addition to its already-existing production site on Muhlhauser Road.

• Meanwhile, medical device maker AtriCure Inc. moved its headquarters from leased space it outgrew in West Chester Twp. to a newly-built headquarters in Mason in 2015.

After the recent news that Planes Moving & Storage Inc. is eyeing an approximately $3 million investment in its West Chester Twp. headquarters, the Journal-News caught up with third-generation owner and Chief Executive Officer John Planes to learn more details.

Planes will renovate its office and expand its warehouse space in West Chester on Cincinnati-Dayton Road by about 65,000-square-feet, according to the township. The project could create about 30 new jobs over the next three years, while also retaining over 200 existing jobs, according to the terms of tax incentive agreements for the project.

Planes Companies offers moving and storage services for business and residential customers with locations in the Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis and Chicago areas as well as Greater Cincinnati.

Here are three questions John Planes answered in the interview:

1. Why is Planes expanding and why is the company able to expand?

A: “What we always try to do is we try to build off what we do right and what we do right is build off of our customers’ needs, and what we do right is the management of moving services and relocation services.

“…Our core has always been the moving and storage business, moving the furniture and household goods … local moving from one house to another, long distance moving, and we do a lot of international moving and now we do a lot of different moving of various commodities.

“Now we are a management and transportation company of about any commodity that you can think of. We can pick it up and deliver it anywhere in the United States within set parameters. We can move it overseas. We have a separate international division. We have a separate logistics division.

“A lot of the logistics business we’re getting now is an expansion. We are working with some major customers and we are providing a major niche in that industry.”

2. When did you enter the trucking business and is this expansion more driven by the expansion into trucking and logistics than it is driven by the historical core business?

A: “…We have been doing this type of business at least for 60-, 70-plus years. But it seems maybe our growth pattern in the last 10 to 15 years has just been, if you look at it on a graph, it’s good growth, it’s solid growth and it’s built the right way and it’s built on a customer at a time.

“I just think that word is getting out more and more…”

3. How would you describe what niche Planes serves?

A: “Our niche is the ability to sit down with a customer and … we can talk with a customer and we can put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and determine the opportunity that we can help our potential customer.”

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