Larry's Short Stories

The History of MidwayUSA - Part 4

This 50,000 sq. ft. building addition went up in 1994, following a 20,000 sq. ft. addition in 1993. In 2008, we added another 39,120 sq. ft., bringing the main MidwayUSA building to 139,120 sq. ft. The Contact Center building was 13,000 sq. ft. and the Battenfeld building was 76,800 sq. ft.
This 50,000 sq. ft. building addition went up in 1994, following a 20,000 sq. ft. addition in 1993. In 2008, we added another 39,120 sq. ft., bringing the main MidwayUSA building to 139,120 sq. ft. The Contact Center building was 13,000 sq. ft. and the Battenfeld building was 76,800 sq. ft.

This 20-year period of our history began as we moved into a new building/location, on Van Horn Tavern Road, in January 1989; it was truly a new beginning. The building was modern, steel frame, construction with 10,000 square feet each for office, shipping and warehousing. Most importantly, we now had a 12-acre lot, which gave us room to grow; and that’s exactly what we did!

The Logistics Department saw the greatest change. Previously we’d picked by site; that is, knowing where the product was. In the new Logistics operation, we established a formal bin location for each product, which printed on the invoice and directed our pickers to the specific location – zone, row, shelf and shelf location. In this “second generation” logistics system, we also had a conveyor that allowed us to pick products in the picking area on one side of the building and send them to the packing area on the other side – via conveyor.

Computers have played a vital role in MidwayUSA's success, since 1987. Converting from DOS to Windows in 1999, laid the groundwork for continued expansion of computerization, as a tool to serve Customers better and contribute to the continued success of the Company.
Computers have played a vital role in MidwayUSA's success, since 1987. Converting from DOS to Windows in 1999, laid the groundwork for continued expansion of computerization, as a tool to serve Customers better and contribute to the continued success of the Company.

Product development had been one of the Company’s missions, since 1980, when we first offered cardboard ammo boxes with Styrofoam trays. Hiring our first engineer in 1991, the three most-significant MidwayUSA brand products we developed were a vibratory tumbler, a gun vise and a shooting rest. As the number of products grew, it became obvious that we should spin-off the product development mission into a new company, which we did in year 1999. Battenfeld Technologies, Inc. began operating in the back of MidwayUSA, getting their own building in 2005.

Through good fortune, we were able to buy two lots to the west of the MidwayUSA building; one was vacant and the other had a small warehouse. We built a building for Battenfeld on the vacant lot and refurbished the warehouse on the other lot for our Contact Center operations. Then, we added onto the MidwayUSA building in 1993, 1994 and 2008.

Creating NRA “Round-Up” and Friends of NRA in 1992, were not part of standard business operations, but both became significant programs for the NRA.

During this period, we also converted our computers from DOS to Windows in 1999, built our first website in 2001, received ISO 9001 certification in 2008 and won our first Baldrige National Quality Award in 2009. It was a busy 20 years in the history of MidwayUSA; and we were a well-established, successful, growing and nationally recognized small business.

From a quality, continuous improvement and sustainability standpoint (all pretty important), our decision to engage in the Baldrige Criteria was monumental and receiving our first Baldrige National Quality Award in 2009 was unprecedented in our industry.
From a quality, continuous improvement and sustainability standpoint (all pretty important), our decision to engage in the Baldrige Criteria was monumental and receiving our first Baldrige National Quality Award in 2009 was unprecedented in our industry.
Larry's Short Stories