Larry's Short Stories

The History of MidwayUSA - Part 5

One small part of The Nitro Express logistics system is this spiral conveyor, that moves totes from the second to the first level. The epoxy-covered floor reduces dust and makes for a more pleasant working environment.
One small part of The Nitro Express logistics system is this spiral conveyor, that moves totes from the second to the first level. The epoxy-covered floor reduces dust and makes for a more pleasant working environment.

This part of our history starts after our first Baldrige Award in 2009 and ends with the monumental elections in the fall of 2016 – the end of our 40th year in business. We began with the acquisition of the last available lot on the MidwayUSA campus; it included a small warehouse that was originally a John Deere dealership – and most recently a supply distribution building for our local school system. Immediately we refurbished the existing structure, then added on in 2012 and 2014; with a final buildout in 2016.
In 2005, we set up a filming studio at MidwayUSA, to film our own commercials and short “how to” videos for the TV shows we sponsored on Outdoor Channel. Over a period of 7 years we created several hundred videos and presented them on Facebook, YouTube and the MidwayUSA website. We ended each commercial with “I'm Larry Potterfield with MidwayUSA, thanks for your business!”
In the shooting sports industry, the years 2009-2016 are often referred to the “Obama Years;” our Customers were always worried about when the hammer was going to fall, and bought accordingly — wow, those were good years for business! Sales grew an average of 14.5%

In 2012, we formally named the four buildings on our campus after the Presidents on Mt. Rushmore - Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. From a one-acre lot with a 1536 sq. ft. building, the MidwayUSA campus in now 21 acres with 265,000 sq. ft. under roof, and parking spaces for 561 cars.
In 2012, we formally named the four buildings on our campus after the Presidents on Mt. Rushmore - Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. From a one-acre lot with a 1536 sq. ft. building, the MidwayUSA campus in now 21 acres with 265,000 sq. ft. under roof, and parking spaces for 561 cars.

per year, with some interesting spikes.
The biggest project during this period was Nitro Express Shipping – our 4th generation logistics system. The investment was over $7 million, which included significant building modifications. Our logistics and computer folks immersed themselves in the project from the beginning; and when complete in 2010, it significantly increased our shipping capacity and became a defining part of the MidwayUSA Company. The icing on the cake was our conversion from paper invoices to paperless (electronic) invoices and the use of hand-held (wrist-mounted)
micro-computers for picking, warehousing and stocking.
In 2011, the Potterfield family made the decision to sell the Battenfeld business and the sale went through in 2012. While not part of the MidwayUSA business, Battenfeld was a significant supplier — and that relationship continued. The Battenfeld business relocated in 2014, providing about 70,000 sq. ft. of much needed warehouse space for MidwayUSA. In 2016, we renovated and occupied the office space.
The Baldrige rules require an organization to wait five years after receiving a Baldrige Award, before applying again. 2015 was that year and we received our second Baldrige Award – only the seventh organization to win two, in the history of the Baldrige Program.

Winning a Baldrige Award is as rare as a college basketball team getting to the Final Four; getting there twice, with back to back applications, is a lot rarer.
Winning a Baldrige Award is as rare as a college basketball team getting to the Final Four; getting there twice, with back to back applications, is a lot rarer.
Larry's Short Stories