When the lease was running out on Tate & Lyle’s Amarillo facility, it sought to move out to the country to a bigger facility with larger track space. J.D. Heiskell & Co. was the perfect candidate.
“Our desire to expand the business, and [CHS’s] desire to ship bigger units works to our benefit,” Worley explains. “We couldn’t put this type of project together without them having done proper business and earned their respect to want to work with us in Texas.”
J.D. Heiskell & Co. and CHS’s trans-loading partnership adds an integral component to this arrangement. The unloading facility delivers inbound product to J.D. Heiskell & Co.’s bulk handling facilities as CHS’s leg runs into the storage barns. CHS’s modern elevator is set up on a circle track and is capable of unloading trains at 50,000 bushels/hour in nine hours.
The fourth player in this equation: BNSF Railway Company. J.D. Heiskell & Co. maintains a great working relationship with BNSF, CHS and Tate & Lyle by “over communicating” the logistics of weekly — even daily — operations.
“With the volume we handle and the partners we work through, we have the ability to compete with the big outlets and make it work,” Worley says. “We successfully compete with them heads up, and it feels good.”
Investing in business
“J.D. Heiskell is a forward thinking outfit, and we have no problems getting what we need if we can justify the need,” Worley says. “I’ve been in this business for 55 years and I’ve never had this luxury before.”
For example, if the employees prove that something is viable and will be beneficial to the facility, the company makes it happen.
“I like the way the company treats its people,” he says. “I appreciate having enough rope to go out there and do the job — they furnish the money and machinery — and respect my suggestions. This makes it a very rewarding job.”
“Our business is set up to spend money where it needs to be spent and also advance the facility,” Reid adds.
In the future, the Southwest Business Group plans to invest in grain processing equipment at the Friona elevator, and to expand its asset base through facility acquisition or by building in to a new region.
“I’m a big believer that we need to grow internally as much as we grow externally otherwise we’ll out run ourselves,” Reid says.