The History of Balkamp
In late 1935, the NAPA member companies decided to form their own company to “re-package” parts manufactured by others. The new company would purchase from various manufacturers and redistribute to NAPA warehouses, thus developing NAPA’s own private purchasing company.
The NAPA Board of Directors formed the Balkamp Manufacturing Corporation on March 11, 1936 with an initial investment of less than $50,000. The company took its name from the names of two of its early managers, John Baldwin and his assistant, Bob Leerkamp.
By the end of its first five years, the employee count grew to 18 and the operation grew to 8,000 square feet in size. Balkamp has NAPA product Distribution Centers located in Plainfield, Indiana and Salt Lake City, Utah. These strategically placed operations serve all NAPA Distribution Centers, all 6000 auto part stores, and UAP Distribution Centers in Canada. Balkamp can ship to each NAPA DC in less than 48 hours from order receipt to delivery. In addition, Balkamp ships to 17 DC’s twice a week.
The success Balkamp has had since 1936 has come from a strong team effort between the employees and the suppliers. Working together, they are able to provide the best possible service to Balkamp customers.
The History of the Automotive Redistribution Center (ARC)
The Automotive Redistribution Center (ARC) is located in Indianapolis. The ARC was developed in 1993 to provide oils and branded chemicals to the NAPA system through a low cost distribution system.