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Dave Olson, Published September 19 2013

Digi-Key expanding its Fargo presence

FARGO – Digi-Key, an electronic parts supplier to the world and a major economic anchor in Thief River Falls, Minn., has established an order fulfillment center in Fargo.

The expansion is a big move for Digi-Key, said Gabriel Sanchez Sr., site manager for the Fargo distribution center.

“July of this year was a huge, huge step for the company,” Sanchez said. “It was the first time in its 30-plus years of existence that we ever filled an order outside of Thief River.”

Digi-Key began leasing a large warehouse at 4206 33rd St. N., Fargo, in July 2011.

The space was used to store inventory, including products such as coin-cell batteries.

This July, the company hired seven people to fill orders at the warehouse.

Now, Sanchez said, the company is looking to hire at least 25 more workers for the Fargo center.

The company ships 300 to 500 orders a day from the Fargo site and hopes to boost that to nearly 2,000 orders.

The expansion is necessary, Sanchez said, because of Digi-Key’s rapid growth.

“You’ve got this exponential growth,” he said. “Eventually, where you are is going to be too small. There are only so many folks [in Thief River Falls] to bring on as new team members, there’s only so much space to occupy.”

Digi-Key was founded in the early 1970s in Thief River Falls by Ron Stordahl, who named the company for one of the products he sold early in his career, a digital electronic keyer kit for ham operators to use when sending code – a digi-key.

The company employs 2,600 people and has hundreds of thousands of products in stock, including items such as USB flash drives and transistors.

It also has more than 500,000 customers worldwide and annual sales of more than $1.5 billion.

In addition to its Fargo location, Digi-Key has two buildings in Thief River Falls and a small information technology support center in Bloomington, Minn.

Sanchez said the Fargo facility will help Digi-Key maintain its commitment to customer service.

“Digi-Key prides itself on getting 99.9 percent of every order filled before 8 p.m. and out to the customer that same day. That’s what keeps them coming back,” Sanchez said.

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Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555