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D&H Canada is moving on up

Distributor out grows its current facility in just over a year

The economy might be in a recession, but D&H Canada continues to grow. So much so that it has moved into a new 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Mississauga, Ont., that will be 25 per cent larger than its old one.

The new facility will double D&H Canada’s inbound and outbound shipping capacity along with its storage. It will also help the distributor better utilize its slotting and rack optimization process.

Greg Tobin, Canadian general manager for D&H, said the most visible aspect of the new facility will be double the amount of dock doors and staging areas. The company will be using RF technology to help it move products, especially top selling products out quicker.

“It’s about moving products and getting it out the door in much less time. The customers feel that,” Tobin said.

This new facility will also help D&H with its green initiatives and there is more natural lighting and T5 (high output/low energy fixture) lighting available. Tobin said from a cost standpoint it would dramatically lower costs and improves maintenance. “It also provides a cheerful environment for people to work in,” he said.

This is D&H’s second new facility this year. The company, based in Harrisburg, Penn., opened a 450,000 sq. ft. warehouse in a suburb of Atlanta, Ga.

D&H CEO Michael Schwab, said in a tight economy service becomes more critical and a customer’s expectation of just-in-time delivery gets magnified and more depth is required.

“People will ask – about D&H’s investment in the warehouse in Canada and Atlanta – what type of lens do you have in your camera. If they say a one-year lens than they’ll only see one year out and say you should be more conservative. But, we have a 20 year lens on our camera. We understand that business will not come easy today, but for the long run there will still be IT spending and we will have to maximize that from a vendor and customer stand point. It would be short-sighted to not invest in the future,” Schwab said.

The new distribution centre will have better access to several major highways in Ontario.

Tobin added that net new growth in Canada is still at a significant pace. Its first year saw the distributor grow 600 per cent. Tobin anticipates growth in 2009 to be at 100 per cent. “There is a deceleration in the rate of growth because of the uncertain economy. But we’ll see growth across the board in Netbooks, software, components, navigation and GPS and it all the other categories. They will all be up year-over-year.”

Schwab said that the Canadian market is reflective of the overall business climate. He expects growth because D&H does not cater to the Fortune 1000 enterprise, but the SMB.“We are focused on the categories that the reseller can still evangelize and help save customers money or allow them to be more efficient such as security,” he said.