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Tech Data brings integration closer to its Western VARs

The distributor has expanded its Vancouver-area distribution facility, adding a new integration centre

VARs in Western Canada will have an integration option that’s a little closer to home with Tech Data Canada‘s recent opening of a new Vancouver-area integration centre to serve its Western partners, and those with customers in the region.

The integration centre will be housed in Tech Data’s existing Richmond, B.C. logistics and distribution centre, a 70,000 sq. ft. facility opened two years ago. Sukh Randhawa, vice-president of business operations for Tech Data Canada, says the new integration centre builds on the similar investment the distributor recently made in its Mississauga, Ont. headquarters.

“The reason for doing it in the west is really to further optimize the supply chain for configuration,” said Randhawa.

Previously, if a VAR in the west wanted integration services from Tech Data, the products had to be shipped east to Mississauga, configured, and then shipped back west to the customer. With the new centre that configuration can happen closer to home, and right in the western distribution centre, eliminating the time, and the cost, of cross-country shipping.

Randhawa says they expect some business currently flowing through Mississauga will shift west, and now that the service is available closer to home more western VARs will tap Tech Data’s integration services that had looked to third parties previously.

“The most efficient way to do it is right where the product inventory is actually located so you don’t have to double handle the product, and you don’t have to ship it somewhere to have it configured and then ship it again to the end destination,” said Randhawa.

Some 2000 sq. ft. has been segregated in the Richmond facility for the integration centre, which will initially be equipped with eight benches and staffed by two technicians. Similar to the Mississauga facility, services available include imaging desktops, notebooks and servers, installing OSes, loading software, adding on hardware, bench testing and burning, basic network OS install and setup, some serve rack assembly and basic router switch memory installs.

Randhawa says the facility has been built to scale for future growth in demand, adding concerns about a slowing economy didn’t give Tech Data pause when it came to the expansion.

“We felt our offering in the West wasn’t complete until we had a centre like this in that local market. It’s a very robust market,” said Randhawa. “We think in the commercial VAR space (a configuration centre) is required. We can scale the costs to adjust for fluctuations in the market and demand, but really the investment is one that was necessary for the long term as well.”