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Tech Data opens new Western centre

Distributor more than triples the space of its old facility in B.C.

RICHMOND, B.C. — Tech Data Canada took the wraps off its new Western Canada distribution centre today, a 7,240 sq. metre facility more than triple the size of its old distribution centre, to better service resellers in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and the territories.

The main reasons for the Western expansion are space and volume, according to Rick Reid, president of Tech Data Canada, here for the ribbon-cutting ceremony along with Frank Haid, vice-president of sales for the distributor, executives from HP Canada, Cisco Canada IBM Canada plus many others from the partner community.

“There is more business being done out West and the vendor partners are doing less and less direct business, which means we as a distributor have to facility it,” Reid said.

Reid added that the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the oil and gas boon in Alberta are just two drivers for the economic upswing in the region.

Anthony Brown, a principal at Seven Group, a data management systems integrator with offices in Vancouver and Calgary, characterized Western Canadian IT growth as “fantastic.” His firm has enjoyed 35 per cent year over year growth in B.C. and Alberta.

Tech Data Canada, meanwhile, posted 40 per cent year over year growth in Alberta and 15 per cent growth in B.C., Haid said. “Overall Tech Data grew 12 per cent year over year and Alberta and B.C. grew faster than Canada, and that is one of the reasons for tripling the facility.

The 18 bay building is expected to handle about $400 million in inventory. Product inventory has already increased nearly 100 per cent from the old distribution centre. Currently, there is approximately $19 million in stock with room for expansion.

Barry Johnson, manager for Vancouver-based computer reseller Frontierpc.com, said he appreciates the expansion simply because he can now offer his customers next day delivery rather than five-day service through Tech Data’s main distribution facility in Mississauga, Ont.

Brown said this new facility will help Seven Group get products to customers faster and reduce shipping costs. “Tech Data made the investment and they will make it in the market here as well which will enable us to go to market together,” Brown said.

Burnaby, B.C.-based Cheryl A. Neal, territory partner manager for IBM Canada, said B.C. companies like to buy from B.C. companies.

According to Brown, Seven Group’s IBM business has doubled each of the last three years and the company’s main supplier is Tech Data. “The increased presence is will make a huge impact on our IBM business. That was one of the biggest challenges in that space — to get the gear. This will make my life easier,” Brown said.

“It will move mountains,” Victoria Withers, public affairs and skills manager, small and medium business for IBM Canada, said of the new building.

“Tech Data is an important part of IBM’s supply chain,” she said. “We spend a lot of cycle time getting products to market at the right time and there is a lot of hand-holding. This (facility) frees up time and people so they can be more proactive and get closer to the customer.”

Richard Woodruff, Western Canada manager for Cisco Canada, said the new distribution centre helps the networking giant scale its business in this region. He added that Cisco has already tripled dedicated resources with Tech Data to support his company’s sales with it.

The new facility has 20 sales staff along with 20 warehouse employees. Reid said that within the next 60 days the centre will add configuration services for partners as well as next day 9 A.M. delivery to Calgary.

Cynthia McNeil, general manager of operations for Calgary-based solution provider Mainland Information Systems Ltd., agreed with the other partners at the opening, saying she expects to deliver product faster with overnight air delivery. “The bigger facility means more inventory that is ready to be air shipped and we are ready to go,” she said.

Tech Data has a 10-year lease on the building.

“We built this place for the partners and the vendors,” said Reid. “In the last three years we under-serviced the west. Now we are over-servicing it.”