Gary Ahuja, (LANGLEY TIMES) — Much like they say in real estate, it is all about location, location, location.
That played a big factor in the decision to open a new Mazda Canada Parts and Distribution Centre in Langley.
The new two-storey, 125,000 square foot facility has been open since January but held its official grand opening last week.
The facility is located in the Gloucester Industrial Park at 5011 275 Street.
It includes a parts distribution warehouse, dealer training facility and Mazda Canada’s Western regional office, which was previously in Richmond. And it employs about 25 people so far.
It will serve B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the 37 Mazda dealerships in those four provinces.
“It was strategically located (just off the TransCanada highway) and that is a perfect route to support our dealers heading east (to western Canada) and also well located to serve our dealers in the Lower Mainland and throughout B.C.,” said Don MacPhee, Mazda’s director of customer service.
He also added that it is ideally located close to the Deltaport Terminal, rail and the U.S. border.
“We think we optimized the right spot here in Langley,” MacPhee said.
“It is an excellent business park.”
Another reason for selecting this location was the people factor.
“We found out there was a high quality, very skilled workforce here in the Langley area and that is one of the reasons we chose (here),” said Kory Koreeda, president of Mazda Canada.
Previously, there were four parts and distribution centres in North America, three in the U.S. and one in Canada.
Seventy per cent of Mazda’s parts arrive from Japan at Deltaport Terminal and were then shipped to Mississauga, Ont. and then shipped back to B.C. and the other western dealers.
With the pressure of rising fuel costs, enhancing customer service and a desire to embrace green business practices, Mazda knew they had to develop a more efficient system.
The new system has five PDCs in the U.S. and two in Canada — Mississauga and Langley.
Parts will now be delivered from Langley overnight to B.C. dealers so they have them first thing in the morning and can provide a quicker turnaround time for customers.
The facility also uses special insulation in its dock doors and exterior walls to prevent the loss of heating and cooling, utilizes equipment chargers designed to reduce energy consumption; and has advanced fluorescent lights linked to motion sensors that reduce electricity consumption.
And previously, parts were packaged up in cardboard boxes for shipping. Now, parts are delivered to dealers in reusable steel cages and plastic containers. The cages fold up compactly when empty, for shipment back to the PDC. Another bonus is less freight damage with the wire cages. Parts from Japan are left in their original cardboard packaging, but other parts like nuts and bolts are put in re-useable plastic totes in cages.
The project was designed and built by the Beedie Development Group. Neovia Logistics Services is responsible for managing the warehouse operations.