Orgill puts the O in Oh, Canada

Suddenly, Memphis, Tenn.-based distributor Orgill views itself as a full-blown player in the Canadian market, thanks to a partnership with Canada’s Castle Building Centres. Orgill CEO Ron Beal walked Home Channel News through some of the thought processes that led to the venture.

• The partnership

“We have had a very good working relationship with Castle Building Centres for several years. Orgill and Castle think and operate alike in many ways, especially in our total focus on providing value to the retailer. They are a very knowledgeable, highly efficient and low-cost operation. We hope the same can be said of us.”

• The service

“From a service standpoint, we are very complementary. Castle has strong relationships with very solid, competent retailers. They have excellent programs on building materials and commodity products. Our expertise is in the front of the store: broad product selection, efficient replenishment and the sales and marketing support to help move the product off the shelves.”

• The challenges

“There are significant challenges in servicing Canada from a distribution center located in the U.S. Many are compliance issues related to product: ensuring every item meets Canadian labeling requirements, have the proper code approval, have NAFTA and harmonized codes, just to mention a few. Others relate to documentation and licensing to make sure trucks can expeditiously cross the border and clear customs. None of these are trivial or easy. We have spent a great deal of time and considerable expense to make sure each of these issues has been satisfactorily addressed.”

• The market

“The recent changes in Canadian hardware distribution have made it necessary for a significant number of Canadian retailers to re-examine supplier relationships. After much analysis and consultation, we, together with the Castle management, determined that all of the key components were now in place to provide world-class distribution services to Canadian retailers.”

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