Barcoding, Inc. Learns Valuable Lessons from Canadian Expansion

We were recently featured in Inside Logistics on how we expanded our operations into Canada, and all the lessons learned along the way. We set up our new offices in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal with the same careful planning and efficiency that has made us so valued by our clients, but picked up some valuable lessons in the process that can help us better serve our clients in the future.

General Business Factors
Our intention in expanding into Canada was to improve the service we offer customers in the area and break into a bigger market. We’ve found that companies looking to make a similar expansion should consider their business goals first and foremost when deciding on the best location. For example, Ontario is great for manufacturing and automobiles, while Quebec is a better place for businesses in aerospace.

Another important lesson American companies should heed when doing business in Canada is the fact that it is gigantic geographically, with the distance from St. Johns to Vancouver a thousand miles greater than the distance from Seattle to Miami. This means higher costs for traveling, transportation, and shipping—something businesses need to keep in mind when budgeting.

Legal Matters
There were also legal aspect to contend with, which involved everything from setting up a Canadian corporation, to understanding the different employment and human resources laws, which vary depending on the province. On top of that, there’s the matter of determining which suppliers should be paid in Canadian or American dollars and setting up the right bank accounts.

Cultural Considerations
Cultural differences also come into play, especially when it comes to language, as there are a sizeable number of French speakers in places like Ontario and Quebec. Our President, Shane Snyder, said he finds the best approach is to “listen and learn” before sharing the ways Americans do business.

There are a lot of opportunities awaiting companies that expand into Canada, and although it can be difficult at first, the potential for future growth makes it well worth the effort.

See the full article entitled, “North of the Border,” on page 30 of the December issue of Inside Logistics, Canada’s supply chain magazine, or check out their blog post here.

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