Epson Canada shuts down local warehouse operations

Epson Canada has announced plans to restructure its operations, resulting in 28 full-time staff cuts in its call centre, administrative and warehouse facilities at the company’s Canadian headquarters in Toronto.

As of August 1, warehousing, customer accounts services and credit along with some technical services will be consolidated to Epson’s American operations, said Tony Rossi, director of sales and marketing at Epson Canada.

The call centre, which makes up half of the approximately 250 Epson Canada employees, will remain in Toronto along with the company’s sales and marketing team, said Rossi.

“We will remain in Canada with the sales and marketing team and a technical service team that’s a bit smaller than it used to be,” he added.

According to Rossi the reason behind the changes is to grow Epson’s business more profitably in Canada. “We’re here to grow the business and we felt there was some consolidated moves that would improve and streamline our overall operations,” he said.

“The consolidation of much of our logistical operations into Epson facilities in the U.S. will have no impact on Epson Canada’s ability to deliver high-quality, timely service and support to both our channel and retail partners and customers,” Rossi added.

Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Epson America has built a 750,000 square foot distribution facility, which will now coordinate all deliveries to Canada.

With a distribution facility of that size, there is “no need for a warehouse in Canada if they’re going to have such great volume of printers in Indianapolis,” said IDC analyst Bradley Hughes.

One thing Epson Canada needs to continue doing, added Hughes, is localizing its products for the Canadian French market, a responsibility that used to belong to its Toronto warehouse.

But with the new facilities in place, Rossi said, the warehouse in Indianapolis is more than adequately equipped to handle localization of products.

In Canada, Epson will continue to offer its products both direct to retailers like Future Shop and Staples as well through distribution partners like Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Synnex Canada.

“Our distributors will order products as they have in the past, receive products as they have in the past and they’ll have the same level of support as they have in the past,” said Rossi.

For Synnex Canada CEO Jim Estill, this restructuring will not affect his company’s relationship with Epson. “As a matter of fact, this actually means they will put more of their business through distribution in Canada,” said Estill. “Change is inevitable in our industry. The companies I worry about are the ones that do not change. Epson is changing and I see opportunity in it.”

Rossi said Epson Canada will continue to have an inside sales group that will deal with VARs and resellers. He added that the company will also move certain accounts through distribution because “we feel they will be better served.”

“The distributors we’re working with excel in their field which is logistics and they will be able to provide quicker turnaround times of products to the various channel partners,” he said.

According to Hughes, Epson has been doing well in both the inkjet printer and MFP market in Canada over the last year. “Epson has been improving over the last year,” he said. “In the last quarter they passed Lexmark to the number three spot.”

It’s the same story for MFPs, said Hughes. “In Q1 they were number two in the inkjet MFP space, whereas in Q1 last year they were number five.”

With restructuring planned to be completed by the end of July, said Hughes, it will be interesting to see what great an impact the change will have on Epson’s market share during the highly anticipated retail periods of back-to-school and the holiday season.

“Product availability in the market is not changing,” said Rossi. “In fact we’re looking at expanding our market share and growth in Canada.”

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