IKEA has opened its massive Distribution Centre and Customer Distribution Centre in Beauharnois, Quebec, near Montreal, to enhance its omnichannel capabilities.
The facility is just over one million square feet – the size of 13 American football fields – and it replaces the company’s Brossard DC/ CDC, which is 925,696 square feet.
Mathieu Rochon, Central Fulfillment Unit Manager and Director of Beauharnois’ Distribution Centre and Customer Distribution Centre at IKEA Canada, said the facility will become a cornerstone of progress, serving not only as a hub for its operations but also as a testament to its unwavering dedication to delivering excellence and being a home away from home for its co-workers.
“We have two main businesses in this Distribution Centre. The first one is delivering to the stores. We distribute to stores from Winnipeg to Halifax. Mostly the East Coast and Central Canada and the GTA and also to customer distribution centres in the GTA and these are locations where we send e-commerce orders directly to the customers,” said Rochon.
“This new centre can house 244,000 pallets on site here. This is why it’s so important for us to distribute to the stores and be more efficient, store more goods and be closer to the customer and be more efficient that way.”
The retailer said the new Beauharnois facility is the first IKEA Distribution Centre in over three decades.
It said the state-of-the-art Beauharnois Distribution Centre and Customer Distribution Centre will play a pivotal role in streamlining IKEA’s logistics operations, ensuring that products reach customers’ homes with increased speed and accuracy. By optimizing its distribution network, IKEA aims to further elevate the shopping experience and meet the ever-evolving needs of its valued customers by notably using automated storage and retrieval systems as well as automated goods to person picking and packing solutions, it said.
The new Beauharnois location was awarded LEED Silver certification and is equipped with 20 electric vehicle chargers for co-workers and guests. The retailer will install 15 electric vehicle chargers for commercial fleets, in December, supporting IKEA Canada’s ambition to provide zero emission home deliveries by 2025.
The facility will have over 380 workers.
At the heart of the IKEA Beauharnois Distribution Centre and Customer Distribution Centre are over 380 co-workers.
The retailer operates 16 stores in Canada.
A DC is a central warehouse that receives goods from suppliers and distributes them to stores and CDCs. In Canada there is only one DC in Beauharnois that services IKEA stores in Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. BC and Alberta stores are serviced by a DC in the United States that is in closer proximity to them.
A CDC holds stock for home delivery and pick-up orders where each order is individually picked and packed for final distribution to the end customer, either directly or through a hub. IKEA Canada maintains CDC sites in Beauharnois, Mississauga, Vancouver, and a third-party facility in Kleinburg, ON.
“We are unique in Canada,” said Rochon. “We distribute to both the stores and the customers directly and we’re the only unit in Canada that does that.
“There’s a lot of automation in here. We want to be fit for the future. We want to be a leading omnichannel retailer in Canada . . . so we really invested in automation.”
The company said the Beauharnois CDC is using a first of its kind interface solution in IKEA that creates an interaction between the carton creation machine (Packsize) and our Warehouse Management System (WMS) that knows the size of the customer order. This means the right size box can be prepared for the customer order automatically saving time and materials for co-workers.
An Automated Storage and Retrieval System is installed to receive, store, and pick full pallets of merchandise. This system comprises over 90 per cent of the storage and handling capacity for the unit.
The CDC employs Goods-To-Person Picking using a tote bin Automated Storage and Retrieval System that receives and stores less than full pallet quantities of product for customer direct orders. This system brings totes to a picking station to fulfill orders, then returns the totes to the storage array.