Are you considering expansion into Canada?

An Interview with AdvoCare’s EJ Lucien, SR Director of Distribution & Customer Service

Q: Why did AdvoCare® decide to go after the Canadian market?
A: With a very strong business in the U.S. market, the time was right for AdvoCare to look at international expansion. Based on a combination of factors including market similarities and geographic proximity, Canada was selected as our first international launch. We quickly realized that shipping from the U.S. to Canada was not a sustainable long-term solution to service our Canadian customers and as such, we looked for the right Canadian Logistics Company to partner with to launch our Canadian operations.

Q: How did you navigate through Health Canada’s regulations and the various cross border logistics?
A: When we first started looking into Canada, we hired a law firm and an independent regulatory group to assist us with looking at all the requirements to comply with Canadian regulations. After having invested a significant amount of both time and resources into the licensing process of getting our products approved for sale in Canada, we started looking for the right Canadian-based fulfilment partner. Very late in the game, we (fortunately) found Stalco! We were absolutely delighted to find a partner that was a one-stop shop that could assist us with managing the regulatory process in addition to all of our Canadian logistics requirements. In fact, I only wish we had found Stalco earlier on, as they have completely streamlined the Canadian regulatory process for us, and helped our team navigate through a very steep learning curve.

Q: Can you comment on your experience with the overall implementation process – everything from systems integration to inventory movement?
A: We made the decision to partner with Stalco only six weeks prior to our actual targeted Canadian launch date. Within that six week period, we were able to work closely with the team at Stalco to rapidly implement all of our regulatory requirements, systems integrations and in-bound inventory movement to ensure that we were ready for our launch date – all without any hiccups! From regulatory through to systems integration and warehouse set up, the entire team at Stalco was absolutely incredible to work with and 100% committed to helping us meet our targeted launch date. We were able to quickly and easily automate the processes between our order management system and their warehouse management system (WMS), allowing us to seamlessly push order information to Stalco and receive package-tracking information back from them. We also have online access to Stalco’s WMS for complete real-time visibility of our inventory levels, and other useful reports, to monitor and manage our business and ensure adequate inventory levels at all times.

Q: Finally, what has your experience been regarding fulfillment, order processing, and delivery times in Canada?
A: Stalco operates and processes orders seven days per week, which we know will serve us well in achieving an overall average of 2-5 day delivery throughout Canada.

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AS SEEN IN DIRECT SELLING NEWS, MAY 2018 ISSUE