Mercury Story

Mercury Marine Canada recently moved its head office from Mississauga, ON, to Milton, ON, further strengthening its distribution processes and its training program for the company's dealers across the country.
At its previous location in Mississauga, general manager Georges Jalbert explained the company was leasing several facilities to accommodate its different divisions and finished product. At its new location, all of the company's operations are under one roof.
“In Mississauga we had 60,000 square feet,” said Jalbert. “As we grew, we needed to have another facility to house our outboards and MerCruiser engines, so we rented another facility that was 15,000 square feet. Then we brought in one of our sister companies, Land 'N' Sea Distributors Inc., so we had to rent another facility, which was another 8,000 square feet. We had more than 80,000 square feet throughout Mississauga.”    
    Jalbert explained another benefit to the new location is the cost savings involved in moving to a larger facility in a more remote community.
    “Being in Mississuaga along the Hwy. 401 is costly,” said Jalbert. “We felt we didn't need to have the exposure of the company being on the Hwy. 401. We looked at the possibility of getting a new facility that is much larger at a lesser cost. We realized that communities such as Milton are looking for larger companies to come into their industrial parks. They made it quite attractive for us to come.”
    Moving to Milton has also afforded the company the opportunity to enhance its dealer training program. Increased classroom sizes for its Mercury Marine and MerCruiser training courses, as well as hands-on test tank engine areas for it outboard and sterndrives are a few of the added benefits that enable students to effectively train and troubleshoot product and technical issues. A bilingual class is also offered, consisting of a combined training course for its outboard and sterndrive engines.  All training is taught by Mercury Marine technicians and personnel – staff familiar with Mercury's current product and technical issues.
“The teachers that train in these courses are personnel. That's why the quality of the classes are much better as they actually live with the issues and know what has happened in the past year with the product out there,” explained
While satellite training for Mercury's dealers has been a one of the key concepts of the company's course, Jalbert explained that it will be discontinued, replaced by the training offered in Milton.
“With this facility, we have closed down our satellite training in Quebec. So all of our Quebec dealers will be coming to our facility. We will close more satellite schools. We couldn't do it because some of the contracts we have in place. We used to have eight, we're down to five. That's part of the cost savings as well.”
In addition to its newly developed training course, Mercury's Milton head office is Canada's main distribution centre for the company's finished goods, the hub for MerCruiser, Mercury Outboards, MotorGuide, Inflatables – even parts and accessories. It's also the distribution centre for its sister company, Land n' Sea Distributor, Inc.    
Jalbert explained products from Japan, China, Stillwater, OK, and Fond du Lac, WI are shipped to Milton, then delivered to Canadian dealers across the country.
“We don't hold inventory like we did years ago. Most of the product that we have here turns over very quickly. So what we currently have in inventory will move out in a month. Then we have trucks come in from Stillwater, OK, and Fond du Lac, WI. We also bring in products from Japan and China.”
The majority of products from the Orient are smaller outboards – the majority of Mercury's market for Eastern Canada. In fact, 2.5 hp to 30 hp engines come from Japan and 40 hp to 60 hp engines are brought in from China. Outboards 75 hp and up are from Fond du Lac.
“In the in season, our trucks bring in products in the late afternoon, then we have a shift come to put parts away in the evening. In the morning, orders are taken and products are shipped that day, and the cycle keeps going. If a dealer orders a part by 3:00 p.m. it will be shipped the next day. The whole goal is to have a much faster response and turn around.” – Steve Fennell