layout. We can help make recommendations on the type of van and the size of van that they’re going to need.”

It’s all a matter of changing perspectives and thinking out of the box — well, maybe thinking into a box!

“Something like a barber shop, you don’t need that much space. An office building or small shop in the strip mall, the rents can be very expensive for a very small space. We’re finding that more people are finding it much more cost-ef- fective to own a van and drive it around to where their cus- tomers are, than it is to own property, especially in large centres like Toronto where commercial rents are through the roof. So we’ve been doing a lot more of that in the last two years.” Part of Woodfield’s offerings comes from partnerships they have established with some of the major automobile manu- facturers themselves. This means that you can buy your new cargo van from the manufacturer and have Woodfield up-fit to your specification before taking delivery of the vehicle. “We are certified to modify vehicles,” Hewitt assures. We work with all of the manufacturers directly. So if you buy a new cargo van, you can get an incentive towards up-fit- ting. That means the manufacturer will cover the cost of the modifications, in many cases. Things like adding basic shelves. That is typically geared towards the tradesmen. For example, with GM, if you buy a new Savana, which is their cargo van, or a pick-up truck, you can get a free rack system through us. We would install and deliver it to the dealership and the end user would pick the van up fully completed from the dealer. We work with all of the vehicle manufactur- er’s that offer these incentives.” Woodfield Canada makes the process of getting your vehicle up-fitted quite easy and pain-free. Hewitt points out that collaboration with the customer is key. “There are four of us here who work directly with customers on develop- ing their ideas. Normally, what we would do is stand in the customer’s shoes. So we go out and look at what they are bringing us to work with, get some specs on the machinery and shelving that has to go into the van, including what kind of power is necessary to run their operation.” Going the extra mile is the name of the game for Wood- field. “We have even spent time with customers while they work to see if we can figure out the best way to modify their van and help them work smarter and more efficiently. Then we can do a layout and show them what the inside of the van will look like.” Not to harp on the technical, because every job is different, but in many cases, a business that is operating out of the back of a van requires electrical power. Hewitt explains that there are three major ways to deal with power issues in a mobile setting.

Nevertheless, Hewitt is quick to stress that no job is too big or too small. “Of course, the bulk of the business remains in servicing fleets because that’s where most of the vehicles are that require up-fitting. And one order translates into 20 or 30 vans or whatever. But we do support the one-offs and the single tradesmen. We have a showroom in both places, Toronto and London, and we have small businesses coming in all day everyday to see what we can offer their businesses. We support the big fleets and the one-man- in-a- van-type operations.” “Maximizing work vehicle efficiency through communication, innovation, quality and customer service.” However, perhaps the most interesting development for Woodfield over the last couple of years is the increasing number of non-traditional mobile businesses looking to take their work on the road, rather than put their shingle up on expensive rented property. Hewitt explains the shifting trend, “In the last two or so years we’ve been working a lot more with mobile businesses, or helping a standard business become more mobile. It’s actually really inter- esting the things that people come to us with. We have done barber shops, a dog wash/pet spa, physiotherapists, mobile offices for professionals like insurance adjusters, dental hygienists, hearing testers, the list goes on.” He continues to explain that, while the innovative ideas for mobile businesses seem endless, many people would be surprised at how an up-fitted cargo or cube van could be the answer for businesses struggling with rent and location issues. “Typically, we can get many types of businesses into a cargo van. Normally, when someone like that comes to us, we say ‘hey what do you need and what does your business do?’ After a bit of a discussion we can put together a full

“First, through a power inverter that is wired into the vehicle so the engine creates the power. Secondly the system could

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