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Distributions Franco and BDC: Staying on the fast track

Distributions Franco

Francis Côté and members of his family hit on a winning formula when they founded Distributions Franco in 1999 to distribute non‑food items to convenience stores, grocery stores and service stations across Quebec. But dealing with rapid growth has not always been easy for this Quebec City‑based business.

The owners began importing products directly from Asia in 2008. This move enabled them to diversify their merchandise and keep prices competitive. As demand grew, they realized they would have to start purchasing in bulk from their Chinese suppliers. Meanwhile, outdated operations and administrative processes were hampering efficiency.

When approached by Distributions Franco, BDC Financing provided a working capital loan for twice the amount requested based on the company’s strong growth potential and solid management team. Deferred capital payments helped preserve cash flow and a separate loan allowed for the purchase of new computer systems. BDC Consulting helped the company standardize processes and restructure human resources.

BDC’s financial and professional support resulted in real gains in efficiency for Distributions Franco. With improved processes and clarified human resources roles, distribution channels were broadened, the company expanded its client base and improved its profit margins. Sales grew by 400% and net profits increased tenfold.

Francis Côté and his co‑owners now have more time to devote to their executive role. “BDC understood our potential for growth and provided us with the funds and assistance required to bring the company to a whole new level of success,” he says.