(Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) The Ministry of National Defense announced Thursday morning the awarding of a 3.7 billion contract to the Logistik Unicorp company of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu for the supply of clothing and operational footwear to members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) over a 20-year period.
In business since 1993, the company was already a major supplier of work (non-operational) and ceremonial clothing to National Defense. Being selected as the new supplier of operational clothing to the CAF is a major breakthrough.
“This is a historic milestone for Logistik,” says Karine Bibeau, vice-president, customer experience for this family business, with a big smile.
National Defense Minister Anita Anand visited the company’s premises to announce the contract before an audience of dignitaries and employees.
“To carry out their essential missions, members of the Armed Forces must be able to rely on the best tools we can give them,” she said. And that includes, but is not limited to, operational clothing and footwear that meets their needs. »
In the short term, the awarding of the contract will help maintain some 3,000 jobs in the country, Logistik Unicorp doing business with some 450 Canadian suppliers and subcontractors.
But will it create jobs? It is too early to answer this question, believes Karine Bibeau. Just as it is premature to announce any expansion of the Johannes premises at Logistik.
“It’s a 20-year contract. So who knows? But it’s hard to tell based on tomorrow morning,” she adds.
The contract was awarded very recently, continues Mr.me Bibeau. There is a transition period to put everything in place and launch all operations. The first deliveries will be made in a year. Until then, the army will draw from its inventory.
1222 different items
One thing is certain, the agreement affects all groups of the Canadian army (army, navy, air force) and concerns an impressive number of clothing items and footwear adapted to supply 160,000 people, including soldiers, members reserve, rangers, cadets, firefighters, etc.
Over the years, the CAF expects the delivery of approximately 1220 items including combat uniforms with camouflage, parkas, headgear, gloves, mittens, combat boots, boots for extreme climates, sleeping bags, backpacks , crests, badges and more.
“The contract will also allow our soldiers to order online [grâce à un site web transactionnel] the items they need and have them delivered to their homes,” said Minister Anand.
In an interview with the media, Karine Bibeau explains that the company does “all the steps” except for making the clothes and shoes to be delivered.
“We do research and development in textiles, design of articles, quality control, inventory management, distribution, development of websites, computer programs, she explains. Our expertise will allow us to propose improvements in the CAF operational wardrobe. »
Very little equipment is purchased abroad, insists the vice-president. “Ninety-six percent of what we produce in our current contracts with National Defense is made in Canada. She believes this will also be the case in the future.
According to the requirements of the contract, the company is also in contact with the First Nations to find Aboriginal suppliers. One thinks for example of the purchase of fur for winter clothing.
Currently, Logistik Unicorp provides clothing and footwear to some 600,000 people worldwide, including 325,000 in Canada. In addition to the CAF, the company has a few police forces and Canada Post among its customers.
Abroad, Logistik also won a contract in June 2021 to supply all the uniforms of New Zealand soldiers. Deliveries began in February 2022. The company is now trying to land a contract with Australia, of the same type as that announced Thursday morning with the Canadian Armed Forces.
- Number of items shipped annually by Logistik Unicorp
Source: company website