In the spring and summer of 2010, we developed an analysis and recommendations for an existing, non-profitable HEDC business operation – the Waglisla Freight Company. Focused on supplying the Nation’s more than one thousand community members with basic necessities, the company’s operations were examined to determine efficiencies and employment opportunities for Heiltsuk community members. A graduate intern investigated the company’s supply chain in detail and held stakeholder interviews with key employees and community members. The remote location of Bella Bella, located on Campbell Island and accessible only by sea and air, made the logistics for optimizing the freight operations particularly challenging.
As the result of our recommendations developed with HEDC, the community has chosen to relocate the freight company’s head office operations back to Bella Bella. This change provides both increased employment opportunities (direct and indirect employment) and allows for better coordination of community shipping priorities. In addition, HEDC and other business units are now considering alternative procurement options to streamline supply, logistics and transportation of goods in and out of the community. These changes will create significant savings for the community and help the Heiltsuk meet their economic development goals.