After donating land on Great Northern Way to the Universities’ Trust in 2001, Finning relocates their global head office to this newly emerging tech hub.
Originally a tidal floodplain, the False Creek Flats are 300+ acres of land near Vancouver’s downtown core. After functioning as an industrial hub in the city for many years, the Flats have recently undergone another transformation—becoming a centre for technology innovation and education.
Finning, the largest Caterpillar dealer in the world, has recently relocated their global head office to 565 Great Northern Way. “We operate in three regions, globally—Canada, the UK & Ireland, and South America—with nearly 13 thousand employees,” explains Elisha McCallum, Director of Global Communications for the company. “We sell and service Caterpillar equipment, and also offer technical and digital insights and support to our clients and to help them be more efficient in their own business,” she says. While the company’s move to this emerging digital hub is part of the their push to expand in technological innovation, it’s also a return to their roots.
Not only was Finning one of the original businesses in the False Creek Flats, the company actually owned the land way back when. “In 2001, when Finning decided to gift the land at Great Northern Way to benefit local post-secondary institutions, we were aware of the need for space to expand access to education. This was one of the ways we could give back to the communities where we live and work,” says McCallum. “It’s really fortuitous that in 2018, on our 85th anniversary, we were able to return to our roots and relocate our global head office to lands that were an integral part of our company’s history and will play an important role in building the workforce of the future.”
In addition to the history, Finning was keen on the site for its proximity to other innovative thinkers. “It’s exciting and inspiring to be in the centre of a digital innovation hub,” says McCallum of the lands at Great Northern Way. “Several leading tech and digital companies will be joining us as tenants in this building, and we are surrounded by some incredible, cutting-edge thinking happening at Emily Carr and the Centre for Digital Media. It all helps put us in a great head-space to think outside of our usual approaches to the sectors we serve.”
The new space brings together Finning employees from three different offices under one roof. “As a global company, having several teams together in a single location helps us to work together in a more nimble, flexible way—it’s always more beneficial for culture and team building to have direct collaboration, face-to-face and be able to work together in real time,” explains McCallum. “This open, bright, technology-enabled space creates an opportunity for us to have meetings on-the-fly, brainstorm and to find solutions together, in a single space.”
Finning plans to continue growing with their customers and clients. “Our goal is to stay agile and be responsive to their needs—whether it’s a small business owner grabbing a part at a parts counter, or a global client requiring a data-driven autonomous vehicle solution at a mine site. Our job as a company is to innovate and serve our customers—and this new space is doing a great job of encouraging our teams to do just that.”