Another chapter has been written in a Barrie business success story.
Prodomax Automation has been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2014 for excellence in business performance by Deloitte, CIBC, Queen’s School of Business, MacKay CEO Forums and the National Post.
The award recognizes Canadian-owned and managed companies for their sustained growth, financial performance and management practices.
Prodomax is a specialized industrial engineering company that manufactures production systems for automotive companies which produce underbody components. It designs, builds and installs the production lines that assemble, join and weld vehicle component parts.
Prodomax executive vice-president and chief financial officer Carolyn Garvey said the award bodes well for the company’s profile in Canada and abroad.
“The Best Managed Company brand is recognized not just in Canada but in other countries as well,” she said. “It gives us credibility similar to what an ISO certification (International Organization for Standardization) would provide and opens doors to new markets for us.”
The company was nominated by an official at Export Development Canada, which has provided financing and credit tools to facilitate Prodomax customers in other countries buying its equipment, she added.
Garvey said the award has also “energized” the company’s work force.
“We have many long-term employees that are so pleased that all their years of hard work have been recognized with this prestigious award,” she said. “Employees and management work together to create a balance that incorporates the most sustainable decision for the long term. This allows us to build upon previous successes and ensures we are always working towards our goals of remaining very competitive in winning work and becoming a better place to work.”
Prodomax was founded in 1971 by a former Nortel tool and die maker and was acquired in 1995 by Sab Ravalli (now president and CEO) and David Crook.
To date, more than a $1 billion of its automation technology has been delivered worldwide
“Over 20 years ago we set out to build a team who believed in the goal and vision to be best in class,” Ravalli said. “Our people at every level of the company execute to deliver on what we promise. Receiving this award is a wonderful testament to our employees’ many years of striving to ‘do better at what we do best’.”
Garvey said Barrie offers employees an excellent work/life balance.
“Working parents with children are closer to home and have more time to play,” she said. “Skiing, golfing, kite surfing, sky diving are just some of the activities that our employees can do not just on weekends – but after work on any given week night.
“The challenge for us is hiring senior, experienced personnel in our industry in the Barrie area since there are few automation companies that all need the engineering, electrical, robotics, controls, millwrights, tool and die makers, machinists and welding expertise.”
The outlook for other Barrie companies is also looking rosy.
According to a Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, Barrie-area employers anticipate a positive hiring climate for the second quarter of 2015.
“Survey data reveals that 17% of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter (April to June), while 3% anticipate cutbacks,” said Tara Benson, of Manpower’s Barrie office.
Another 77% of employers plan to maintain their current staffing levels in the upcoming quarter, while 3% are unsure of their hiring intentions, she added.
“With seasonal variations removed from the data, Barrie’s second quarter net employment outlook of 14% is a significant increase of 20 percentage points when compared to the previous quarterly outlook,” said Benson. “It is also a one percentage point increase from the outlook reported during the same time last year, indicating a favourable hiring pace for the upcoming months.”
By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner