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SAMSSA inducts two into supplier hall of fame

March 1, 2012
by Heather Campbell
In: News with 0 Comments

 Mark Andrews, the recently retired vice-president of Carriere Industrial Supply (CIS), a Sudbury-based manufacturer of buckets and other wear products, and Bruce Diplock, until recently owner of Sudbury-based Dixon Electric, have been inducted into the Sudbury and Area Mining and Supply Services Association (SAMSSA) Hall of Fame.Andrews started his career selling motorcycles and snow machines in the Northern Ontario town of Kenora in his early teens. A few years later, he secured a position in the mining industry at Noranda’s  Mattabi Mine in Ignace, Ontario. This early underground mining experience gave him the knowledge he would use years later to secure one of the biggest deals in CIS’s history.In 1979, he joined Armand Carriere and his son Mike at CIS in the once booming town of Cobalt, starting as the company’s outside salesperson.  In those days, it was just the three of them.  A decade later, when the Sherman and Adams iron ore mines shut down, the company’s employees packed their bags and relocated to Sudbury along with their families.Andrews played a key role in the development of CIS’s Linerwear and Bucketwear software products for monitoring component wear life and helped with the launch of the company’s innovative bolt-on bucket, which led to a $7 million contract from Inco.  The bolt-on bucket can be assembled underground in only eight hours and is rented on a cost per ton basis.“Whatever they mine is what they pay, and we take care of everything else,” Andrews explained.

“We grew because we studied what clients needed. We worked very closely with Coleman Mine staff to find the best solution. Most people don’t want to make rash changes to the bucket.  We basically cut it in half and bolted it back together. Everyone looks at you like you’re nuts, but it now fits into any area you want and you bolt it back together.  It allows us to leave the bucket on longer and to change components underground instead of welding.”

The buckets are now being used by mining companies all around the world. Andrews says his strategy for success was simply to focus on the two areas they were good at – buckets and liners. “We were not in the bucket business in Cobalt. We were selling explosives, but we had to adapt when we moved to Sudbury. We listened to customers and created a collaborative relationship with them,” said Andrews. John Gil, a former manager of Coleman Mine, was an influential person in Andrews’ career as he was the client who challenged CIS to develop a better bucket and worked alongside Andrews to find the best solution.

Andrews’ motto was always “We want the business not just the order.”  Focusing on the business has nurtured client relationships that span 20 years.  “The mining world is close-knit and your reputation is your word,” said Andrews.

There have also been challenging times along with success. The tough economic climate of the 80s and the more recent 2010 year-long strike at Vale took their toll. “We had to let go of half our staff. We went from 130 employees down to 62. That was tough.”

Employee loyalty has been a priority for the company because of how hard it is to find qualified people. However, it didn’t take long for CIS to bounce back to its current head count of 125.

Andrews’ expertise will not be lost as he plans to continue making himself available to the industry through his consulting firm, Wearwise Consulting.

Retirement includes devoting his freed up time to his love of planes and family. “I have a Glasair Sportsman 2+2 float plane to build. After 40 years of working hard, I’m ready to enjoy my retirement.”

Bruce Diplock has been in the electrical industry for over 40 years, supplying products to mining, industrial, commercial, government and institutional markets.

A graduate of Electrical Control Technology from Humber College, Diplock has seen the company grow from one branch in Sudbury with nine employees to 50 employees with branches in Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay.

 

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