DJB Mining, Rock-Tech and The Walden Group recognized for their achievements
Three Northern Ontario mining supply companies were honoured at the Northern Ontario Business Awards gala in North Bay September 26th.
Daniel Brunet, president of DJB Mining Products and Services in Timmins, won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Rock-Tech won Company of the Year honours in the 16 to 50-employee category and The Walden Group took home the Export Award.
The awards program, organized by Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal’s sister publication, Northern Ontario Business, has celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit and business achievements of individuals and companies in Northern Ontario since 1986.
With humble beginnings as a one-man operation refurbishing and manufacturing buckets and customized John Deere underground tractors in a 1,400-foot trailer, Daniel Brunet has grown DJB Mining Products into a thriving business with 30 employees operating out of a 27,000-square-foot shop.
The company uses advanced align boring equipment and its marketing strategy focuses on building customer loyalty and brand value. The mining industry accounts for 80 per cent of DJB’s business.
Sudbury-based Rock-Tech, winner of the Company of the Year Award in the 16 to 50-employee category, manufactures the Titanium line of underground utility vehicles, the Rhino Series of rock breakers and SatStat portable fuel/lube storage and handling systems. The company attributes its success to exceptional customer service and a commitment to product improvement through new technology and investment in research and innovation. Rock-Tech credits its customer-focused strategy for a 60 per cent growth in sales over the last three years.
With locations in Sudbury, Timmins, Spanish, North Bay, and more recently, Mexico, The Walden Group, winner of the Export Award, has three operating units: Walden Equipment and Walden Electrical in Sudbury, and J&S Manufacturing in Spanish, 115 kilometres west of Sudbury. The company manufactures a wide range of underground equipment, including ANFO loaders, boom trucks, scissor lifts, fuel/lube trucks and pipe handlers. It also refurbishes used equipment and provides tensioning and hoisting services.
The company used to do business almost exclusively in Canada, but over the past six years it has grown its export market, targeting mining operations in Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Germany. Negotiations are now underway with distributors in Mongolia and Africa.
The Walden Group established a sales and service centre in Zacatecas, Mexico, hiring four employees. It also launched a Web-based parts and online Web portal for its international clients.
The company added 10 staff to its Northern Ontario operations specific to manufacturing for its export market and increased its overall production by 30 per cent.
Through initiatives like the Northern Ontario Exports Program delivered by Ontario’s North Economic Development Corporation, exports now account for 20 to 30 per cent of the company’s sales.