Belt Conveyor Guarding has changed the way customers and the industry sees the importance of safety guarding. “One of our objectives is to get people to change their thinking about safety guards. Guards are often an afterthought, but it is more than just a guard, because the quality of your guard is going to affect your productivity,” commented Operations Manager Scott Monkman. A company history that dates back more than 20 years, the family owned and operated Belt Conveyor Guarding was originally a manufacturer and installer of material handling equipment.
In recent years, economic change forced Belt Conveyor Guarding to revamp its way of business, which now sees the company promote its refocused product lineup. Karen Vandergeest, Vice-President of Belt Conveyor Guarding, told The Canadian Business Journal, “When the recession hit, we had to redesign our business. At the time, we were doing guarding on site, as it was part and parcel with the maintenance and installation work being performed at various plants.
“When the recession hit, a lot of our corporate customers cut funding for large capital projects, so we had to look at our business model and develop a new conveyor guarding marketing strategy.”
Over time, safety guarding became the new forte of Belt Conveyor Guarding, and the company was reborn during the recession. Today, Belt Conveyor Guarding is an industry leading specialist of safety guarding, working with companies across North America.
With its success, Belt Conveyor Guarding has secured preferred vendor status with several large corporations throughout North America. Currently, the company is focused on growing its expertise in its home North American market, and then soon shifting to opportunities that exist in South America and Mexico.
“We reinvented our whole business,” Vandergeest summarized. “In a recession, you’re spending money that you technically don’t have to develop a successful product and business model.”
Belt Conveyor Guarding stands apart from its competition in offering clients customized products and solutions to meet their specific requirements. While the competition retails to a smaller opportunity of standardized safety guarding, Belt Conveyor Guarding offers clients customized safety guards that do not require modification, ultimately making for a simplified product installation and improved compliance.
“About 75 per cent of the guarding that we supply replaces guarding that exists and isn’t compliant,” added Monkman.
Vandergeest described, “Some companies try to mimic what we do, but we feel that we are always a step ahead in producing superior products and educating companies on guarding compliance. We involve all stakeholders in the decision process, not just purchasing. This ensures that everyone from the laborers and maintenance personnel all the way up to the corporate decision-makers get maximum ROI.”
Versatility in the Marketplace
With a successful history in the mining sector, Belt Conveyor Guarding remains active across several sectors, including pulp & paper, food processing, petrochemical, steel, power generation. The mining industry includes its own segments, like gold, copper, iron ore and potash. These markets have all proven to be active and beneficial opportunities for Belt Conveyor Guarding. The company also has strong representation through assessments, conducting safety audits for companies looking to improve their current safety policies. Monkman explained, “We have experienced some hurdles, but we are also making a lot of inroads. We are very versatile, we are unique, and we have a lot of opportunity in different industries.”
One of its newest initiatives, Belt Conveyor Guarding recently launched GuardSmart™, a series that is described as helping clients ‘attain zero injuries’ through information bulletins on various safety topics.
GuardSmart™ serves as a proactive approach toward workplace safety measures, protecting employees from their equipment. Advocating “the solution is simple: Stay Away, Stay Safe”, the value of GuardSmart™ is evident everywhere, not solely the industrial and mining sectors.
Jerry Power, Marketing Coordinator with Belt Conveyor Guarding, detailed, “The GuardSmart™ series is our educational initiative that is meant to create awareness and invoke discussion amongst the industry. Our main goal is to help companies attain zero injuries, zero accidents, and zero missed time. We want to keep high awareness that risks do exist and how problems can be avoided.”
Belt Conveyor Guarding has emerged as a leading North American safety guarding manufacturer by recognizing and responding to industry needs. Belt Conveyor Guarding offers customers turn key safety guarding solutions, from on-site assessments to design, manufacturing and installation of superior products. Clients also experience high quality customer service, attention to detail and education on proper safety guarding procedures.
Vandergeest summarized, “We work with and for our customers; we become ‘partners’. They are involved throughout the process so they know the product they are getting is going to be of the highest quality. We all share the same goal — eliminating workplace injuries. If we can help save someone from coming into contact with a piece of moving machinery and potentially hurting themselves, then we know we’re doing the right thing.”