Innovation in Industrial Services and Products

The BESTECH story began 15 years ago in Sudbury, and in a very short time has become a well-known example of a company’s successful evolution into a one-stop solutions provider in response to the needs of its clients.

IRJ had the opportunity to speak with Marc Boudreau, President and CEO of BESTECH, who reflected on the history of the company, and its journey to becoming a world-class innovative service and product supplier for the industrial markets.

Building a business to service a community

Boudreau and his business partner, Denis Pitre, started the company as young engineers wanting to build something of their own, back in 1995. “At the time, there was a need for automation companies in the north” Boudreau reflects. “So we started with automation, and that was the first division of the company.

Soon after we integrated technology in order to reduce our customers’ costs and increase their productivity—back in ’95 that was the main focus” he adds.

It was soon after that when the company had success attracting business outside of automa­tion, and BESTECH’s management decided to formalize their engineering division, bringing the company up to seven employees. “We had two divisions running for about five years, until we created our software development business four years later” Boudreau explains.

Developing divisions

BESTECH has never been a company to rest on its laurels. The company earned an air quality monitoring contract in Sudbury with two of min­ing’s global powerhouses: Xstrata and Vale Inco. The company leveraged opportunities from these newly formed relationships. “We took the oppor­tunity to set up an environmental division to meet the needs of our larger clients,” Boudreau says, taking community and environmental focuses to a whole new level.

Demonstrating business sustain­ability in Sudbury, the environmental division blos­somed and BESTECH technicians took up work in mining companies’ facilities, calibrating equipment and keeping operating stations up and running.

Clearly, the environment and sustainability initiatives are not something BESTECH, or their customers, take lightly.

Sustainability—at the forefront of business

BESTECH has both internal and external policies embedded throughout an extensive Quality Analysis and Quality Assurance process, which the company uses to minimize impact on the environment in every project they take on. In addition, BESTECH is a firm believer in Business Process Management (BPM) tools, and uses these to reduce internal waste and optimize efficiency. BESTECH is a licensed retailer of the K2 BPM product, which assists their customers in improving internal efficiencies.

BESTECH offers a number of other environ­mental products, including Air Quality Monitoring Software, which is currently used in the Xstrata and Vale Inco facilities, and they also offer the in­novative NRG1-ECO software (see page 52).

A new area of focus

In tandem with growing the environmental service division, the company developed its next focus: software. Providing Professional Services to their customers is one thing, but being able to provide a useable product is where Boudreau’s eye has been for quite some time.

The company’s latest efforts under their sustainability umbrella include creating the NRG1-ECO Consortium, which is a group made up of government, private and research-based organizations. This consortium works to establish efficient processes and approaches for the use of energy to maintain environmental sustainability with customers today and into the future.

“We now manufacture these software and hardware products, and we also have a construc­tion division to support the manufacturing section of the business” he explains. BESTECH now has a staff compliment of over 70 engineers, software designers, automation specialists, project manag­ers and support staff. Boudreau is careful to note that although several companies are in direct com­petition with BESTECH in certain areas, BESTECH’s competitive edge comes from offering solutions and services, which is where the business has garnered strength since its humble beginnings. “In addition to offering a wide range of products and services, we’re always looking for even more ways to improve our customers’ productivity.”

BESTECH is known for its innovation and high standards of excellence and has been rec­ognized with the “Innovation” Award from North­ern Ontario Business and the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. BESTECH was also awarded the Make-It-Real Award for community involvement. In 2008, the company won the prestigious Bell Business Excellence Award as the 2008 “Com­pany of the Year” by the Greater Sudbury Cham­ber of Commerce and demonstrated their legacy of community success.

A culture of success

Along with their awards and accolades over the years has come a great team. The strong man­agement culture at BESTECH has encouraged a lot of young people to join the company, and that young culture contributes to the foundation of BESTECH. “It’s a very dynamic environment,” Boudreau says, “and we have a culture that’s based on trust”. Trust and a solid, hard-working staff are compliments to the sound business guiding principles BESTECH has developed over the years. Those guiding principles include; de­veloping processes that lead to continuous im­provement, self-discipline, commitment, and, of course, innovation. Bearing those principles in mind, the BESTECH staff is sure to succeed at any new venture before them. “We drive these principles home with our people, and our culture is based on them,” Boudreau insists.

BESTECH is currently a world leader in their business areas. The company operates in an in­ternational headquarters from Sudbury, in addi­tion to one in Timmins, and even plans to open a Latin-American office in 2010—hoping to provide enhanced localized service in these markets in the future. “The next two to three years,” says Boudreau, “things are just looking really good for BESTECH and our clients.”

Boudreau tells IRJ that BESTECH custom­ers can expect much in the future, despite the affects seen on industry by the global reces­sion. Based on the current industry demand for BESTECH’s extensive services and product solutions, Boudreau expects that BESTECH products and services will be in high demand during 2010.