How much do you know about Elasto Proxy’s capabilities? Maybe you place an occasional order for coils. Maybe you receive releases of gaskets against a blanket purchase order instead. Elasto Proxy is both a rubber distributor and a gasket fabricator, but we’re also more – a lot more. If you haven’t talked to Elasto Proxy in a while, now is a great time to learn what else we can do for you. Why take a chance on an untested supplier when what you may need is available from a trusted partner? Continue reading
This year, Elasto Proxy celebrated its 25th year in business. In June, I shared some reflections about where our family-owned company has been, where we’re going, and what it means for you. Today, as 2014 draws to a close, I’d like to review our year with you, and share a few thoughts about 2015 and beyond. Like any growing global company, Elasto Proxy faces challenges. Yet our challenges represent opportunities, and I’m pleased to report that we’re making the most of them.
Change is the Only Constant
January 2014 seems like a long time ago, but we began the year thinking about a role for rubber seals in rail safety. As you may recall, the December 2013 derailment of an oil train near Casselton, South Dakota reminded us of a similar disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. The high cost of oil seemed here to stay, but now the price of a barrel has plummeted. Did you see that one coming? Markets are cyclical, of course, but price corrections and even recessions can make winners stronger.
For Elasto Proxy, part of the strength of our business lies in the diversity of the markets that we serve. Defense spending may be down, but there are growing opportunities in other industries. For example, as cars and trucks incorporate more electronic components, demand for EMI shielding will rise. Some business opportunities are global, but there’s still a need to serve local markets, too. Niche players can find a foothold and grow their small businesses into medium-sized enterprises. That’s been our strategy.
Building for the Future
Throughout 2014, Elasto Proxy invested in the future. In August, we announced our acquisition of an infrared film splicer. Did you know that we sold our die-cutter, though? Simply put, keeping it didn’t make sense. Plus, our water jet cutting machine makes fine, fast cuts – and without long lead times or tooling charges. Next year, we plan to invest in a robotic cutting center. 3D printing is hot, and we’ve used it for auto parts prototyping, but there’s a lot to consider as a fabricator.
Technology investments are important, but equipment isn’t Elasto Proxy’s only asset. Cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) may transform manufacturing, but there will never be a substitute for talented, dedicated employees. In successful organizations, the “human touch” still counts. That’s why Elasto Proxy invests in employee training, and works hard to improve internal processes. We’re proud of our ISO 9001:2008 certification, and continue to embrace lean manufacturing.
How Can We Help You?
People, products, processes, and production equipment are force multipliers here at Elasto Proxy’s headquarters in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. We’re also especially grateful for the strong contributions of our solutions providers in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada; Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA; and Shanghai, China. For a company that began in a basement, Elasto Proxy certainly has grown!
So how can we help you? Do you need seals and insulation in 2015, or would you just like to learn more about us? Look for us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has a YouTube channel, too. There, you’ll find our Capabilities video, as well as other informative content. Finally, please subscribe to our free e-newsletters.
Happy holidays, everyone! On behalf of Elasto Proxy, I hope your 2014 was a success – and that your 2015 will be even better.
What was your life like 25 years ago? Where did you work? What were you dreams? Did you think then that you would be where you are today? As the company that Donna Sharpe and I co-founded turns 25, it’s time to reflect on where Elasto Proxy has been – and where we’re going. Our family-owned business began in a basement. Now we’re a growing, global company. The journey has tested our mettle at times, but Elasto Proxy’s future is brighter than ever.
Hopefully, some of the lessons we’ve learned can help you in your own company and career.
Find Opportunities in Growing Pains
Do you remember what the economic landscape looked like a quarter-century ago? Memories of the Great Recession of 2008 are still fresh, but the Crash of 1987 was also far-reaching. As large companies began to rebuild their business models, the economic downturn of 1989 caused even more pain. Back then, some might say that 1989 was a bad year to start a business. In hindsight, these dislocations were like “growing pains”.
When I left my job with a large manufacturer of industrial rubber products, Elasto Proxy began as a small business in my basement. Back then, the market for rubber parts such O-rings, fluid seals, and profiles was small. Elasto Proxy anticipated increased demand during the 1990s, however, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) gave us a boost. At my first tradeshow, a defense industry event in Ottawa, we met our first customer.
Working with defense contractors provided Elasto Proxy with a strong start, but our small company also began solving sealing challenges in other industries. Changes in supply chain management worked to our advantage. Instead of keeping large quantities of inventory in stock, manufacturers wanted just-in-time deliveries of rubber parts. By providing specialized and ready-to-install sealing solutions, Elasto Proxy also aided efficiency in industries such as automotive and mobile specialty vehicles.
Learn, Listen, and Work Together
Did we mistakes during the past 25 years? Of course. The important thing is to learn from them. During our startup phase, for example, we delayed our entry into trade organizations and associations. Today, Elasto Proxy is a long-time member and proud contributor to groups like the Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA), the Groupement des chefs d'entreprise du Québec, and Canadian Association of Defense and Security Industries (CADSI).
In addition to working with these and other organizations, I’ve also served as president of the International Sealing Distribution Association (ISD). Much has been written about social networking, of course, and Elasto Proxy is committed to on-line engagement (as this blog entry proves). But technology has not changed the importance of personal relationships. What technology has changed is how buyers find suppliers, and the speed at which buyers can access information.
Gone are the days when a plant’s purchasing agents would hear in-person pitches from a long line of salespeople. Today, buyers want to work with partners who listen to all of their requirements before recommending solutions. On-time, low-volume shipments of high-quality parts are essential. Rapid prototyping and fast turnaround times are expected. Partners and technologies can and do help, but companies must make the choice to innovate – or fade away.
How Can We Help You?
In 1989, a fax machine in the office seemed like a luxury. In our shop, water jet cutting was available but hardly mainstream. Today, communications travel around the world at the speed of email and it’s the 3D printing of prototypes that captures our imagination. Companies like UPS and FedEx have helped us to strengthen logistics, and retail giants like WalMart offer lessons in material handling.
How can Elasto Proxy help you? For 25 years, we’ve been solving sealing challenges and strengthening supply chains. Join the conversation today. Look for a post with a link to this blog entry on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Elasto Proxy has pages on all of these social media websites, so all that’s missing is you.
I hope you’ll subscribe to our free e-newsletters as well. They’re a great source of information delivered right to your email inbox, and provide links to blog entries like this one.
Elasto Proxy designs and custom fabricates specialty seals, thermal and acoustic insulation, vibration dampening products and materials, EMI shielding, and other high-quality rubber and plastic parts. By listening to all of your requirements and analyzing all of your needs, Elasto Proxy’s solutions providers can recommend solutions that are right for your application.
Each week, we will blog about a topic that can help technical buyers and top managers make informed purchasing decisions. How can we help you?