If there’s one guiding principle that Paul Woodward reminds his workers of daily, it’s that the trust, integrity and respect that develops between client and company is a delicate balance that should never be taken for granted.
“It takes months to find a customer and seconds to lose them, so you’d best be managing your day-to-day affairs accordingly,” said Woodward, vice-president at The Bucket Shop.
That advice has held the familyowned Timmins company in good stead for close to 30 years. The Bucket Shop has been manufacturing and refurbishing specialty buckets for surface and underground mining equipment since it was founded by Ross Woodward, Paul’s dad, in 1990.
This year, it’s moving into a brandnew 65,000-square-foot shop — the company’s fourth expansion — and its staff tops out at 150 employees during busy periods.
Specialized equipment in the new shop will include state-of-the-art technology for ventilation, fume extraction, cutting, and bending, as well as a heavy bay with a 70-tonne overhead crane, one of the largest overhead cranes in the region.
It’s a mark of the company’s perseverance and commitment to quality that it’s continued to work steadily through the rollercoaster-like ups and downs of the mining industry.
Last summer, the company completed a large project in Québec, commissioning equipment for Toromont and Wajax slated for major mining projects in Baffinland. Following that, Woodward said, The Bucket Shop started working on a project for a company in California.
The company has maintained a presence at the Las Vegas MINExpo and the Elko Mining Show in Nevada, and those marketing campaigns are paying off, as The Bucket Shop adds customers in export markets.
“Our buckets in Africa are doing well,” Woodward said. “We’ve now got buckets in Alaska and the Yukon, and we’re very excited about those opportunities. We’ve also set up dealers throughout northwestern Ontario as well as into Québec, and we continue to look for dealers on a global level as well as across Canada and into the United States.”
Woodward said putting innovation at the forefront of its ideology has kept The Bucket Shop at the top of its game. The castings are in their third, and sometimes fourth or fifth, revisions and the company works continually to fine-tune the performance of its products.
Innovation has allowed customers to extend the lifecycles of their products by two to four times what is offered by their competitors, Woodward said.
“The product line is working very, very well,” he said. “It’s propelling us forward at a rate that keeps us dancing to stay caught up.”
Woodward said much of the credit for The Bucket Shop’s success goes to its staff, which have been recruited from around the North, and even as far as the East Coast, to work at the Timmins facility.
The close-knit workforce feels very much like a family, Woodward said, and the company strives to ensure everyone works safely every day.
“Our business is only as good as our people,” he said. “So the mission to continue to try and attract the best people we can find is paramount.”