In the highly competitive and often secretive world of mining technology and innovation, Rock-Tech is finding success in being as open and transparent as possible.
The Sudbury-area company’s philosophy, according to president Ricky Lemieux, is to foster trust, and the best way is to be forthcoming with what the company has to offer.
“Only by being transparent will we be successful,” he said. “We make products that last for years and we are always developing new features. We have to show we will be there when products need to be serviced and replaced.”
The company specializes in manufacturing equipment specifically for underground mining, with a product range covering utility vehicles, rockbreaker systems and fuel/lubricant and handling systems. Its products are designed to provide maximum return on investment and operating uptime.
All their products come with aftersales service that includes parts management, trained field service technicians, certified rebuild programs and service programs.
He attributed that dedication and hard work from everyone at the company for their success. Located in the suburb of Lively, the company has grown by 60 per cent in the last three years, which is attributed to the more open and informative atmosphere the staff has embraced.
This is a major change from when the company limited communication and kept their business operations largely secret.
Now, they get a lot of business clients that walk in looking for products, as well curious visitors who want to know more about what the mining supplier is about.
Everyone gets to see how the company works and what services they offer.
That openness shows how sustainable the company is by demonstrating they care about the products they produce and the clients purchasing and running them.
There are still aspects of their business that are kept private, but the majority of information is open to the public.
As technology changes, so do the products. In the past, mining equipment like theirs were just iron and steel machines. In recent years, they have advanced so much they can be described as computers on wheels, featuring telemetry, distance operation and automation.
When they started offering these features, it added a whole new dynamic and challenges to the company. Looking back, they are happy they did. “It was a leap of courage,” Lemieux said.
With those changes, he sees mines and miners of the future needing a new skill set to operate these machines. Lemieux sees a shortage in skilled workers looming in the industry, as well as increasing costs of doing business.
Mines are going to need to be more competitive, he said Rock-Tech will find solutions for that.
Beyond the business aspects. Rock-Tech is active in its home community. Most notably, it has been a supporter of Miners for Cancer. “We’ve seen many friends and family endure treatments, so we know the struggle,” Lemieux said.
They also involved with the annual Dragon Boat races, and sponsor high school bursaries.