Drive Magazine Article

Drive-Feature

drivemagNormand Marcoux and Darryl Dufresne left the business meeting on that fateful day,  with a deal described as “a win-win situation.” The business partners had just signed a deal to purchase the assets of the former Mondex Machining Ltd., At 6490 Hawthorne Dr. In Windsor. Upon leaving the meeting, they learn that the world was in a catastrophic state. You see, they sealed their business deal on September 11, 2001.

After spending days glued, like many of us, to the television, the pair had no choice but to forge ahead with their business plan. It was a time however, when their industry couldn’t get any worse. The industry had been facing a slow growing recession since the beginning of 2001, so by the time tragedy struck on 9/11, it seemed Marcoux and Dufresne were doomed. In actuality, the pair managed to maneuver a very different kind of fate with the creation of AMS – Advanced Machining Services Inc. With two machinists and only one active customer, this task seemed enormous. “In just twenty months our customer base now numbers more than 40 in the automotive, agricultural and recreational sectors” boasts Marcoux. The growth of their customer base necessitated the growth of the team. AMS now employs 18 full-time and four part-time team members.

“Our success is directly related to the care and attention to detail provided by our excellent team members,” Marcoux says. AMS worked swiftly to become ISO 9001:2000 registered, which played a pivotal role in their aggressive sales campaigning. The company has also two CNC lathes with large barfeed capabilities to compliment its existing CNC milling operations, developing a propriety line of fixture components. They’ve also instituted a computerized management system. These changes have enabled AMS to diversify its customer base into new sectors including automotive, agricultural, recreational vehicles and consumer goods. Together, the duo has more than 45 year of complimentary machining and management experience. After proving their capabilities, they have been well received in the machining industry. “People enjoy dealing with our team” Dufresne believes. “We are striving to provide the best possible customer service in our industry, quality machining and competitive pricing.

Dufresne and Marcoux agree that their personal and professional respect for one another has forged a strong business relationship. They work closely together, communicate openly and frequently. In a word, they trust each other. “We really have different personalities,” explains Marcoux, describing himself as the optimist with the business-oriented role and Dufresne as the realist, the one with the vast technical experience. All issues however are addressed by asking the one simple question: “What is best for the company?” What is best for the company?” What is best for the team is also considered. They believe in employee empowerment and employee trust. Employees enjoy an environment void of punch clocks and power-tripping supervisors. “We’re not back there (in the plant) babysitting grown-ups,” says Dufresne. “We’re teaching them to behave like and to think like, business people. It’s really uncharted territory to run like this in this industry,” Marcoux affirms.

Dufresne and Marcoux have invested in their employees through training and have instituted a structured quarterly profit sharing plan. New ideas are welcome and appreciated. Both Dufresne and Marcoux believe that “the quality of product and service provided by AMS is directly due to the competency and professionalism of our team!”