Safety, industrial and janitorial products distributor
Primary market: Canada
Number of employees: 300
CEO: Claude Taillon
A catalogue of achievements
The recession hit manufacturing and industrial companies hard. So naturally suppliers to those firms also felt the pinch. However the best managed ones, such as Tenaquip, managed to fine tune their strategies to maintain or boost profitability even during the tough times. “We understood early on that sales growth would be difficult during 2009,” said Claude Taillon, president of the safety, janitorial and industrial products distributor. “So we compensated, by partnering with our vendors and customer base to keep our expenditures down.”
That said, keeping customers satisfied remained the main focus Taillon said. He attributes the company’s success to its focus on specialized products. “I rather look at our relationship as one in which we are an extension of our customers’ procurement departments,” said Taillon. “We have more than 400,000 stock keeper units in our inventory, including almost anything that you would find in a plant, building or material handling facility.” Many of those items at displayed in thick catalogues that Tenaquip has produced and distributed to actual and potential clients, and which continue to be a fixture on purchasing managers’ desks across the country.
Taillon also credits the company’s Key Account Program which helps major customers cut their process costs while simultaneously gaining new product knowledge and expertise, as another key success factor.
Taillon joined Tenaquip in February 2005, a rough time for the firm, which had been suffering a loss of direction brought on by a progressing illness ailing company founder Ken Reed. Taillon took on the CEO role later that year and has not looked back. “I do have a successful track record of running companies,” said Taillon. “But filling the shoes of such a visionary man … is definitely the highlight of my career.”
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Peter Diekmeyer Communications Inc.