Imperial Manufacturing Group
Richibucto, New Brunswick
Manufacturing plastic and metal products for HVAC, construction and retail
Primary market: Canada, US
Number of employees: 700
President: Normand Caissie
The SKU advantage
Like most companies whose fates are tied to Canada’s slumping residential construction sector, Imperial Manufacturing Group has had to work harder during the past couple of years.
However according to its president Normand Caissie, the company, which makes plastic and metal heating, ventilation and air conditioning products, as well as a full line, of residential home building and renovation supplies, has kept ahead by tightening its organizational controls. This included what Caissie labels a “right sizing” process that better aligned managers and their functions, which in turn enabled to company to trim staff in certain areas.
“We realized that you can’t manage a business in which you stock 7,200 SKUs (stock keeper units) just based on gut feelings,” said Caissie. “So we decided to implement an enterprise resource planning system, which ties all of our information management processes together such as purchasing, financing, forecasting and inventory.”
The fact that Imperial Manufacturing Group produces many of the products that is sells here in Canada (though it also has a procurement office in China), provides a big advantage. “Customers would rather support a domestic maker than an importer even if they have to pay a slight premium,” he explains. “That way they don’t have to worry about paying duties, freight and so on, and they know if they need to return stuff it can be managed relatively easily.”
Caissie is also proud of Imperial Manufacturing Group’s efforts on the environmental front, which include using as much green packaging as possible, and managing scrap, to minimize the amount of waste produced.
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