Since 2004, Fredericton’s Thermtest has led the way in advancing the measurement of thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat, all from its north side location in Fredericton. This month, they are set to celebrate their impressive growth with a move to a brand new 15,000 sq ft facility in Hanwell’s Industrial Park.
“We have been in our current space for 13 years and have outgrown it several times over. It’s well at capacity. For perspective, our production team will go from having about 400-500 sq ft to 3,000,” says President and Founder Dale Hume. “This new location gives us the ability to continue on a growth path. It’s not just the building, the Industrial Park has more room to grow if/when we need it. This is an exciting time for the entire Thermtest team, and we can’t wait to get started in our new home base.”
Growth Comes from Export Success
The larger facility comes just a few months after Thermtest launched its latest HUB in Taiwan to facilitate its push into the Asian market. Hume says roughly 97 per cent of the company’s business comes from exports, and its expansion model for distribution has proven to be the right approach.
“Like our HUBs in Europe, the US, and Latin America, the point is to manage the distributors. We’re not selling from Taiwan to all of Asia. It’s about having a closer extension of us inside the region to manage the distributors and help them do business.”
“We are thrilled to be joining the Thermtest family,” says Gary Chu, Regional Sales Manager of Thermtest Asia. “With strategically placed HUBs located in the US, Argentina, Sweden, and now Taiwan, Thermtest Asia is set up with the support and tools needed to serve the demand of the Asian market.”
International Talent and a World-Class University Shape the Workforce
Hume says much of their team are graduates of the University of New Brunswick. “The university produces great engineering talent, they’re a huge asset to us and to the region in that respect.” He says Thermtest has attracted talent originally from Brazil, China, Cameroon, the Philippines, Greece, Argentina, Uganda, and other parts of Canada. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project has been of great use and the recent surge in newcomers to New Brunswick has also helped fill certain roles this year. “One interesting side effect of remote workers moving here and buying homes is they bring their spouses, and that’s helped companies like us. We’ve recruited from those new arrivals to the province with factory experience in Ontario and Quebec, experience like that isn’t as common here.”
New Brunswick Companies and Export Success
Hume says New Brunswick companies need to focus on learning to sell their product themselves. “Some companies, I think, fall into a trap and say ‘hey, we signed a great distributor’ and then expect sales to roll in. That’s not how it works. Know how to properly sell your product before you approach any distributor, that way you can help them. Have your pitch, and thus your marketing messages and assets in place and they will serve you no matter your target market. You’ll just need to translate it and you’re good to go.”
He also cautions against going big to start. “See if there’s good synergy between you and your distributor. Give them a few sample cases and help them make sales. It may mean you’re making less than if you sold direct, but you get to see how hungry they are, how hard they are willing to work for you and with you.”
Lesley Hillier, Chief Global Strategy Officer, says companies should be availing themselves of the export-related services offered by trade commissioners, embassies, and ONB. “All of these groups will get you connected to the right partners and clients on the ground in whatever export markets you’re looking at. For ONB’s part, they’ve supported our growth every step of the way, whether it’s with recruitment, equipment needs, trade shows and missions, or general advice on who to connect with. Great resources are here for companies serious about exporting.”
ONB continues to tell the success stories of clients like Thermtest, the companies building the New Brunswick we envision. Keep an eye on this space and on our social media: Twitter – Facebook – LinkedIn – YouTube
Images via Thermtest