“I have a special place in my heart for the Greater Moncton region, having been born and raised in Dieppe. It’s great to be able to give something back to this community,” notes Thinkmax President and CEO Marc Belliveau. “I spent four months in New Brunswick last year isolated at my cottage and was reminded of why I still love it. I also realized the world is ready to work remotely, and that’s likely not changing.”
Headquartered in Montreal, Thinkmax is a management and IT consulting company serving upper middle-market clients across North America. Thinkmax transforms businesses through the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365, Optimizely, and more. The Thinkmax team delivers digital transformation solutions (ERP, CRM, e-commerce, marketing automation) to notable clients including Joseph Ribkoff, Woodbine Entertainment, the Royal Canadian Mint, and Alcool NB Liquor.
Choosing Moncton for Growth
Late 2019 saw the Thinkmax team looking into offshoring. Leadership saw high growth potential in the e-commerce side of the business and decided to build a delivery centre where new technical roles could be established. With COVID-19 hitting in early 2020, Belliveau and his team decided to pivot and keep their operations in Canada.
“COVID changed the world, obviously. We didn’t want to drop the idea of a new centre, however. Rather than offshore, we committed to creating more jobs here at home,” says Belliveau. “I quickly thought of Moncton, because I knew we could find well-educated tech talent there, and bilingual talent to boot.”
Belliveau says the overall economics of the New Brunswick play made sense, the right talent pool was there, and support was in place to make the move easy. “ONB did a great job showing us the many pros of New Brunswick. It was exciting to work with people who are promoters of New Brunswick and proud of the business ecosystem it offers. The guidance and spiritual support from ONB has been as important as anything else.”
Focus on Culture
Thinkmax plans to retain top talent in Moncton by creating an interesting work environment and allowing for flexibility in terms of where people do their jobs. “We know people can get the job done at home. COVID has made everyone embrace that; I’ve been at home for over 12 months now myself. People will still need face-to-face interaction and collaboration, but we know we need to be flexible to keep talented people engaged with their work.”
Belliveau wants their new downtown Moncton office (located on the 2nd floor of 695 Main St) to have the feel of a tech company. “We’re business consultants, so if you enter our Montreal office, you’ll find a traditional high-end office décor with people in more traditional business wear. The Moncton office is not customer-facing, so I want it to have more of a tech company vibe to their culture.”
He says that while working in the office every day won’t be necessary, he’s looking for people that still want to know their co-workers well and socialize after work. “We have built a strong nucleus of people that enjoy working together. We have a big focus on culture as a result – how well we all get along and work together is crucial to our formula.”
Building a Team
Since its founding in 2009, Thinkmax has grown to a team of roughly 150 across its offices in Montreal, Toronto, and Austin, Texas. Ten people have already been recruited in Greater Moncton.
They are still looking to grow. Belliveau plans and expects that the team will grow to 50 in the next few years, and he wants local talent to know that Thinkmax is a project-centric business offering a chance to work with interesting clients from multiple sectors. “We’re all about projects and collaboration; it’s a high-energy environment and I think New Brunswickers are more than ready to tackle the kind of work we do.”
He says the company is investing in New Brunswick for the long term. “I’m going to be spending a lot more time in New Brunswick moving forward. I’m not ready to retire just yet, but I’m old enough to think about it. This past year helped me realize what a beautiful place it really is. It’s still in my blood.”
Have the skills for a career with Thinkmax? Find out for sure here.
Learn more about the historic building housing Thinkmax in Moncton here.