While other companies are trying to figure out how to outsource manufacturing jobs, Mississauga entrepreneur Ernie Lynch has figured out how to keep them here and still be competitive.
As a result of his success, his manufacturing company, Lynch Fluid Controls, has recently been named one of the four Ontario finalists for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
“Lynch, early in the game, understood that in order to compete, it had to embrace automation,” Marketing manager Ken Mah told YourMississaugaBiz.com. “We have the ability to compete on a global level.”
The Argentia Road company conceptualizes 3D modeling, design, planning, engineering, automated manufacturing, assembling and validating fluid power motion control manifolds and integrated hydraulic systems.
“We don’t make huge volumes like the car industry,” Mah said. “We manufacture high-value, low-volume product but we can also do lower-value, high-volume in the evenings.”
Mah said that the company is also dealing with an industry-wide problem in trying to hire, as the average age of employees at companies like Bombardier is 55.
While the company employs approximately 90 people, Mah said Lynch competes against a similar company in the United States that has a staff of nearly 400. “We have embraced automation in order to compete anywhere in the world,” he said.
Now, almost half of Lynch’s revenues come from outside of Canada.
Mah described Lynch’s adoption of automation as being “end-to-end.”
“We can do a single order that uses computer CAD, 3D modeling analysis, then we take it right into our machining,” he explained. “The robotics do even the littlest things.”
While Lynch has a mix of labour, their adoption of automation has extended to the point of implementing SAP, a resource software product. “We believe it’s going to be absolutely essential, because you’re going to need to see your [key performance indicators], from the top level,” he said.
Lynch has also developed a lot of in-house monitoring systems, including CCTVs.
Not bad for a company that evolved out of the founder’s house. “Twenty-six years ago it started in Ernie’s basement,” Mah said. “Now we’re almost at 95,000 square feet.”
Lynch is one of four Ontario entrepreneurs named as finalists in the cleantech and manufacturing category. The overall winner will represent the region at the national gala held in Toronto on 27 November.