A lifelong curiosity grew to become the bedrock of passionate management
Curtis Braber’s enthusiasm for energy machines is infectious. “I do know not everybody finds them horny, however I’ve completed this my complete life, and I get enthusiastic about it,” he says. Now the proprietor of BE Energy Gear, Braber constructed his first strain washer at 11 after his dad launched a sideline to enrich the household agricultural-equipment enterprise. “I might are available daily after faculty and construct them one after the other with these little instruments,” remembers Braber.
Based in Abbotsford, B.C., by Braber’s father in 1991, BE Energy Gear (then known as BE Strain Provide) began out manufacturing industrial strain washers however has since expanded to incorporate three extra product classes: air compressors, energy turbines and water pumps. Totally by coincidence, that product set means they see a number of exercise when a pure catastrophe like a hurricane hits. “We’re there to assist,” says Braber. “It begins with the generator when energy is misplaced, the water pumps are introduced in when the storm surge results in flooding after which the strain washers are available for the cleanup.”
These strain washers nonetheless account for half of the corporate’s manufacturing — with a mannequin for each kind of would-be consumer. Many purchasers are on the economic aspect, doing jobs like cleansing parking garages or washing down oil rigs in Alberta.
BE Energy Gear is without doubt one of the final independently owned producers of its form, which Braber says permits the corporate a degree of flexibility not afforded to its multinational-conglomerate-owned opponents. “We’re nimble, and we are able to develop merchandise shortly,” he says. “It additionally means we are able to adapt shortly to market modifications.” Working example: early within the pandemic, the group was in a position to convert one among its strain washers right into a mister for spraying an antiviral cleansing answer in settings like factories.
Because it turned out, the pandemic was an unexpectedly good time to be within the pressure-washer enterprise, due to folks spending extra time at residence and sprucing up their yards. And whereas that meant gross sales have been nice — enterprise is up 30 per cent — it additionally meant that BE Energy Gear had a duty to maintain its provide chain intact (it exports to greater than 30 nations and manufactures in 4) whereas making certain the group (300 globally, together with 150 within the Abbotsford head workplace) stayed protected and wholesome. That’s the place the corporate’s sturdy collaborative tradition got here into play. “We thrive on engagement with one another,” says Braber, including that the enterprise has many long-term staff. “I often is the proprietor of the enterprise, however I make it very snug to problem me.”