|

IDEAL Industries Celebrates 60 Years of Manufacturing in Canada

June 20, 2023

By Blake Marchand

IDEAL Industries celebrated 60 years of manufacturing in Canada on Wednesday, June 14th with an employee appreciation event at their Ajax facility, that also included recent retirees and a few special guests from around the industry.

IDEAL CEO Steve Henn and Chair Meghan Juday also made the trip to help the company celebrate the milestone, along with industry members from EFC and NETCO, and loyal customers like Lance Giesbrecht who arrived sporting an IDEAL Nationals tattoo on his arm.

Fittingly, alongside the celebration was a Tools in the Trade Boot Camp, an initiative IDEAL has been supporting for a couple years now. Tools in the Trade, organized by Support Youth Ontario, gives students and adults looking to change careers an open door into the trades, with some onsite training and a set of tools.

IDEAL Industries Celebrates 60 Years of Manufacturing in Canada

Manufacturing Excellence

IDEAL Industries is a manufacturer that has set itself up for longevity, both in the products they manufacture here in Canada and the U.S., and the company culture they have fostered throughout their history. The company is in its 5th generation of family ownership, and that sentiment has been filtered down and cemented as the foundation of the company.

When speaking with employees, the recurring theme was culture and the people. Giving employees a sense of belonging and the importance of their role in the success of the company, has been instrumental to their longevity.

“Ideal was founded by my great grandfather with one product we made for 100 years, a commutator stone, which, in fact, we sold on the 100th anniversary,” said Juday, “and now we’re making products that we will sell for another 100 years. The wire nut we’re definitely going to be needing that for a very long time. That’s just some of the legacy we have in having this long-term family perspective.”

It is those types of product offerings that allow IDEAL to remain steady through difficult times like the pandemic and the economic uncertainty that has followed. Despite those conditions, IDEAL has had a stronger than expected start to 2023. A big factor in that is the investments they have made over the past five years or so into their production equipment.

IDEAL Industries Celebrates 60 Years of Manufacturing in Canada

“We have the stability in our organization to do things for 100-years, and we don’t even get bored of it, we just keep doing it better and better,” Juday said.

Henn built off that sentiment, noting that products like the IDEAL Can-Twist give them the stability to innovate and develop their product offerings as the industry changes and evolves.

“As Meghan said, 60 years is a long, long time for an operation to be in business,” Henn said, addressing attendees. IDEAL Industries has been around for 107 years total, IDEAL Canada was initially established in November of 1962 and began operations the following year at their current facility in Ajax, ON.

Henn said in recent years they have narrowed their focus when it comes to strategy, “We’re focused on industries that we know are going to last another 100 years, because the family is committed to owning the business long term, and we’re committed to the areas we operate, and we’re trying to show that commitment with new strategy and the investments we’re trying to make.”

IDEAL Industries Celebrates 60 Years of Manufacturing in Canada

“A lot of change in our focus over the last two years,” he explained, “Covid kind of taught of some of this, but, innovation, new products, really understanding what our customers want, is what’s truly going to allow us to be in business for the next hundred years.”

“We make Can-Twist, it’s a fantastic product and I hope we make for another hundred years, but as regulations change, as wiring may change going forward, we need to make sure we have the right products to continue that into the future. Understanding our customer’s needs will really help us make sure we develop those products that we make at all our facilities so that we’re here for another 60, 80, 100 years.”

Henn also noted that lasting as long as they have is difficult to do. They have invested in products that are essential to industries that are essential to our economy. However, it takes more than that to achieve the longevity they have accomplished. Henn, Juday and IDEAL Canada General Manager, Dag Nyhoff’s comments all highlighted the core values of the company. Nyhoff spoke to the team they have developed – which includes three employees that have been with the company for over 30-years – and the enjoyment he gets out of working with the IDEAL family.

Ultimately, at the centre of their success is the people that make up IDEAL Industries, and the way the company fosters inclusion and empowers employees to understand their role in that culture as well as the overall success of IDEAL.

Related

IDEAL’s Newly Redesigned Auger Bits

Available in single or dual flute models, these augers can easily conquer a stack of up to nine 2x4s! With advanced features including an arced cutting edge and coated fluting, these auger drill bits are an efficient wood cutting solution for electricians.

Read More

IDEAL National Championship Recap

Hosted by HGTV’s Chip Wade, the Seventh Elite Trades IDEAL National Championships wrapped up this Sunday in Tampa, Florida with top apprentices and pros taking home a just under $200,000 in prize money. The Canadian contingent fell short of the podium but put forth an impressive effort, as 6 of 11 Canadians made it through to the second round…

Read More

Related Articles


Latest Articles


Changing Scene

  • SkilledTradesBC CEO, Shelly Gray Named to BIV Influential Women in Business Award

    SkilledTradesBC CEO, Shelly Gray Named to BIV Influential Women in Business Award

    February 22, 2024 SkilledTradesBC have announced CEO Shelley Gray is one of six women selected for Business in Vancouver’s Influential Women in Business Awards 2024. Shelley’s nomination was based on her work leading the organization through a critical year of transition and transformation, including the implementation of Skilled Trades Certification. It also celebrated SkilledTradesBC’s record-breaking year in… Read More…

  • AEA Award 2024: Carson Keen Presented with Emerging Leader Award

    AEA Award 2024: Carson Keen Presented with Emerging Leader Award

    February 22, 2024 Carson Keen was presented with an Emerging Leader Award at the AEA Calgary 2023 Christmas Luncheon this past December for his remarkable career and contributions he continues to make within Alberta’s lighting industry. Carson’s career within the lighting industry began over 15 years ago, with 13 of those years being spent at… Read More…

  • New Supports Announced for Apprentices to Purchase Tools and Technology in Nova Scotia

    New Supports Announced for Apprentices to Purchase Tools and Technology in Nova Scotia

    February 22, 2024 Two new grants will help Nova Scotian apprentices purchase tools and technology to support their training and launch their careers. The Province will provide a one-time grant of up to $1,000 to purchase new tools, equipment and clothing required, while a technology support grant will offer up to $900 for a computer… Read More…

  • IDEAL Electrical™ and BILT® Make it Easier than Ever to Learn Conduit Bending

    IDEAL Electrical™ and BILT® Make it Easier than Ever to Learn Conduit Bending

    February 22, 2024 Conduit bending – one of the hardest skills for professional electricians to master – is now easier than ever to learn, thanks to a first-of-its kind partnership between BILT, an app that has revolutionized step-by-step interactive instructions for DIYers and IDEAL Electrical, a 108-year manufacturer of electrical tools and supplies for professional electricians.  The… Read More…