Member Milestone - Porcupine Engineering Services Inc. celebrated 10 years in business

Date ArticleType
11/4/2014 Member News

Porcupine Engineering Services Inc. celebrated its 10th anniversary with a staff luncheon on October 31, 2014. Brian Emblin, Mario Colantonio, and Frank O'Donnell took a few moments to tell us about the business.

Q: Provide a brief description of your business.
Porcupine Engineering Services has been operating in Northern Ontario since 2004. In our Timmins office, we presently have a staffing of technical personnel offering mechanical, electrical/instrumentation and civil/structural engineering expertise in the industrial field. Should the need arise; we have affiliations in place with complementary firms to add capabilities in process engineering and design, and mining engineering and design.
PES offers a very wide range of expertise in:

  • Conceptual and detailed engineering design
  • Construction drawings and specification preparations
  • Project management
  • Procurement
  • Process research and development
  • Feasibility studies
  • Technical and economic evaluations
  • Installation supervision
  • Plant commissioning and start-up
  • Technical and operating assistance
  • Energy conservation studies, energy audits

In addition, PES is willing and able to align themselves with other firms to take on specific projects where additional or specialty services are required. The principals of PES and their employees have many associates and relationships that have demonstrated this “teaming” up approach for our clients.

Q: How many employees do you have?
It has cycled over the years based on demand and the economy, at the peak, in 2008, we were 65 people, today we are at 29. 

Q: What factors have helped you to successfully reach this particular milestone?
Diverse client base across all industries. A strong competent employee core group. Customer service oriented- We are very flexible in our response to client needs.

Q: What has been your most memorable moment in business?
The day we started has to be the most memorable moment. That decision to do it and kick it off was exciting and scary at the same time.

Q: What’s one interesting thing about your business that people might not be aware of?
The first thing people are surprised with is that we employ nearly 30 people in Timmins and now have a Sudbury operation that employs 10 people.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you have overcome as a business to reach this milestone?
I would say that finding the right person to work in this engineering services provider business is the most challenging. The business is quite cyclical and our people understand that. It’s not for everyone.

Q: What has your experience doing business in Timmins been like thus far?
Timmins and the region has been a very good place to work. Our clients understand the value of engineering and appreciate the responsiveness of a local firm.

Q: Describe how your business started, and how it’s changed over the years.
Certainly the size and scope of projects has changed. In the beginning, clients were likely weary about trying out a new, small, company but as we grew, so did our ability to deliver on larger and larger projects.  Having said that, we still take on very small assignments as we did in the beginning.

Q: What can we expect from your business in the future? Are there any plans on the horizon you would like people to know about?
I think that expansion is in our future; we have already expanded to Sudbury but want to continue growing on relationships with local contractors and industrial customers. Expansion to service a greater geographical area but still be anchored in Timmins.  

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