How Open Minds and a Solid Foundation Helped a Calgary Business Give Back

Trimet Building Products Inc. is bolstering its product line in the wake of COVID-19. The Calgary-based manufacturer of construction products is running at full speed and has even increased capacity to make face shields, protective dividers, and hands-free door openers. The devices are sold at cost and distributed to various medical, retail and restaurant facilities across Alberta.

Trimet has already shipped 1,000 dividers, and President Jeff Neufeld says they have orders for 10,000 masks.

What kind of products does Trimet typically make?

Jeff: “We are a custom fabricator of metal roofing and siding products. We also produce light gauge metal products for the residential and commercial construction markets, and the modular trailer industry.

We’re really fortunate to be still running at full capacity as our industry has yet to be affected by the pandemic. Right now, we are healthy, and we can afford to help.”

What made you decide to build these products?

Jeff: “I have some friends in Italy. They warned me in early March how bad things were getting over there. They said, “start acting now.” We just wanted to get in front of it and do our part.

We started having conversations with our operations managers. One of our guys had the idea to build protective screens, and we leapt into action. We had the right equipment already in place. Our first thought was to put them on the plant floor so our workers could communicate safely.

Then we thought we could provide them to health clinics, pharmacies and other businesses. We called Alberta Health Services for their feedback, and they told us to go for it and that every bit helps. Together with Brian Kroeker at Little Rock Printing, we started making plexiglass barriers and then expanded into face shields and hands-free door openers.”

What prepared your company to be able to adapt to building these new products?

Jeff: “Our company keeps an open mind to new ideas and operates with a ‘best idea wins’ mentality. We’re always willing to try new things. We encourage our team to work on new ideas, even during work hours.

This emphasis on innovation led to our latest device, a widget that attaches the elastic strings of a medical mask behind the head to prevent rubbing on the ears.

I’ve been fortunate to have the support of Stawowski McGill over the years. They have taught me to lead with my heart. Strong finances are the foundation of a good business, but leading with my heart has inspired me to run a much better company.”

Even when conditions change, our commitment to supporting your business remains the same. Now is the time to reassess your business plan and adapt to the changing landscape. That’s why we are opening up our firm’s team, and our collective knowledge and experience to any company who may need some help during this crisis, free of charge. Click here to find out more.