October 27, 2016
A Prince George business networking group has helped a local drilling company improve its bottom line and expand its footprint into the Lower Mainland.
Geotech Drilling, headquartered in Prince George, specializes in geotechnical, environmental, geothermal and exploration drilling. Over the past 20 years, the company’s focus on continuous improvement and growth has made Geotech Drilling an industry leader.
In 2013, Jason Oliver, Geotech vice president, joined the Manufacturer’s Executive Council (MEC), a senior executive peer mentoring group led by a facilitator from Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. Northern Development’s Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program has helped offset the costs of the MEC program for Geotech Drilling and seven other local industry players, allowing them to more easily access the resources and expertise that MEC offers in order to help their businesses grow.
Four years later, Oliver remains in the MEC group, which meets on a monthly basis in Prince George to discuss challenges and opportunities within their businesses, market conditions, business intelligence and taps into the collective knowledge of seasoned, like-minded business owners and leaders.
“While the networking is valuable, the greatest benefit from the group is the sector intelligence from [complementary but non-competing] businesses that helps you capitalize on emerging opportunities and better defines your market position,” said Oliver. “It was just such strategic intelligence that prompted Geotech to make the investment and open an office in Vancouver this year. “The company is committed to growth, downsizing is not an option,” stated Oliver.
Although Geotech employs more than 200 staff and works on projects around the world, its roots are here in B.C. It made sense to expand their market reach into Vancouver, where infrastructure and commercial projects are abundant and it provides visibility to the more than 600 mining companies that call Vancouver home. Oliver said his company has had a lot of experience with public sector funding programs, but Northern Development’s Competitiveness Consulting Rebate is one of the best he’s seen and it has really helped Geotech.
“We joined MEC for the networking, but the financial contribution from Northern Development through the Competitiveness Consulting program has been the value-add for Geotech. Northern Development is an organization whose legitimate purpose is to help well-managed companies do better. That is rare. Geotech has also accessed the Competitiveness Consulting rebate to optimize their health and safety program thorough on-line reporting. “The 50% rebate was the tipping point for Geotech to make the investment. Many funding programs create such an administrative challenge that they are not worth the effort. We recommend Northern Development programs to other northern businesses that are trying to do better.”
The Trust is currently soliciting interest from business owners in Northeast B.C. to form a MEC in Fort St. John.
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