Since launching in 1967, New Brunswick’s BWS Manufacturing has grown from a small family-run business into a successful corporation exporting products around the world. The company’s design and engineering team developed and patented a state-of-the-art detachable gooseneck trailer, establishing BWS as an innovative industry leader.
With 2017 seeing the company celebrate 50 years of innovation and success in New Brunswick, we thought it was the right time to speak with Randy McDougall, President and CEO. Randy offered us his thoughts on leadership, operating in New Brunswick, and more.
ONB: BWS is a past nominee for Innovator of the Year at the NB Export Awards. What does it take for a business leader to see that kind of success?
McDougall: Intuition usually drives the best business leaders to start something great and innovative. They look around for gaps in the wants of consumers in all fields. Once identified, they take action to fill those gaps. Successful leaders must be open-minded in their thought processes in order to cope with the ever-changing world we operate in.
Acknowledging what you don’t know is crucial to long term success for yourself and your company. Hire good people, young or old, that are smarter or better suited than you to get certain things done. Put ego aside, listen more than you speak, and seek knowledge and help from all avenues.
ONB: What do you see as advantages of operating from New Brunswick?
McDougall: New Brunswick is strategically located to service not only Eastern Canada but the entire Eastern seaboard of the U.S. New Brunswick houses more major transportation companies than most other provinces. This allows us to effectively navigate major transportation corridors, and optimize both incoming and outgoing freight costs.
The people here are the biggest asset of course. Pretty much all of our employees are homegrown. We just completed merit awards for 2016 and we have people celebrating 40 years in our employ, and several with us for over 30.
We did a 10-year stint in Ontario prior to returning to raise our family and purchase the business from my father; the decision to come back was the right one. Family, friends, and community are the core of living in New Brunswick. We take pride in what we do. Communities rally together here to accomplish great things and we are compassionate when it comes to those in need.
ONB: Safe to say then that you and the company are NB Proud?
McDougall: We are definitely NB Proud. We are proud of the many great employees that have chosen to join us and build a strong, successful company in rural New Brunswick. We’ve moved from humble beginnings with three employees to a head count of 125. New Brunswick is not only a great place to do business, but an excellent place to build a life and raise a family.
I’ve travelled the globe and have yet to visit a place where we would rather have our headquarters.
ONB: How does BWS plan to celebrate its 50 year milestone?
McDougall: We’ve launched a digital campaign which includes information embedded in all of our website, Facebook, and Twitter content. No matter how you find a link to BWS our 50th anniversary banner will be there flying proudly. All BWS products being shipped throughout North America and abroad will also carry our banner in decal form.
That banner visually reflects 50 years in business as a result of qualified personnel we’ve found, and continuous innovation they’ve made possible. If you look at our product portfolio you see that we introduce four or five new models per year, always with an eye on providing consumers with a “better mouse trap.” We are providing transportation solutions in an ever-changing world with regards to the commodities that must be transported over our highways.
We also recently completed a new state-of-the-art Paint & Finish Facility. There has been no formal opening yet, so we expect to combine that opening with an open house this spring to celebrate our 50th.
ONB: Finally, can you touch on the relationship between BWS and ONB?
McDougall: We have worked successfully with provincial government organizations for more than 25 years now. Opportunities NB may be a relatively new name and entity, but the great support is still the same. Your team works collaboratively with companies like ours to develop opportunities that drive New Brunswick industry, allowing us to create jobs and export our products around the world. I have said many times, some of Canada’s best kept secrets are founded right here in New Brunswick, and continued strong public sector support helps make that possible.
Want to learn more about growing or locating your business in New Brunswick? Connect with an ONB Business Development Executive at the button below.
Cover image via BWS Manufacturing