They were equally candid with anyone they owed money
to. They met with the banks and explained their circumstances.
They were forthright, saying to the banks, “If you push the
panic button, you’ll sink the ship and get nothing.” They tried
to persuade lenders that, “everyone had to work together,
including the banks.”
“We didn’t hide,” Morawski said, “no matter how much
Asked if they were ever tempted to walk away and follow
in the footsteps of their energy sector clients, Morawski said
that they had the benefit of historical perspective. “We’d been
here before in the ‘80s with the National Energy Program.
Besides, I think that entrepreneurs are all optimists anyhow.”
The rise up
When their energy sector clients closed shop, Reliable’s
management decided that they couldn’t afford to wait
around for the industry to recover. The Reliable Welding
team knew that drastic measures were called for.
They had dabbled previously in building piling products.
“Before the downturn, about two per cent of our work was
They decided to abandon making drill rig components
altogether and to simultaneously ramp up manufacturing of
piling products. They chose to steer Reliable Welding towards
the infrastructure side of things.
One of the first things they did was sit with a consulting
company. “They encouraged us to really develop our website
to showcase our new product lineup,” said Morawski, “They
A bucket pile being manufactured
helped us understand that we had key selling features that we
didn’t realize we had.” These unique strengths included “our
five-acre property and our very large loaders. The consulting
firm helped us realize that we were well suited to taking on
the manufacturing of larger foundation products.”
Reliable Welding could leverage both its large loaders and
the storage capacity of the large yard in Nisku.
“We can handle bigger pipe. We can handle 30-inch pipe,
with one-inch walls, up to 80 feet long. We have loaders that
can carry that.”
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