Alumicast is a small die-casting plant located in Barrie, ON. We specialize in producing high-quality aluminum and zinc high-pressure die-cast parts ranging from 0.2 – 26 lbs per casting. We currently manufacture parts for the automotive OEM and aftermarket, light trucks, renewable energy, BBQ and outdoor recreation, LED street lighting, and sign mounting hardware industries.
We believe family comes first in times of need and support all staff when and where possible to deal with family matters.
We strive to meet our customers’ needs by providing quality products produced in a safe and cost-efficient manner.
Tell us about yourself?
Often in family-owned and operated businesses, you tend to spend a lot of time running it. Nine to five is just a myth. I literally grew up in the factory, working before and after school from an early age. I covered all operations at one point over the years, from manufacturing to secondary ops to packaging the product. Deliveries to sales. It has been quite an experience watching and pushing change. Manufacturing has always been interesting to me. I was fortunate to have toured many amazing factories around the world and tried to implement valuable processes in our plant.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Work harder but smarter. Don’t accept the first answer received if it doesn’t sound or feel right. Trust your gut more. Push goals listed over the goal line, and they don’t have to be in perfect order.
What problem does your business solve?
We are a small team but very good at developing a good process to produce high-quality die-cast parts.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Originally, we started manufacturing conduit fittings for commercial/industrial construction of buildings. Back then, there was often a lack of product available whenever the United States was busy building. Product would just not be readily available. My dad, Joe, decided to start producing electrical fittings. We started with 1/2 – 1″ sizes of couplings and connectors, then added 1 1/4 up to 4″ sizes, then just kept adding different product lines.
At the high point, we were supplying all of our distributing competitors’ parts under a private labelling agreement. The company grew, and things were good for years. Then larger companies in China, Mexico, and India started flooding the market with cheap, inferior product that managed to erode the market. Old original buyers with practical experience were replaced by young inexperienced buyers who were just price-focused. Market always dictates what your pricing level needs to be. The decision was made to refocus the business into custom die casting. There are days when we look back and wonder if it was the right decision, but not many.
Today our customer base is generally large national or even global in size, but all need a good, solid, capable, and reliable source. Lately, the swing back to local or domestic sourcing has become more of a factor, and we (Alumicast) will ride the wave!
What is your magic sauce?
I touched on this earlier. Our team is very experienced, capable, and creative in coming up with casting processes that produce consistent, high-quality parts. We have had our share of tough years and have become very lean and creative as a result. Our limitations are few and far between. Our equipment capacity is also very diverse in size, allowing us to service many different types of sized casting.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We know our capabilities. We have a strong, diverse customer base that is growing. Our immediate focus is to partner up with a local entity with more horsepower than we currently have available. The “domestic” sourcing is happening fast, and we want to best prepare ourselves for the growth. Doubling our sales is not unreasonable with all the signs and ongoing discussions.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Our company has never been properly financed in the traditional sense. Sched A banking in Canada only seems to be available to the manufacturing companies that have extremely strong balance sheets, are tech-driven or don’t need any loans.
Hand-to-mouth was the norm for many years until we connected with a factoring facility we felt, at the time, was a good solution. Our company experienced solid growth. However, the factoring facility controlled the deck. To part ways proved very difficult, expensive, and nearly bankrupted the company. The entire experience proved to be very negative and had a deep, damaging effect on the company. But as mentioned before, the team rallied back to continue operating without interrupting, and the customer supply chain then fought thru the last two years of ridiculous global pandemic supply chain issues, and here we are stronger than ever. Ready to take on bigger challenges!
How can people get involved?
We are very open to working with any company that is looking to repatriate casting work! Email me at [email protected], check out our website, or call me at 705 715 1666.