Along with Woodill and Patel, Langtree, which is an employee owned firm, has some 65 staff in total, at least 15 of those 65 being licensed professional engineers, plus another eight or so that are Engineers in Training, the formal name that the Professional Engineers Ontario uses for the five-year period before the coveted P. Eng. designation is earned. And while the firm has had significant growth over the last 10 years, it’s what Woodill and Patel both refer to as “controlled” or “managed” growth, not at a pace that’s too fast.
An extension of that kind of thinking has played out in a series of conferences where all employees and spouses visit a resort for several days, the last being a four-day, three-night trip to Mexico. There have been eight trips like that over the last dozen years.
It’s about the quality of our services and really understanding what the client needs, not necessarily what they want. —Alpesh Patel.
As the company grows, it does so with an eye not to the next job but for what the relationship with its clients will be in the next 50 years. That also means working well with others, an important way of doing business for a firm like Langtree, which has its specialties, well-recognized and appreciated in its market. “We have pretty well-defined areas that we’re responsible for handling,” notes Woodill. “We try do make sure that’s outlined right up front, so it doesn’t become a problem and that works for us and for the firms we work with on various projects.” Another key factor for engineering in this area is a healthy respect for the industrial environment, where dealing with operating pressures of various gases at 40,000-50,000 pounds per square inch are not uncommon. For those key reasons and beyond, safety is engrained in the mindset of people that work at Langtree Controls, both current and future.
Those kinds of personal interactions ultimately pay longterm dividends for the company as employees are able to relax together and get to know one another outside normal work hours. It also goes a step further as a culture of cooperation and consultation becomes stronger.
Having employees work in a team also means you’re also helping to minimize risk, says Woodill. “There’s a better chance of correcting something before it goes out, which means there are multiple layers of protection.” Now, Patel sees the culture of Langtree as being critical to the ongoing success of the firm. “It’s not just words,” he says. “It’s the way we want to run the company. If people work together in a way that’s going to be a success, they need to understand each other, and we work hard at that.”
Investing in the Bioeconomy
Hiring new graduates out of various engineering schools is part of a process that’s intended to renew the firm over time, notes Woodill. “We stay in touch with the schools—pretty much all of them—and give them all the opportunities possible,” he adds. Sometimes, someone who is from the area has a preference that they’d like to have a career locally, and that certainly becomes a possibility when the desire and the need align. “We’re always in need of quality people who want to be here,” says Woodill, who hails from Whitby, although his wife is from the area.
Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) is a nationally-focused not-for-profit organization based in Sarnia, Ontario. BIC provides critical strategic investment, advice and services to business developers of clean, green and sustainable technologies. Our expertise in commercialization builds a stronger Canada. BIC champions and supports the development of the Sarnia-Lambton Hybrid Chemistry Cluster. BIC continues to help early-stage companies achieve commercial success by: * Providing experienced business and engineering support * Supporting the development of pilot scale and commercial demonstration projects * Removing barriers to commercialization * Providing direct financial investment
“She was happy when we came here.” In Patel’s case, spending five years working in India before working another five years in Saudi Arabia eventually lead to his introduction to the opportunity at Langtree. Woodill became part of the standard process Patel needed to prove he met Canadian qualifications and the rest is history. One initiative that Langtree management employed was to engage the services of a firm that provided a series of team building exercises, done one day a month for four months. Every employee, including management, was involved in the interpersonal skills training.
Process Scale Up
Full Scale Production
‘Creating jobs and economic value sustainably for Canada’
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