Selix Equipment Inc. is focused on safety and after-sales service

By Kim Biggar

In less than four years, Ottawa-based Selix Equipment, which supplies drill rigs and consumables to the deep foundation construction market, outgrew the facility where it was launched in 2011, moving in early 2015. Now sharing an 18,000-square-foot space in an industrial park in the city’s east end with Shore Machine Works – a provider of welding repairs, fabrication and precision machining services that is also owned by the partners in Selix – the company has more than doubled the area of its old location.

In addition to servicing equipment in its shop, Selix’s mobile mechanics – its “drill doctors” – repair clients’ rock drills, drill rigs and hydraulic rock breakers anywhere in Canada.

“As fast as a plane will take us, a technician will be on site if required to fix equipment that’s not operating as it should,” said Selix’s president, Mario Roussel.

Maintaining an inventory of essential parts also enables the company’s quick responses. The parts department is now large enough to require two full-time employees.

For relatively uncomplicated fixes, technicians provide remote service, talking equipment operators through repairs, thereby reducing downtime and costs, including service-related costs.

Seven Selix employees – five on the road and two in the shop – provide after-sales service. These workers have received extensive factory training from the manufacturers of the equipment Selix sells to ensure that they’re able to safely and competently make necessary repairs. Roussel says that this training is expensive, but believes that both employees and customers benefit from it.

Company background
Not yet five years old, Selix is still fairly new to the industry. Its management team, however, is not. Roussel and his partners, Mike Deschamps and Alain Mainville, have 25 to 30 years’ experience each in the drilling supply and service industry.

With their common niche long in place, the three partners chose to run complementary businesses serving the construction industry. Deschamps looks after the day-to-day operations of Shore Machine Works, while Mainville and Roussel are in charge of Selix. Between them, the two companies employ 28 people – 13 at Shore, 15 at Selix. 

In addition to being a distributor of new products from Sandvik, Mc Drill Technology, International Construction Equipment, Inc., Geax and other international manufacturers, Selix sells and rents used drilling machines acquired as trade-ins on sales of new equipment.

Service and safety
“Safety is very important at Selix,” said Roussel. “All of our technicians have taken several safety courses, and they maintain and upgrade their training whenever changes make that necessary.”

Ingrained to be safety-conscious, the technicians both protect themselves on the job and share safe processes with clients as they service and repair their equipment.

Roussel attributes at least part of the company’s success to its focus on service.

“We have grown because of our service reputation,” he said.

With clients in such places as northern Manitoba, Fort Frances, Ont. and Atlantic Canada, Selix has made a point of responding quickly to needs, wherever they may be felt. Clients know they can count on that service, says Roussel.

What's to come?
2015 was a big year for Selix. Not only did the company move to its new, much larger quarters, but it also became the new distributor for two European product lines. Early in 2016, it added yet another line to its offerings.

Roussel foresees the company focusing in coming months on building the market for Geax, SPD and Lintec products, working to make them as popular in Canada as they are in the European construction industry.

Given the pace of expansion that Selix has experienced since its start, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the company continue to grow in the future, with new lines, new clients or both.


Sign Up

To receive our e-newsletter in your inbox, please provide your e-mail below.

About Us

Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.