The Ironworker builds docks, boats and his own expansion.Just 20 minutes north of Parry Sound Parry Sound, town (1991 pop. 6,125), S Ont., Canada, on Parry Sound, an inlet of Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. It is an active port and the center of a popular vacation area. on Highway 69 lies a small unassuming village called Pointe pointe
In ballet, dancing that is performed on the tips of the toes.
[From French pointe (des pieds), point (of the feet), tiptoe; see point.] au Baril where Scott Kemp has etched etch
v. etched, etch·ing, etch·es
a. To cut into the surface of (glass, for example) by the action of acid.
b. out a niche business for himself and his 12 employees.
Kemp owns The Ironworker, and spends about 80 per cent of his working time specializing in aluminium boats, floating steel-tube docks and wave breaks, boat-house systems, and trailers. The balance of the work done in and around the shop is repair work on construction equipment, boats, trucks-anything made of steel.
As a welder by trade, Kemp began his one-man operation from his home garage in 1989.
"I knew there was a need for welding in this area and that's how I got started."
He soon hired a student to help him and from there his business grew. In 1996, Kemp moved to the two-acre site where he works out of a 5,000-square-foot shop, soon to be over 12,000 sq. ft. In the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of an expansion he is constructing himself, the yard is a hub of activity with finished products ready for pick up and others in progress.
An F-shaped steel-tube dock finished in red cedar red cedar: see juniper. takes up a large portion of the front working space, which is clearly visible from the highway. The wood's clean scent permeates the air as Kemp shows a massive wave-break system placed upon one of his own flatbed trailers. The system was built to protect a customer's boat from the harsh waters of Georgian Bay Georgian Bay, large northeastern extension of Lake Huron, S Ont., Canada, separated from Lake Huron by Manitoulin Island and by the Bruce Peninsula; Lucas Channel is its chief connection with Lake Huron. .
Inside the shop are all the tools of the trade. Kemp trains welding apprentices upon the equipment, following Ministry of Training, College and University requirements.
Because of the high need for welders. Kemp began training people right from the start.
He takes anyone interested in welding and sets him or her up with a three-year apprenticeship.
"We teach them welding, cutting, band saws, cutting torches, plasma cutters Non-transferred arc plasma is a new process of high-temperature plasma arc cutting. Materials commonly cut
Kemp has accumulated over 30 years of experience in the trade. By training others and maintaining work during the winter months, he has been able to build his business and fill the growing demands.
Over the last five years, sales have increased 30 per cent each year, totalling 150 per cent.
"Every year we added more staff and that helps to ring up the sales as well," he says. "And the projects have become bigger, too."
Kemp's dock systems grew out of selling hardware for conventional-type docks. Now, he manufactures customized docks and boathouse systems for wealthy cottage owners, about 60 per cent of whom are Americans.
The specialized, custom-ordered docks and boathouses are made of large steel tubes and vary in price depending upon the size. An eight-ft. by 20-ft. dock, installed with anchor and chain, averages $10,000. As the more expensive docks on the market, they are built to last forever. The strength and durability allows the structures to stay in the water year round, unaffected by the snow and ice remaining, maintenance-free.
The wave break systems constructed for boats and aeroplanes also remain in the water and are able to stand up to and provide protection from the elements.
The construction of his boats developed out of a request for a commercial steel boat.
"These boats originated for the coast-guard, fire departments, and Ministry of Natural Resources."
Like his docks, the boats with truss-style framework constructed out of marine grade aluminium alloy Aluminium alloys or aluminum alloys are alloys of aluminium, often with copper, zinc, manganese, silicon, or magnesium. They are much lighter and more corrosion resistant than plain carbon steel, but not quite as corrosion resistant as pure aluminium. are self-bailing and designed to endure the rocks and shoals
Rocks and Shoals was the informal name of the Articles for the Government of the United States Navy. Justice under the Articles was swift, and tended to be harsh. the Georgian Bay area is notorious for.
Kemp says when the cottage people realized how durable they were, interest grew. As a result, he changed the style and added a wrap around windshield, storage compartments and features to meet customer requests. These are also custom-built, and range in size from 14 ft. to 30 ft.
"They are very utility-type boats-like an SUV only a boat," he says.
As the expansion gradually takes shape, Kemp plans to hire more people to fill the growing demand, as well as to ramp up Ramp Up
To increase a company's operations in anticipation of increased demand.
A company might 'ramp up' operations if they just signed a contract creating substantially more demand for their product.
See also: Demand, Economies of Scale for a future export market for his boats.
By ADELLE LARMOUR
Northern Ontario Business Northern Ontario Business is a Canadian magazine, which publishes monthly in Greater Sudbury, Ontario. The magazine covers business news and issues in Northern Ontario.