Since opening the doors of its Cullman facility a mere four months ago, Concours Mold has already exceeded its projected number of employees and plans to double in size within a year’s time, company officials said during a recent Chamber tour of the plant.
The late September tour of the Canadian company’s Alabama plant, sponsored by the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce Existing Business and Industry Committee, gave participants an inside look at not only the process of tool and mold construction and repair but also an early glimpse of what promises to be a thriving operation in the coming years.
Concours Mold opened its doors on May 25, 2004, with General Manager Mike Soulliere and five other recent arrivals from the company’s headquarters in Windsor, Ontario, comprising the full staff. At the time of the tour, the employee roster was at 17 and the company had just added a second shift to keep up with the staggering amount of work already filling up the repair bays.
Concours Mold's General Manager Mike Soulierre gives Chamber tour group members an inside
look at his company's new Cullman facility.
“It’s been overwhelming,” Soulliere said. “It’s fast paced work and it’s not for everybody. I’ve seen people comfortable with machine shop work who were not able to handle this. It’s a crazy business.”
The business Soulliere referred to is the automotive industry, the primary source of Concours’ customer base. The company specializes in building, maintaining, re-engineering and repairing the molds and tools used by automotive companies such as Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, and local component manufacturers like Rehau and Topre. According to Soulliere, it was Cullman’s proximity to these companies and its prime location in regards to Alabama’s burgeoning automotive industry that brought Concours here.
“In this business, you usually have three days to fix a part,” Soulliere said. “Every day is a different part, and it’s more difficult because when we’re doing repairing, there’s no blueprint. Logistically, it takes too long to get repairs done if you have to ship the parts up North. It’s too far.”
Logistics aside, however, Soulliere confessed there was also a more humanistic reason at the root of Concours’ decision to locate their Alabama operation in Cullman County.
“We also picked Cullman because of the friendliness of the people … before we even knew about the incentives,” Soulliere said. “It’s been a good fit. So far, this plant if far exceeding what we thought, and we hope to continue to be successful in the future.”
A big part of that continued success will no doubt hinge on the company’s dedication to customer service, which Soulliere noted is a big part of the Concours philosophy.
“We’re high on quality and high on service,” Soulliere said. “If we get a call at 2:00 in the morning, we don’t tell them we’ll get to it in the morning, we roll out of bed and get to it now.”
Soulliere said he hopes to expand the company’s 15,000 sq. ft. facility within the year, possibly doubling its floor space. The building sits on seven acres of land in Cullman Industrial Park I owned by Concours, leaving plenty of room for expansion.
“The opportunities down here are endless,” Soulliere said.
For more information on Concours Mold, visit www.concoursmold.com.