2013 CAE Recipient Profile - Fordia

Fordia, leading manufacturer for the diamond drilling industry, offers global drilling solutions to its customers through a complete range of quality products. Specializing in the making of diamond tools, equipment and accessories, this Canadian company essentially serves the mineral exploration and geotechnical sectors.   

Founded in 1977 by Clément Paquet, Fordia is now owned by his sons, Luc and Alain Paquet. Already, a third family generation is now joining the ranks of the management team, even if the company is now more an international SMB than a family-run business. The company benefits from an extensive distribution network, composed of 15 Canadian and international branches, as well as over 30 distributors throughout the globe. Fordia is a great example of success within our economy.

Fordia’s commitment towards quality
Being the main worldwide manufacturer of diamond tools, Fordia has always made a point of focusing on quality products and personalized customer service. These two commitments are the basis of the company itself, but also the first step in its quality process.

Fordia’s quality approach initially started with the ISO 9001: 2000 certification, obtained in 1996 after the establishment of a continuous improvement program. Quality control has always been a key to success for Fordia, a management focus and pride for our employees.

At every level of the company we commit ourselves daily to continually improving our product. The reliability and durability of our products, the efficiency of our processes, our customer service and many other aspects – all are subject to our desire for quality, a desire that is of course translated into action. How do we do it? We have a joint committee whose job is to maintain the quality of employee-employer relations; we organize events that bring all our offices and international distributors together to strengthen our network; we have recycling programs and secure work methods, which ensure the quality of our work environment; we support a R&D committee and department to improve the quality of our products; we do an annual survey of our customers to increase the quality of our service; and we don’t stop there.

At Fordia, quality is a commitment, and it is by this commitment that we pursue our search for excellence. Several times over the years, Fordia has excelled among other companies in its category, winning several prestigious prizes.

Outstanding quality recognitions
In 2003, Premier Jean Charest awarded Fordia the Quebec Quality Award, which celebrates the performance of Quebec companies that are active on the international stage. The selection criteria for the prize are demanding and the prize awards companies that are the best in their category. A result of the Quebec Quality Movement, the prize highlights excellence in quality,  

In 2009, Fordia continues putting forward its commitment to total quality, by entering the complete processes review that goes with the application for an ISO 9001: 2008 certification. The ISO 9001: 2008 certification is obtained and in the years that follow, Fordia increases its efforts by creating a distinct Quality department within the company.  

After being awarded the Quebec Quality Award in the SMB category in 2003, the Quebec Society for Quality (QSQ) have once again awarded it to Fordia in 2012, but this time in the large business category. It is the QSQ's highest distinction and this is the first time that a company has won the award in two different categories. All winners of the award are recognized for the quality of their management and business practices in all they do, and at all management levels. Fordia is proud of this prestigious award that recognizes the excellence of its management and overall performance.

Canada Awards for Excellence
Following our successful application to “Les Grand Prix québécois de la qualité”, we were highly recommended to submit for Canada Awards for Excellence recognition, a prestigious award presented by Excellence Canada.

We revised our application and submitted a summary detailing how our organization has maintained – and even increased – its commitment to total quality since we received the award in 2012. Key highlights were the implementation of key performance indicators (KPI) in each and every department, the continuous and renewed process of strategic planning, and rigorous follow-up, as well as structural projects such as the implementation of a new ERP system.   

Quality through innovation
Our R&D team is proud of the fact that we regularly file new patents, which symbolize our commitment to continuously improving our tools and equipment for the diamond drilling industry. They represent our development accomplishments and we will continue to innovate going forward.

Our R&D team is guided by a corporate policy regarding research and development; a policy that we have followed and which has brought results over the years. This has helped us remain on the right track, develop new products and constantly improve the productivity of our clients.

To assist our R&D team, we have put in place a very efficient idea generation process: listening to our clients. Our technical representatives are our eyes and ears on drilling sites worldwide. They inform us of problems, discuss possible solutions and push the limits of their creative minds.

We also get feedback from our clients through our sales offices and our distributors, as well as through customer satisfaction surveys. The ideas received are always analyzed by our R&D team. This information and these ideas are aggregated and shared within our company and we do everything we can to make them a reality. To date, we have been very successful.