N America News May 2017

20 NORTH AMERICA NEWS / MAY 2017 , Finding, and working with team members that are accepting of others, able to recognise the strengths in their teammates and cognizant of their roles has allowed me to become resilient and build a stronger team as well. The state of your industry currently Our industry has matured and come a long way since T. Harris Environmental Management Inc. opened its doors as the first consultancy in Canada to be formed specifically to deal with asbestos in 1979. As such, the industry has become commoditised due to the number of companies that profess to be Environmental/ OH & S consultants. This has led to a ‘race to the bottom’ for some, with respect to fees, and has made it challenging for us to solely advocate for the value proposition that we strive to maintain and advocate for, which is harder to articulate to our clients who are most concerned with merely the price. In addition, the state of the economy is always a factor and the mantra of major clients is to only accept the lowest cost provider, which has led to a further precipice in the quality of the various companies in terms of personnel and their training and that are considered part of our industry. The role of technology in the industry One of our goals is to be endlessly innovative and promote a culture that fosters not only the development of ideas, but also their implementation. As we are a scientifically entrenched firm, technology plays an integral role in allowing us to become more efficient in the delivery of our services. The sophistication of the sampling equipment and software models that we employ also allows us to differentiate ourselves from our competition. At the same time, we are committed to formulating practical and cost-effective solutions for our clients. Before we purchase any equipment or software, it is vigorously reviewed from the perspective of what efficiencies it will bring in providing services to our clients and how it will aid in fulfilling our mandate as outlined in our mission, vison and value statements. In conjunction with this, it is established within our firm that all investments must achieve our target Return on Investment (ROI) to be considered feasible. In addition, we are committed and engaged in facilitating the latest/state of the art training and development courses for all of our employees. What industry trends CEO’s follow to ensure success Through our associations, we receive annual reports which outline the trends in the market sector in which we compete. We can then use this information to benchmark ourselves against others in our industry to verify if the changes or methods we are implementing in the delivery of our service offerings is providing the results we want to ensure our success. In addition, by being active members in various industry associations and advocacy groups we can view the trends that are developing through those groups. Over the next five years, it is my belief that there will be some consolidation in our industry and as governments become more concerned about the environment and occupational health and safety, regulatory requirements will become more onerous and provide an impetus to allow growth as compliance will become mandatory and enforced. Future aspirations, plans and projects I look to motivate my team to fulfil our mission, vision and value statements, but specifically with respect to our mission statement, ‘to become the preeminent niche environmental and occupational health and safety consulting firm in Ontario and Quebec’. To be a little coy, I am looking to expand our mission statement to areas outside of Ontario and Quebec. But more importantly, to further diversify our service offerings to allow us to achieve our status as providing exceptional services in a niche environment. Closing thoughts I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients, my team members and vendors for their great support over the past 37 years for our firm in general, and 28 years for me, specifically. I have been truly fortunate to have been associated and worked with so many wonderful people. I look forward to maintaining old friendships and creating new ones. It is our dedicated personnel that have enabled us and me to maintain our commitment to our clients and suppliers. Obviously, my team is our most valued asset and I am proud of the commitment that they make to me and to our clients. I believe that we are still at the forefront of most environmental and occupational health and safety issues in Canada. We celebrate our successes, which I believe is attributable to the strong set of principles and values that I have and this company has embodied for all these years. Our key principle as initially articulated by our founder was and is ‘we always treat our clients as friends, because you never let a friend down’.

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