Challenge: Becoming a global leader in the oil and gas sector
Solution: Not seeing borders as barriers or logistics as deal-breakers
Being successful in the global marketplace requires companies to know two things very well: their industry and their clients. “We rely on our customers and our expertise to tell us what’s needed,” says Steve Belyea, president of BASE Engineering in Saint John, New Brunswick.
It’s an approach that has proven very successful for the 21-year-old company, who has received assistance in various forms from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) over the years. A world leader in remote control technology for the petroleum industry, BASE Engineering specializes in systems that can be counted on in extreme environments and hazardous locations. Since 1996, it has installed more than 90,000 products all around the world. “We set out to be a global leader in the oil and gas sector, says Steve. We can identify opportunities that lie two to three years down the road.”
For the founder of BASE Engineering, entering the global market was not daunting. “It’s about perspective," he says. I don’t ever see borders. My job is to sell the product to anyone who will listen.”
“A can-do attitude is central to success,” stresses Steve. He notes that many companies get caught up in logistics, but the details of a deal are just that – and while they must be attended to, they are not a cornerstone of innovation or ultimate success. “We’ve never been held up on a deal by logistics.”
BASE's first product went to market in 1998, and it soon became the industry standard in the United States. Now the company exports approximately 90% of its products and has an established distribution network throughout North America, Europe, South America, and Asia.
Steve believes that success is directly attributable to the quality of the product and the quality of the more than 40 people who work for the company, most of them based in Canada’s East Coast. “People from Atlantic Canada tend to care about customer service,” he says. “That is very different from most of the rest of the planet.”
The company has recently been acquired by Harbour Group, and will combine forces with Marshall Excelsior Co. (MEC), to continue to offer its innovative product line throughout the world and reach new heights. Steve will stay on as CEO and president, using his leadership and direction to help build a stronger business.
Partnerships, such as the one with the Government of Canada, played a key role in Base Engineering’s impressive growth. With support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the government has invested over $675,000 in the last 5 years to develop and commercialize an on-board computer and handheld unit for propane and oil delivery trucks, which has greatly simplified processes, while making them safer and more effective.
Base Engineering is a prime example of how innovation and resourcefulness fuel Atlantic Canada’s economy, at home and beyond.
For more information on programs and services available to businesses in Atlantic Canada call 1-800-561-7862 or go to canada.ca/acoa.