A big part of growing a business is knowing your market and giving clients what they want.
In the land of mining giants, 360 Services Inc. is still growing and has developed a reputation within the industry.
“It started off with me and my trailer and my truck as an align-boring company,” said Seb Meloche, president of 360 Services Inc. “But I also have always been a welder and the equipment we use is a lot of welding machines … so it turned out we got into the welding aspect of it. It started off 80 per cent align-boring and 20 per cent welding. But it slowly turned around to 80 per cent welding and 20 per cent align-boring. Now, it’s pretty much 50:50 there.
“We saw a market and we jumped on it.”
There is a lot of competition, but the company has become known as specialists.
“We specialize in heavy equipment. Anything that’s on tracks or wheels,” he said. “In the Timmins camp, it is obviously going to be in mining and construction.
“We do a lot of work for the mines like the Porcupine gold mines, other big mines like Kirkland Lake Gold and Lakeshore Gold and also a lot of construction companies — you’ve got NRCP out of Cochrane, you’ve got Parker Equipment — and all of the dealerships too.
“We have a good mix of construction and mining but we mostly specify to the mining and heavy equipment.”
The company does a lot of on-site work, in addition to its shop.
“We have worked as far down as Parry Sound and went as far up as de Beers. Wherever customers call, we have to go,” Meloche said. “We’ve got guys working right now in Kirkland Lake at Macassa and Kirkland Lake itself. We’ve got guys near the Quebec border, working at the Holt Mine. We’ll go up sometimes to Detour in Cochrane. We try to provide service for the 705 area.”
It was Meloche’s dedication to quality that inspired him to start his own business.
“I worked for the competition, developing a name for myself and getting experience,” he explained. “There’s a niche for this market. We like the heavy equipment. I noticed all the welding shops around here, the welding is very broad. You’ll have a guy welding on heavy equipment one day and he’ll be welding in a mill on structural another day. It makes it a jack of all trades but master of none.
“We specify to heavy equipment. When you have a guy 40, 50, 60 hours a week working only on heavy equipment, he gets really good at it. That’s why we’re trying to stick to the one thing and get really good at it. It kind of sets us apart from the competition.
“I felt I wasn’t able to do things the way I wanted — do it properly and give the best quality. If it takes a little bit longer, let’s do it the right way.
“I knew there were other guys who wanted to offer this, so we started a company, I hired these guys and ran with that model of quality.”
In order to grow his business, which is now up to 10 employees, 360 Services recently received $96,443 in funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
“The problem was to get the equipment here. It’s very nice to have the world’s biggest equipment here in Timmins, but how do you move it here and get it in my shop?” Meloche said.
“I have the knowledge to weld on it all I want, but how do I get it from the mine to the shop. So, it provided us with buying pieces of equipment that can lift it off the float and into the shop. It also provided us with funding for bigger welding machines that are suited for the bigger stuff. You can’t have a machine that’s for welding quarter-inch steel when you’re working with five- to six-inch steel. It provided us with bigger equipment to tackle the bigger jobs.”
The long-term goal is to keep growing the company by providing excellent service in a timely manner, eliminating downtime for customers.
“We’re growing here,” Meloche said. “Our future is to have a bigger ship to take on these bigger jobs in a more streamlined fashion. We want to set up with the technology for this millennium, where the other shops are dinosaurs doing it the way it was done the last millennia.
“We’re here to serve the community with the best product and send out the best guys in the world. The sky’s the limit for us.”
360 Services Inc. is located at 2401 Airport Rd. in Timmins. For more information, call 705-365-8787 or visit the website.