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October 07 Businessexcellence 59 cyclical nature of the business, so he keeps tabs to make sure enough new equipment is always on order to cover any sudden spikes in activity. “That way, if the market declines, and you suddenly fi nd your equipment parked in the yard, you can always trade-in the older machines. Having more equipment is an incentive to fi nd more work.” Three years ago when buying equipment to get CerPro started, there was a six-month wait for certain machinery, and that forced him to look at the long term. In a job market that currently has zero unemployment, Pleskie’s secret for keeping good people is to challenge them, pay them as much as you can afford to, and they’ll pay you back with loyalty. “I try to pay them more than the industry standard, and I’ve found that they’ll give it back with their skills and service in the long run.” Training is mandatory for newcomers, beginning with a week of classroom training. CerPro pays for the courses and for their time during training. “You wouldn’t believe the satisfaction a person shows when they’re being paid to learn. In this tight job market, I think of it as a small price to pay to get somebody to stay with you after you’ve trained them properly.” The emphasis is on safety, and CerPro has a record number of congratulatory industry citations. Pleskie attributes the company’s success directly to providing value for clients, which he defi nes as maintaining the safety and competence of his workforce, the quality of new equipment, and doing the best job possible at a competitive price. “It’s not diffi cult, it just takes some sacrifi ce in the early stages. You create a company discipline that in turn, creates value. We don’t have any major capital backing, and profi t is poured back into the company. We’ve spent three years building a client base by providing reliable value, and we’re rewarded with steady work.” Pleskie has a reputation within the industry as a trouble shooter. If a client calls with a unique situation at an oilfi eld facility that needs to be CerProEnergyServices Brooks Industrial Metals and its Recycling Division, located in Brooks, have been serving local customers and southern Alberta for over 40 years. John Duenk and his staff are proud to be a source of exceptional service and competitive pricing to the industry. Carrying large inventories of new structural steel products, they will continue to grow and encompass all future customer expectations. Brooks Industrial Metals

done rather quickly, he has the option of taking his engineer with him to visit the site, and can provide a turnkey solution. He admits to wearing too many hats, and he prefers spending time in the fi eld, rather than in the offi ce. He doesn’t think of himself as micromanaging, but he likes to achieve high levels of accomplishment. He encourages employees to speak up if they see a better solution in a situation. “There’s a saying around here: ‘There’s the right way, the wrong way, and Pete’s way’. Some people working a job have never been challenged to think, so I encourage people to think, share their skills and network their experience. To me, it’s not what you know, but how you apply it. You may feel you know enough, but it’s far more important how you think about a situation, and how you apply your knowledge to solve it. To quote a very important person, ‘there is no sense of accomplishment unless it starts out impossible.’” Once his new facility is complete, Pleskie will solicit more fabrication, manufacturing and other complimentary work that is a good fi t because a lot of the trade skills and equipment are similar. Constantly pursuing diversifi cation and providing value complements the company’s people and equipment he says. “It creates opportunities for them to learn and gain new experience and in turn expand their skills and our market share in different sectors of the industry, instead of having to lay them off. Sharing your bottom line with results based compensation with your employees can be very profi table.” 60 Businessexcellence October 07 CerProEnergyServices “I try to pay more than the industry standard, and I’ve found that people will give it back with their skills and service in the long run”