When it was founded in 1977, the original vision for Fordia was simple: develop state of the art manufacturing facilities, produce superior products, and provide responsive customer service.
For Fordia’s founder, Clement Paquet, making that vision reality was a challenge that took several years to meet. It required the assistance of a network of global contacts within the diamond drilling industry as well as significant investments.
At the beginning, Clement, along with his assistant and a furnace operator, ran the entire company, establishing the manufacturing and quality control processes, laying the foundations for the global company Fordia has become today.
As sales increased, Clement recognized the need to expand Fordia’s management base. A new generation of the Paquet family – Clement’s sons, Alain and Luc – entered the business. Alain shared his father’s love of sales and promotion, while Luc mastered the management and manufacturing functions. After a transition period which showed that the company’s future was in good hands under the direction of Alain and Luc, Clement went on to other challenges.
The mining boom of the late 1980s, fuelled by flow-through share funding, created an enormous demand for diamond drilling products. As the industry grew in size and competitiveness, Alain and Luc came to a crossroads: they could remain a small, specialized company or invest aggressively to expand distribution in Canada and overseas. They chose to expand, opening their first distribution centre in Val-d’Or, which is still in operation today.
Fordia also invested heavily in advanced Research & Development, producing the highest quality, high performance diamond tools for their expanding customer base. They were the first Canadian manufacturer to implement the production precision of a controlled-atmosphere furnace. This sophisticated technology elevated Fordia into the ranks of world leaders in the production of impregnated diamond bits.
In 1993, the company expanded into South America, with the opening of Fordia SA Chile. Following that, several other sales offices were created and agreements were signed to enter more foreign markets.That aggressive global expansion continues today. The little enterprise that began with one man’s dream has become a strong, global company.
Today, Fordia proudly represents the ideals of its founder and stands at the pinnacle of the industry. Surpassing the $100 million revenue mark in 2011, Fordia has shown that it will stop at nothing to fulfill the needs of its clients.