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Doing Business in Canada – A Chinese Perspective

Andrew and Andrew Elasto Proxy

 

Photo: Andrew Yang and Andrew Beaulieu (Megan Beaulieu's husband) out in downtown Montreal.

Andrew Yang Sales Representative for Elasto Proxy

Does your manufacturing company do business globally? Do you enjoy international travel? Much has been written about doing business in China, and what Westerners need to know to succeed there. There are also valuable insights about doing business in Brazil, another key part of the world economy. For the Chinese traveler to North America, there are also important lessons to learn and experiences to share.

As a sales representative for Elasto Proxy, it’s my job to represent the company’s interests in China and to help discover business opportunities there. That’s why I attended CRTS China 2013 along with Doug and Donna Sharpe, co-owners and co-founders of Elasto Proxy. Based in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada, this global company custom fabricates high-quality, low-volume rubber products for many industries.

From the Suburbs of Montreal to Shanghai

Before visiting CRTS China 2013, I traveled to Elasto Proxy headquarters to learn more about our sealing solutions and the highly-skilled people who provide them. Custom fabrication is often a manual process, and it takes teamwork and craftsmanship to produce rubber parts to exacting specifications. Canadians are a hard-working people, I observed, and very easy to communicate and work with.

At Elasto Proxy, employees are the driving force behind the company’s continued success. Doug and Donna Sharpe treat the entire team as family, and encourage open and honest communications. Each morning, members of the various departments greet each other warmly. This united atmosphere fosters a can-do spirit and encourages loyalty to both company and community.

Quality Control and Attention to Detail

As an ISO-certified company, Elasto Proxy adheres to strict quality controls and written standards. There are policies, procedures, and workflows for almost every aspect of our business – from welcoming a new employee to headquarters to operating the water jet cutting machine. Before production tasks move to the next stage, employees must request and receive sign-off from team leaders.

How well do these rules, regulations, and responsibilities work? While at Elasto Proxy headquarters, I saw for myself how they promote efficiency, ensure accountability, and safeguard quality. If any part of the production process fails to meet our standards, we know right away and can identify and correct even the smallest sealing challenges.

First Impressions, Food, and Fun

This commitment to detail extends to the production facility itself, which is painted white and always looks very clean. Although I’d expected to find a rubber shop with plenty of dust, there weren’t even any dark spots on the floor. I could have eaten the beans that I dropped there, but I recommend trying a Cherry Coke and smoked meat sandwich instead. These Canadian delicacies are some of my favorites!

Chinese cuisine in Montreal is also worth trying. With their distinctive Canadian taste, familiar dishes become truly unique. Dining in Canada is different, too. Before discussing business in China, partners may hold a banquet to establish or deepen their personal relationship. Canadians are a friendly people, of course, but North Americans often emphasize business first or in tandem with relationship-building.

During my time in Canada, I ate at many different restaurants and enjoyed visiting the Notre Dame Basilica, Laval, downtown Montreal, Old Port, and Saint-Sauveur. With its grand Gothic architecture, Notre Dame impressed the most. The lights surrounding this historic cathedral project images of statues onto nearby buildings for a stunning visual effect. It’s no wonder Celine Dion held her wedding there!

Tour Guides Extraordinaire

Many thanks to Megan Beaulieu, Paulo Arruda, and Clyde Sharpe for taking time out after work to show me around Montreal. I hope all of the Elasto Proxy team will visit China someday, where I’ll be happy to serve as your tour guide. Each country has different customs, of course, but global enterprises like Elasto Proxy are helping to expand business opportunities and promote international understanding.