Building on 40 Years of Success in Metal

Overlanders Manufacturing
Written by William Young

Overlanders Manufacturing LP is an ISO 9001-certified metal fabrication company founded in 1978, with two locations in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The company offers design and manufacturing services of metal products, particularly of sheet metal. It serves many business sectors, but the fireplace, transportation, and construction industries are the ones served most by its products.
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Overlanders is a leading edge manufacturer of precision sheet metal and tubular products including a state of the art powder coating and assembly facility. The company has developed a sizable clientele primarily in Western Canada along with successfully marketing its services to areas in the upper western United States.

The company was purchased in 2006 by Exchange Income Corporation, a diversified, acquisition-oriented corporation focused on opportunities in aerospace and aviation services and manufacturing services. General Manager Paulo Degianni says that Exchange Income Corporation is very supportive in terms of assisting with capital when required and other resources, helping Overlanders to grow. Degianni has served in his position for three years and has previously served as Business Development Manager and Operations Manager within the company. He says that what sets Overlanders apart from its competition in the precision sheet metal and fabrication industry is its experienced workforce of around eighty employees and the investment made in modern equipment.

Overlanders places itself at every point of a customer’s project from beginning to end. The company will aid its customers in determining the design and manufacturability of products, using the latest in three-dimensional (3D) modeling and design technology. It will then supply them with precision sheet metal parts that have been laser cut, bent, formed, welded, and finished by coating or plating.

The company does all its work in-house, operating out of a 70,000-square-foot facility in Abbotsford. As a full-service manufacturer, it can provide any number of its services, either on their own or coupled with the full package of support. Fabrication is the most routinely requested service.

The company is on the cutting edge of technology in its field. It has introduced automated equipment and robotics into its daily routines, including lights-out manufacturing in key areas to keep its operations going through weekends and holidays.

Overlanders manages to stay ahead of the game today not just with leading technology, but also with an effective business strategy. Degianni says technology continues to improve by leaps and bounds, and the company has seen its customer base evolve just as quickly, but with that growth comes a change in what customers expect from their projects.

Overlanders’ edge in the marketplace is being a solutions provider able to offer competitive prices, coupled with on-time delivery, and above all, a quality product. These attributes are crucial to an effective relationship with one’s customers, says Degianni. The company and its employees believe in providing outstanding quality assurance, which means partnering with its customers through daily face-to-face interaction to ensure both sides have what they need to get the job done.

Products made by Overlanders are built to last for years, and this often translates into business relationships with customers that last just as long. That quality assurance comprises the core of the company’s approach to customer satisfaction.

The needs of the customer always come first for Overlanders, but Degianni also notes the importance of the relationship with the company’s vendors, stating that partnering with them is critical.

Industries like metal fabrication are built on strong relationships, and Degianni and his team recognize that you must do all that you can to be as open and realistic about your project goals as possible, and as respectful of your partners’ and vendors’ efforts toward your project as you can be.

The company is not immune to challenges, both general and specific to its industry. A problem that many companies face today is finding and retaining employees suitable to the line of work, and Overlanders is no exception to this; however, the company has mitigated this by dedicating more time to human resources and employee retention programs, to ensure its employees are well looked after.

Overlanders is using multiple avenues of advertising to get the word out about itself as an employer, including newer digital tools that have produced good results. Another concern for the company and the industry in general, is a degree of uncertainty in the USMCA agreement in regards to the pricing of metal. Degianni says that metal pricing is in flux currently due to the agreement, as it has caused price increases for customers with potentially more on the way, which is concerning and can be very hard to predict. The need for metal products and components has certainly not lessened in recent years, so this issue is one that impacts businesses like this. However, Degianni and his team are confident that the company will continue to offer competitive pricing on services, regardless of whatever hurdles they face.

As Overlanders Manufacturing looks to the future, Degianni says that it has accomplished a great deal for its customers, and that has given the team a great deal of pride. He cites an example of a recent customer that was passed along by a competitor that could not serve it. This customer needed a very unique product manufactured, which was no small undertaking, but Overlanders did not think twice and pooled its training, equipment, and skill to make the project a success. This is indicative of the company’s approach to all its projects.

As 2018 comes to an end, Degianni says that the company will be focused on continued growth in the market. The Overlanders name represents a commitment to quality in metal fabrication that continues to go unmatched in its market for over forty years.

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