It is a hard world out there, which is why it helps to know that service providers like Axiom Millwrighting & Fabrication Inc. are there – especially in mechanized industries where downtime can put sizeable dents in companies’ bottom lines. Axiom serves multiple industries around the world with millwrighting, equipment fabrication, complete installation, maintenance and renovation, pipefitting services, mechanical design solutions and even plant reallocation.
“Axiom keeps the backbone of manufacturing facilities healthy and functioning,” says Joe Sferrazza, chief executive officer and president, who acquired the company in 2012.
Axiom Millwrighting & Fabrication is based in Cambridge, Ontario and operates under the auspices of the international Axiom group. Some of the subsidiaries are held by Axiom, while others operate as partners. The approach has allowed this industry veteran to create a widespread service network with easily accessible service points around the globe.
Axiom is particularly favoured by its clients for its advanced partnering model, in which it carefully profiles client facilities to align its services perfectly with customers’ systems, even offering shutdown, shift, and vacation support. Clients also have access to its services across Europe as it recently opened new offices in Germany where it will be representing companies from both Italy and Israel. It is currently in the process of setting up shops in Mexico that are scheduled for opening in 2019. In addition, Axiom is ever-growing throughout North America.
The company embraces technology on a huge scale and is committed to ongoing staff training and education. “From software to mobile applications, we leverage all technology out there, and we make it a priority to train our people in order for them to become proficient in these technologies. That is what differentiates us,” says Joe. This policy means that customers and partners benefit through better quality service and time savings.
Axiom attributes its success to the dedication and excellence of its employees. “All our projects are a source of great pride to us, but I am proudest of each and every employee. We have really accomplished what a lot of books write about. They’re a laser-focused team of people, and as I travel a lot and work with a lot of companies, I can tell you that the majority of our people is as good as they get, globally,” Joe adds.
The company prides itself on fostering a culture of hard work and honesty. Listening is a big part of its communication, and people are respected for their contributions. As part of its drive for excellence, the company works to remain at the top of its trade and will soon be welcoming students to its brand new welding academy. The institution’s focus is on exposing more tradesmen to gas tungsten arc welding, also known as tungsten inert gas or TIG welding, a specialized welding process especially popular on thinner metal components where top quality seams are imperative.
With increased food safety awareness in the world today, the company saw a need to provide training in its new food safety program which is certified to meet the standards set out in the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system. This means that the company is committed and qualified to analyze and control potential dangers in all aspects of food production from the start of the production chain to the end.
Its dedication to food safety is such that clients in the food and beverage industry can rest assured that their operations are entirely safe in the hands of Axiom’s expert team. Axiom’s unique skills sets and work in the industry includes the manufacturing, upkeep, and modification of filling and tin seaming machinery, capping equipment, conveyors, safety fencing, and collards on certain line types and robotic pallet assemblies.
The team consists of 165 staff members, some of whom are semi-permanent or temporary. Here, leadership is focussed on a collaborative style where every employee is a valuable asset, there is a mutual concern for each other, and there is a tradition of teamwork. “People want to feel that they are valued and that they are being challenged on a daily basis. Joe really gives his people that sense of appreciation,” says Mark McGuire, project manager for special projects and initiatives.
For Joe, business is about legacy, including the legacy of the team and of the company. “My legacy is not about me. It’s about each individual who works for us,” he says. Of course, this encouragement, support, and trust in people’s abilities also make Axiom a great business partner, and clients reap the results of this progressive style.
When it comes to growth and development, Axiom’s route is charted according to its customers’ needs, with a great focus on research and advanced manufacturing technician training. “We’re staying ahead of the curve by having the best skill sets for where manufacturing is going. Rather than only working in the present, we’re training our people to be able to function in the future. We always try to stay strategically ahead of our customers in order to put them on the next level rather than catching up with them,” says Joe. And this notion is not only reserved for technology. The business is constantly engaged in cultural, geographic, and skill set development to be prepared as new trends hit the mainstream.
Business is not its only passion, however. Axiom also has a big heart, especially for children with mental challenges. “We need to remove the stigma from mental illness. The brain is an organ like any other. We will support anything that supports and helps children with such problems. Whether it is Down Syndrome or depression, we contribute to anything that gives them a better quality of life,” says Joe. His love of this cause translates into sponsorship for theatres that allow the children to act, contributions to purchasing musical instruments, equestrian therapy, and more.
Joe is also very passionate about teaching young children not to live in debt, how to manage their habits, and deal with failure and other life challenges. Even though the company prefers to keep its giving out of the limelight, Axiom is doing a lot of good work out there. For this company, it is important to make a tangible difference with organizations where infrastructure does not demand the lion’s share of its donations while only a fraction makes it to improving children’s lives, and it is careful to choose its causes accordingly. Axiom also supports organizations that support abused women and fight human trafficking.
This caring sentiment is also clearly evident in the company’s approach to success. “We believe that one should start out in business for the right reasons and that you should always take care of your family first as well as your team,” says Joe.
Regarding the future, the company has goals for many areas, including the health, safety, and success of its people and their families, as well as its working environments and the prosperity of its clients’ operations. For this reason, it is fully equipped and geared to adapting to changing food trends, technology, and company mergers by regularly recruiting new experts and improving its workforce’s existing skillsets through quality raining.
It also ensures that ten percent of its younger staff are being mentored and groomed for promotion. While this is a tough industry that requires hard skills, there is no doubt that Axiom has those as well as all the soft skills it takes to continue its upward growth, and we look forward to following its even greater success.