August 14, 2013
How To Select A Strategic Aerospace Location In Canada L-3 Communications CMRO (L3 CMRO), a division of L-3 Communications MAS (Canada) Inc., have a strategic business location. Their site selection process prioritised lower overheads like affordable staff pay rates, and reduced rental facility costs. The other critical components were ease of goods movement from an ideal location (plus superior transportation infrastructure) and a need for skilled labour.
The result? L3 CMRO chose Trenton (Quinte West) and would do so again in a heartbeat.
“The operation overheads are so much lower in Bay of Quinte than they are in a major centre, yet the region has all the resources of a major centre,” explains Bob Lawless (L3 CMRO Manager of Ground Support Equipment and Business Development).
As a ground support equipment company, being close to Canada’s largest Air Force Base (CFB Trenton, 8 Wing) has numerous advantages for L3 CMRO, like being able to easily move damaged equipment between the airbase and their plant.
“We provide worldwide services: we fix broken ground support equipment that comes in from all over the world, and afterwards, can send that equipment anywhere it needs to go next. We can do all of this easily from Quinte West.”
A strategic, central location is not just about proximity, it’s also about reach. “Quinte West has the road infrastructure we need to drive back and forth to CFB Trenton, 8 Wing. The Highway 401 runs through the Bay of Quinte, connecting us quickly to our offices in Toronto and Ottawa (Ontario, Canada), Montreal (Québec), and New York (U.S.A). Plus, with rail transportation in the Bay of Quinte, it’s easy for us to move equipment of any size. We also have civilian air transportation within an hour’s drive making our Trenton location central to everything. ”
Ground support equipment isn’t small, but thanks to the supply chain available in Bay of Quinte, L3 CMRO only requires a 21 000 ft² plant. From repairing and overhauling airplane power units, air conditioners, boarding stairs to modernising engines and computers, “we manufacture small equipment in our plant, and have only 18 employees. But technically I manage 40-50 staff; our primary resources are all local businesses upon whom we rely to supply us with products and services from paint to metal fabrication to upholstery manufacturing,” says Lawless.
SOURCING HIGHLY QUALIFIED LABOUR IN BAY OF QUINTE
The high levels of education in the Bay of Quinte make it easy for L3 CMRO to recruit qualified technicians. In particular, a number of employees are early retirees from the nearby military base.
Ready to start their second career as a civilian (doing work they were trained to do in the military) the large aerospace cluster in the Bay of Quinte makes it easy to retire from the military, and continue to enjoy the area’s high quality of life .
Former military staff are very happy to continue working in Bay of Quinte (an ideal region for family life) with the multitude of top-notch aerospace producers like L3 CMRO.
Nearby, Loyalist College, produces highly-skilled staff. Graduates have often found work with L3 CMRO.
Want to learn about other businesses like L3 CMRO who enjoy Bay of Quinte’s quality of life, low overheads and location advantages? See similar case stories in this list of companies like you or ask QEDC to introduce you around.
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