Sometimes a simple email can make your day. This happened to me recently when I checked in with a business owner who BNE helped in establishing their first US manufacturing facility. While I knew the company was doing well, the owner was so exuberant that it really brought a smile to my face and also demonstrated so clearly why the work we do is so important.
Toronto-based Fichman Furniture began working with BNE in 2009, seeking to bring their business to the US. After assisting with site selection, cross-border due diligence and workforce development, in 2012 the company purchased an 8,000 square foot facility in Holland, New York.
The company designs and manufactures radiator covers, and 95% of its sales are in the US. The new facility was selected to reduce shipping costs for both raw materials as well as finished goods, without the delays associated with cross-border logistics. And three years later, Erran Fichman, the company’s owner, reports that sales have DOUBLED since the move while shipping costs have been cut in HALF!
While labor costs are about the same, Fichman says in Western New York “you get far higher quality and value.” He has six full-time employees and hopes to add additional workers in the future and says now he “can really focus on projects that will continue to grow the business.” Thanks to improvements in technology and machinery, the facility is more productive while maintaining the highest safety standards. “We never achieved this level of quality and we produce our covers in less than half the time it would take in Toronto,” he added.
Fichman has nothing but good things to say about his experience dealing with WNY officials and businesses, from the local Post Office to his M&T Bank branch in East Aurora, Holland’s town hall to local law enforcement. The adjectives used were “straightforward, professional and reliable.” What a testimonial!
BNE is privileged to promote Western New York’s business-friendly attributes on a daily basis. Fichman Furniture’s success story beautifully illustrates that our region has all the right stuff for businesses that are seeking to expand in the US.
by Carolyn Powell, Business Development Manager