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ENHANCES CURB APPEAL - Helton Industries

The Helton Group

of Companies


Curb Appeal

The Helton Group of Comp

Enhances Cur

The Helton Group of Companies integra

Lean Manufacturing to bring more valu

any home or industrial project

WRITTEN By Logan Broyles

Produced BY Chris McDonald

Helton Industries


b Appeal


e to

Helton Industries

Enhancing C

In 1981, Gerhard Rauch and Henry Neels

had a vision to start their own company that was

focused on the manufacturing, distribution, and

installation of door and window products. While

still employed at other companies, the two worked

tirelessly over their weekends to build the foundation

needed to start their own rollforming business, Helton

Industries Ltd.

Rollforming is a progressive process that passes a

metal strip through a series of pre-shaped roller dyes

that mold the metal into the desired rollform profile.

Three decades later, their company has not only

survived, it has thrived. The Helton Group now

encompasses four smaller companies and has offices

in Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Kamloops, Calgary

and Prince George.


To ensure that its products are always of the highest

quality, Helton Industries employs five continuous

urb Appeal page 5

improvement teams that meet on a weekly

basis. Each team is self-directed and

has its own budget, allowing them

to produce grassroots projects

that directly impact the

productivity of the

shop floor.

In order to foster

a productive

and positive


for its


to work

in, Helton


holds “town

hall” meetings twice a year

with the entire company,

giving every member of the



such as


track have smooth

hemmed edges to

provide safety and

strength for installation

personnel and end


Helton Industries

staff an opportunity to be a

results are shared with ever

well-informed and can work

“We’re a very flat compan

Mike Rauch, company Vice

command structure like ma

Helton displays its products at th

Association annual expo every ye

American cities

page 7

part of the company’s future. Corporate strategy and

yone, so that every member of the company’s staff is

together towards a common goal as a team.

y, there aren’t a lot of different tiers in place,” says

President. “Everyone has a say, we don’t have a rigid

ny other companies do.”

e International Door

ar in various major North


Helton Industries places a

high value on keeping its staff

happy and productive. The

company offers competitive

wages; benefit packages, and a

safe work environment. Helton

Industries recognizes that

employees are the foundation

for any successful company.

“Hiring the right people and

putting together the right team

is the most valuable thing a

Helton Industries

Enhancing C

company can do,” says Rauch.

“When skilled people are in an

environment where they see

their co-workers as productive

members of the team, they

develop an automatic respect

for each other. The result is a

powerful team and a fun place to



Technology plays a vital role in

Helton Industries’ production

process. The goal is to use the

right tools that will allow the

company to keep things as

simple as possible and running


“We have eleven employees

in our Machine/Tool & Dye

The Helton Group le

power to procure over

annually, directly from

the w

urb Appeal

page 9

shop where we do everything

from building complex dyes, to

overhauling and customizing

machinery,” says Rauch.

verages purchasing

20 million lbs of steel

steel mills throughout



The garage door industry is

seeing an emerging trend as

customers are giving more

thought to the design and

appearance of their homes. As a

result, garage doors are starting

to become higher end products.

“Consumers realize that

the curb appeal of their home

is important to its value, and

garage doors are one of the most

significant upgrades that can be

done to improve this appeal,”

says Rauch. “Carriage house style

Helton Industries

Enhancing C

doors are coming into the mainstream by supporting

popular traditional styles of architecture.”

On the commercial side, access control and

high performance door products are getting more

sophisticated. The Helton Group routinely supplies

large projects using high

speed doors, rubber doors,

and even custom aircraft

hangar doors as large as

50 feet wide by 18 feet

high in Western Canada’s

growing resource and

industrial sectors.


We’re a very

there aren’t a lo

tiers in place.

a say, we don’

command struc


Mike Rauch, compa


When looking ahead to

the future of its business, the Helton Group is focused

on three key areas. The first is maintaining efficient

operations. Rauch believes the company’s Continuous

urb Appeal

page 11

Improvement Initiatives will keep machine outputs

high and production costs low.

Second, the company wants to enhance its supply

chain. Rauch believes the next step is to continue

building a more sophisticated distribution system so

that customers get the

right product at the right

time. Helton’s purchasing

strategies already leverage

volumes to ensure a low

cost of all incoming raw

materials. The high degree

of vertical integration

means the Helton Group

can offer exceptional

value throughout Western

Canada and the USA.

“Lastly, and most importantly, we need to make

flat company,

t of different

Everyone has

t have a rigid

ture like many

es do

ny Vice President

sure all of the employees in our group have the skills

and motivation to exceed customer expectations,”

Helton Industries

Enhancing C

In 2007 Helton began manufacturing

torsion springs for overhead doors

urb Appeal

page 13

says Rauch. “We will focus on cross training and

communication to achieve this goal. We have so many

skilled employees; the trick is to make sure they are

sharing ideas with one another to develop all parts of

the organization.”


“Our focus is on maintaining and growing market

share in key areas where we can be geographically

strong,” says Rauch. “We have more than enough

manufacturing capacity since the US economy is still


The company is focused on solidifying its

distribution capacity in Western Canada. Helton

has capitalized on several recent opportunities that

have allowed the company to expand into Kelowna,

Kamloops, Prince George and Alberta. This included

two recent acquisitions, Myron’s Door and Gate

Systems Inc. and Central Door and Gate Systems Inc.

Both companies previously had strong relationships

Helton Industries

Enhancing C

Westgate Door Industries Ltd

1996 expansion to 77,000 sqft

with Helton’s wholesale distribution division, Westgate D

“We’re focused on making sure each company gets the

continue their past success, and to grow in the future,” sa

Helton Industries also foresees more market savvy cus

provides more information about the different products a

Consumers are no longer satisfied with vanilla products o

are very specific about what they are looking for.

“This dynamic can be daunting for some industry supp

“However, for companies capable of embracing customer

this trend provides an edge on the competition.”

urb Appeal

page 15



The Helton Group of





support they deserve to

ys Rauch.

tomers, as the Internet

vailable on the market.

r average service; they

liers,” says Rauch.

service and technology,

Employees: 225

Est: 1981



Premiere service:

Overhead Doors and Access


Owners & Founders:

Henry Neels, Gerhard Rauch


Helton Industries

30840 Peardonville Road

Abbotsford, BC

V2T 6K2

T: 604-854-3660


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