It closes its doors for lack of employees and electronic components

A Bas-Saint-Laurent entrepreneur had to close his electronic card assembly SME last month because he didn’t have enough employees and components for his 10,000-square-foot factory.

“I started the business in La Pocatière for the economy there. That hurt my heart the most: closing a shop like mine in the region,” he says protocol Guy Gilbert, CEO of Ampere Inc.

His SME was founded in 2008 with a $20,000 down payment and thanks to sales of over $1.2 million, it was able to employ a dozen people in the region at once.

Despite excellent customers

Creaform (Lévis), ABB (Québec), Technologies Lanka (La Pocatière), Soucy International (Drummondville)… his company had excellent customers.

“I have decided to close. Not because I didn’t have any contracts, but because I didn’t have any employees and no electronic components,” says Guy Gilbert, who carried out his entrepreneurial project on commercial terms.

Despite an average salary of $26, including $23 an hour for shopkeepers, young people went to work for their customers or left the region altogether, attracted by the aura of the big cities.

As labor shortages exacerbate supply chain problems, more than 60% of SMEs saw falling profits and 80% were delivering orders late last year, according to Industry Barometer Quebec Industrial Subcontracting Quebec (STIQ).

More than 73 percent of them even admitted to having a problem retaining their skilled workers in 2021, the association notes.

at protocol Guy Gilbert points out: Investissement Québec (IQ) was there for him, but he just couldn’t hope to get out of it.

“I could have tried to continue with them [IQ], but I had no employees and worked 60 hours a week. It was also too heavy for the inventories,” he illustrates.

In addition to the lack of employees, it was the difficulty of finding the necessary components at a good price that was troubling the company after 14 years.

Prices that have exploded

“A connector that used to sell for $8 is now $180 because you have to find it at a reseller,” he says.

“The big problem it was really Offerer Americans who couldn’t help us deliver the components » –Guy Gilbert, CEO of Ampere Inc.

“A $2.60 micro connector can easily cost $120 or even $170,” he continues.

As a result, customers canceled their orders and started redesigning to not be too greedy with those expensive parts.

Today, Guy Gilbert turns the page and is proud to continue his work in this field.

“I’m now director of business development at Gentec,” he concludes.

According to the Quebec Industrial Barometer of Quebec Industrial Subcontracting (STIQ), more than 15% of SMEs have had to relocate certain activities out of Quebec to address labor shortages.

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