Starting a business isn’t hard. Starting a business that stands the test of time is more difficult.
Ag-Tronic Control Systems Inc. has grown hand-in-hand with the industry it supports in Ontario and elsewhere. Joe Sleiman is the mastermind and owner behind the company, which is celebrating 25 years in business in 2016.
Located in Lakeshore, Ont. – near Lake St. Clair – Sleiman says Ag-Tronic has become known as an innovative automation design and manufacturing company.
Over the past quarter century, the company has succeeded in designing and manufacturing automated sorting and grading systems, setting new industry standards for the 21st century. This is particularly true for cucumber and sweet corn production.
Prior to the birth of Ag-Tronic, Sleiman worked as a lead electro-mechanical service person for a farm equipment dealer, which earned him a reputation for providing exemplary customer service. He also designed and manufactured three successful automation systems.
Due to a slowing economy in the early 1990s, Sleiman found himself unemployed but not out of ideas. Realizing the future of the agriculture community was dependent on technology and automation, he seized the opportunity.
Ag-Tronic Control Systems began with Sleiman and his wife, Samia. Today, the couple’s operation employs 20 people.
“We’ve done a good job of recognizing new opportunities and supplying the best solutions at competitive prices,” says Sleiman.
An example is the spin-off sales company Accu-Label Inc., created in 2001 to meet product-labeling requirements in the fruit sector.
Rapid growth of the industry has presented its share of challenges. Finding and maintaining staff to represent Ag-Tronics is one thing Sleiman admits has always been tough – especially for a businessman who likes to over-deliver.
“Our ability to tailor appropriate technical as well as practical solutions to customer needs is a result of 25 years experience both in Canada and abroad. Right now, we are in the process of establishing a global network to expand our products and services all over the world. Diversification will keep us going and growing for another 25 years.”