Running a century-old company doesn’t mean you have to hold on to outdated business practices. WATERAX, a Montreal-based water-pump manufacturer is proof of this. Its decision-makers innovated by adopting the Lean method to help the company stand out from the competition.

Back to its roots When Raffaele Gerbasi, Marcello Iacovalla and Frédéric Lefrançois acquired WATERAX in 2010, the company, founded in 1898, had abandoned its original mission and became distributors of an impressive array of firefighting equipment.

“Without a clear goal in mind, we might have lost our way,” says Raffaele Gerbasi, President of WATERAX. “Our first task was to re-evaluate the company’s mission. We decided to go back to our roots: manufacturing solid, reliable water pumps to fight forest fires.”