Construction Morin & Luneau

VAL-D’OR WATER CONTRACTOR BUILDS RELATIONSHIPS AND REPUTATION FOR QUALITY PROJECTS

Oct 17, 2011

CML staff “always gets the job done” with assists from SMS, Komatsu

When Yvan Morin and a partner co-founded Construction Morin and Luneau (CML), Morin’s motivation was to be in business for himself and have more control of projects. While that was the driving force behind starting his own company 14 years ago, his motivations changed quickly.

“I did some research as we were starting and found that about 56 percent of the local waterworks projects were being done by non-local contractors,” said Morin, who now fully owns Val-d’Or, Quebec-based CML. “We wanted to change that, so that we and some other local contractors were doing the largest percentage.”

Armed with experience gained from working for other contractors before setting out on his own, Morin set about building a business that could take on what are often large and complicated underground utility-related installations. Within a couple years, he and his staff of about 30 were highly in demand and taking an increasingly larger chunk of the local and area jobs.

“Our sole focus is municipal sewer, water and wastewater treatment projects, and because of that we’ve become very skilled at that type of work,” said Morin. “That is how we built our reputation. We enjoy a good relationship with work providers. They know that when we give them a bid, we’re going to stand by it without tacking on a bunch of extras. I believe that says a lot about who we are and what we’ve accomplished.”

Staff builds success

CML’s accomplishments include several high-profile projects throughout northwestern and northern Quebec, such as a $4 million project involving installation of piping up to seven metres (23 feet) deep, as well as pumping stations in the aerated ponds.

“That was one of the best projects we did and one of the most satisfying to us,” said Morin. “We had to do the engineering for the treatment plant, including construction of the dam, many of the mechanical processes and other related aspects. It was a challenge, which I’m always up for.”

More recently, CML completed installation of about 6.5 kilometres of 35.5-cm (14-inch) piping as part of a large pumping station along the lake shore for the town of Chapais. In addition, the company built a large pumping station and a distribution reservoir with a capacity of nearly 1 million litres (250,000 gallons).

Mr. Morin said CML is able to complete even the most challenging projects, thanks to a staff of about 30 experienced employees during peak season. Chief among them is longtime Project Manager Denis Dumont, who runs field operations.

“Some of the staff have been with CML almost as long as I have, and they deserve much of the credit for our success,” Morin acknowledged. “We often face some harsh conditions, both the ground and the weather, and they never complain. They always get the job done, and that’s helped us build a reputation for doing quality work on time and on budget.”

Reliable Komatsu equipment

Morin also credits his Komatsu equipment’s productivity and reliability for ensuring work is done on time and budget. His first Komatsu purchase was a PC300LC-6 excavator that CML continues to use and now has 17,000 hours on it.

“It’s still working every day. That’s a testament to the quality and reliability of Komatsu, and why we use it,” said Morin. “All our excavators are PC300s because we believe they have the right combination of balance, power and speed in a size that allows us the versatility to dig in the open or in a more confined space like an alley. If we need a bigger piece, we’ll rent a PC400.”

In addition to PC300s, CML runs Komatsu wheel loaders. For sales and rental, Morin works with SMS Equipment Sales Representative Pierre Simard and Branch Manager Daniel Plante. “I believe a good relationship with an equipment dealer is critical, and we have that with SMS,” said Morin. “We’re on the same page. They understand my business and what it takes for me to be successful. We rely on them to deliver what we need, when we need it, and SMS always does.”

“Keep doing what we’re doing”

Like SMS, CML delivers what its customers need. That’s one reason why Morin is resistant to growing the company in terms of size and services offered. “I’ve never believed bigger is better. We could easily grow and branch out into site work and demolition and other things. But that could also mean easily losing sight of what we’ve built and what we’re good at.

“One area we are pursuing is expanding into installation of drinking water systems, which is a natural fit with what we already do,” he added. “There’s enough water infrastructure work to keep us busy, and that suits us fine.”