Keeping it simple results in success for manufacturer


“Reliability” is one of the bywords for DJ Manufacturing Inc. The Digby company makes a machine that screens and sorts earth and gravel for landscaping and industrial purposes. And the machine is rugged. “It has very few moving parts,” says Randy Brennan, who handles the company’s sales.

“The machines can run for years.”

That means maintenance tends not to be a big issue. Company founder Doug MacNaughton developed the screener about 15 years ago. At the time, MacNaughton did marine welding for the fishing and scallop industry. However, he was seeing his livelihood disappear with the decline in fishing and he needed a new direction. A friend asked MacNaughton if he could build a screener. MacNaughton replied, “What’s a screener?”
He soon discovered what it was and got to work.

The basic design has been modified and improved over the years. The company now makes two sizes, the Screen King Mini and the Screen King Ultra. The larger machine can be towed with a one-ton truck, while a half-ton truck is big enough to tow the smaller version.

The company’s approach to pursuing relationships with potential dealers has been sophisticated. The screeners are carried by dealers in the United Kingdom, Norway, Australia and Michigan.
Relationships with overseas sellers have worked out well.

“They sell our products, but they sell a lot of different machines for a lot of different companies,” Brennan says. “We suggest to them what they might retail the screener for, but it’s up to them. And it’s up to them how they go about marketing it.”

One reason these relationships have been pretty stress free is that DJ Manufacturing spent sufficient time beforehand making sure they felt good about their potential partners, Brennan says.

Eric Crowell, director of the Saint Mary’s University Business Development Centre, says, “It seems as if this is a company where people have focused on making intelligent decisions, partly by not trying to do too much. It’s very smart sometimes to keep things simple.” Not trying to control everything will serve you well, he adds.

“Look at the relationships they have with the people who are doing their selling abroad. They’re not trying to micromanage every detail or control things that can’t be controlled.”


Article appeared in The Herald