Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Davis Controls celebrates 80 years in Canada

October 2, 2013
By Mary Del

Davis Controls Ltd., a Canadian distributor of industrial instrumentation and factory automation products, is celebrating 80 years in Canada, and the company recently invited customers, suppliers and press to its headquarters in Oakville, Ont., to celebrate this milestone.

Founded in 1933 by Cecil R. Davis, the company was one of the first in the controls and instrumentation business in Canada. It began operations in a one-room store on Bond Street in Toronto, and today resides at a 20,000-sq.-foot facility in Oakville. Davis Controls now has 43 employees across Canada, and more than 20 of them have been with the company for more than 20 years.

Company president Neil Montgomery is one of them. He has been with Davis Controls since 1977; though the company has been in his family since 1955, when his dad joined.

Manufacturing AUTOMATION had a chance to chat with Montgomery at the event, and learned what he attributes their success to.

“Over the years, it’s always been the people,” he said. “We have great products, and 25 supplier personnel from 15 of our largest and most important suppliers are here today, celebrating with us. Obviously in order to survive, you have to have good products and we do. But so do a lot of other companies. And we provide good service, and that has helped over the years. But customers expect good service, and I would say that that’s a given. If we didn’t provide good products and good service, we should have been out of business by now. The main thing that’s kept us going and growing over 80 years is the people. Over the years, we’ve been fortunate enough to identify and train and retain excellent people. I think a lot of that is a testament to the company. People like to work here.”

And its those people who will help keep Davis Controls successful in the future – a future that Montgomery said is looking bright.

“We’re current with our technologies. We continue to hire young, technically trained sales engineers. The economy will always have its ups and downs. We try to stay at the leading edge with the technologies that we sell, but also with the technologies that we run our business with. We are running cutting-edge ERP, CRM, HRM and BAM…I attribute that to a lot of our success. We have information that we can access with the push of a button.”

Click here to watch part of our interview with Neil Montgomery. To learn more, visit

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