Exeleon Magazine

Altek Supply: A Heritage Committed to People and Customers

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In modern days, the importance of distribution of industrial products has grown by leaps and bounds. Throughout the world, many industries rely on this distribution to keep their businesses running. Without reliable supplies coming in, daily operations would begin to slow down, which could cause mild inconveniences to extensive damage.

And in this whole multifaceted process, distribution channels play an essential role in completing this circulation. These intermediaries act as the wholesaler in the industry, supplying goods and services to other businesses to use them in their services.

Altek Supply is one such distributor which is serving the industry and its customers for over 20 years. Continuing upon its two decades of legacy, Altek is a second-generation family-owned international master distributor of industrial products. The firm stores market products from the leading brands in the energy sector and provides technical support to the Oil & Gas, Mining, Refining, Chemical, Water, and Wastewater Industries.

However, what differentiates this firm from a traditional business is its philosophy, investment in its employees, and the integrity it holds for its customers.

For the Customers

The year 1999 saw two visionary personalities, Fred and Debbie Atema, coming together to fulfill a need. Both these personalities wanted to create their own destiny, and hence, left behind an organization that no longer supported their vision.

With the experience gained since the 1970s, these dynamic personalities branched out to create something of their own. And the result was a company that saw a humble beginning with a simple yet powerful idea – build a company with a strong desire to focus on customers’ needs.

And for the past 20 years, Altek Supply has succeeded by staying true to family values. It has followed its strong principles of hiring and retaining top talent, and carrying a large inventory of quality products. It has also developed a robust network of committed customers that rely on Altek to deliver on every promise.

Carrying on the Family Legacy

Altek has always had fantastic customer support since day one. This support isn’t formed by hard work alone. It is built on the relationships that Fred and Debbie forged with the customers and how they supported them. And now, their son Mike Atema as well as his siblings Katreena and her husband Tyler, Brendan, Rob and his wife Heather, Jeremy and his wife Lacey, and Jon, are carrying on the legacy their parents started 20 years ago, working together to propel the company forward.

As the President and CEO of Altek Supply and the Atema Group, Mike looks after the company’s strategic direction, culture, and growth. While Altek is in the energy business, the Atema Group has its roots in Commercial Property, Manufacturing, Agriculture, and Distribution, being the core business of Altek Supply.

Mike also concentrates on the continuous addition of value to support Canadian energy. Besides the firm and group, he also sits on the Board for the True North Strong Foundation.

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Growth Trust and Impact

Altek Supply has been representing leading brands and consistently providing unmatched customer service to the industries for a long time. The firm has achieved this unmatched success with its strong core values; Growth Trust and Impact.

In the words of Mike, “It is in how we treat our Customers and Employees. We foster a safe, respectful environment that encourages our Core Values of Growth, Trust, and Impact. From that anchor point, our team can provide an unmatched customer experience, genuinely care about making a difference in our industry and in the lives of everyone we deal with.”

While Altek was never established to be a ‘disruptor,’ these core pillars rendered the company to find new ways to be disruptive and innovative. Mike asserts, “It may be common to think, ‘I need to invent the next Amazon or Netflix’, but there are companies like BestBuy that are disruptive within their footprint. They innovate a better experience or more value, and that disrupts that space.”

Altek Supply also differentiates itself by being more focused on growth, trust, and a positive mindset with a synonymous effort. “Altek is more aligned with that type of disruption. Our core values are Growth, Trust, and Impact. This Growth Mindset will ensure the continual pushing of our limits. Always more, always progressive, always more value to our customers and employees, and often its wonderfully subtle,” Mike continues.

Core Values Won Over the Pandemic

Altek’s core values got challenged in the unprecedented times of the coronavirus pandemic. The challenges forced Mike to take a hard look at the situation and see it as the ultimate test. “Covid tested everything. The ultimate question was how can we do right by our team? Our people helped build this business, our team is our secret sauce, and now, the ultimate test, it wasn’t a typical recession.”

However, with a strong belief in the company’s core values, Mike decided to stick by all his employees and committed to standing up and improving the situation. “The decision was made quickly; we keep them all! What kind of business are we if it doesn’t stand behind the people when they need it the most? Our core value ‘Trust’ means nothing if they can’t trust us now. We committed, they committed, and it was beautiful. Never underestimate what your team is willing to do for their business.”

Mike was also able to remove the fog behind challenges and saw a future full of opportunities. “We don’t have challenges in the future. We have opportunities. Our team has been building and waiting for the economic recovery, and because we are all here, everyone can lift. We’ll dominate our industry. The future is an opportunity for us.”

The A-Team

Besides the core values, the people at Altek Supply also make up for the company’s success. As the firm’s roots are engraved in the family, the employees of Altek are also considered a part of the family. This culture led the firm to be honored as a Top100 Canadian Employer as well as being awarded the TinyPulse’ Happiest People’.

“Companies say ‘our culture’ all the time. Altek Culture, the A-Team, is an eco-system of safety, reward, passion, and vision. Our people show up every day and continually build that spirit. Management adamantly protects it,” describes Mike.

And the extraordinary people that form such a culture also get praise from Mike. “We hire great people, recognize them, support them, praise them, retain them, celebrate them. Very few companies compare to how much we love our people. As a family business, we are literally a family.”

Mike will continue to rely on his amazingly talented people for the company’s growth in the future. He describes the forthcoming years as ‘unrecognizable’ in the face of positive disruption.

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