Q&A with DJ Barbarich, Manager of Prodigy Tech Group Inc.

Tell us a little bit of the history of Prodigy Tech Group Inc. When was it formed and what were the circumstances that led to the business being formed?
Prodigy was formed in January 2010. I was a minority partner in another company, and we were very busy, but poor money management was causing vendors to cut off our accounts and deny material. I approached a couple of our best employees and one of the managers about separating and starting our own company so we could continue to support our customers.

Tell us about your array of services?
Prodigy Tech Group offers instrumentation, automation and electrical sales and services to residential, commercial and industrial customers. We work on everything from lighting and receptacles, to variable frequency drives and programmable logic controllers.

How are you differentiating yourself from the competition?
We have a team of 60 certified tradesmen, and we are very loyal to our customers. We pride ourselves in quick, complete service with quality components at a reasonable price.

Has your business model changed over the years? If so, how? How did you keep yourself relevant to your customers over the years?
We were built on service and low overhead. Our business model hasn’t really changed, but with the reality of today’s energy market we have had to cope with 80% less profit and competitors willing to do work at the break-even mark in order to pay for their overhead. We have not lowered our people’s wages or benefits throughout the downturn of the energy sector and remain very competitive in our market. We realize we are only as good as the boots we have on the ground and strive to keep the best feet in them.

Your business relies on technical expertise to be competitive. Has labor shortage/lack of people with technical experience ever been an issue in your business?
Finding and retaining quality tradespeople has definitely never been easy, but we feel we’ve done a good job and our low employee turnover and long-term people on staff are a testament to that.

Who are your customers? Where are they from?
Our customers locally consist of Tourmaline, Tervita, Voda, Longrun, Village of Rycroft, Dynamud, Secure as well as several private, commercial and agricultural clients. Our business revenue is still over 70% derived from the energy sector, but we are diversifying more everyday.

Where do you plan to take the business in the next five years?
We love the area and the communities we live in. Our plan is to keep being quality company clients want to work with, an employer folks want to work for and others see benefits from our support of community groups and recreation.

How are you dealing with some of the challenges in your day-to-day operation?
We are diversifying our customer list. The energy sector has been very good to us for the past decade, but it is facing continued challenges to its business. We have to find ways to be fiscally responsible so that all our customers see the value in doing their projects now despite the financial constraints of today’s economy.