Langley's Dowco Consultants is buying an Oregon firm and taking its products to new corners of the planet.
Dowco's president Ewen Dobbie found a company he needed in Eugene, Oregon. Now he plans on taking that firm to China, the Middle East and India. The Dowco Group recently purchased FabTrol, a firm that creates software used by the steel fabrication industry. That fits in well with Dowco's existing businesses, said Dobbie, the second-generation head of the firm.
Detailers: Where to Find Them and How To Keep Them
Recruitment and training efforts are more important than ever
A half-century ago, it was considered normal for North American fabricators to train their own detailers. Alternatively, they would import them from Britain and Europe. Wages were not high compared to shop personnel, and it was difficult to move between one fabricator and another—particularly with the larger companies. There seemed to be an unwritten law that they would not poach from one another. My own recollection of those days is that when the recession of the 1960s hit, the fabricators had a difficult time holding on to their detailers...
How a couple turned an idea into a successful company in Eugene that's now a leading brand in steel fabrication
Back in the early 1980s, Eugene resident Douglas Cochrane was teaching himself how to program computers and write software to help steel fabricators more accurately estimate the costs of projects.
He had no idea his fledgling concept would turn into FabTrol, a global venture that now has 35 employees in Eugene.
And, in 1985, when Cochrane incorporated FabTrol, and Gerry Dennis, a savvy saleswoman who owned a welding shop in Veneta, joined the company, neither Douglas nor Gerry knew what was in store, personally or professionally.