The wisdom (and vision) of marching to your own beat

In this episode, Nick and Brendan sit down with Jeff Cowling, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Yorkville Sound. The company manufactures PA speakers, Traynor guitar and bass amplifiers, and is the contract speaker manufacturer for Canadian theater icon, IMAX. 

The company was originally founded in Toronto in 1963 in the back room of the first Long & McQuade store by Pete Traynor. Jeff attributes much of Yorkville Sound’s successes to their business philosophy of stable survival rather than market dominance. Focusing on steady, consistent growth and stable operations exposed them to less risk as they grew their company over the years.

Additionally, the company’s manufacturing operations are heavily vertically integrated. Having almost all aspects of manufacturing under one roof allows for improved quality control and the ability to pivot quickly to shifting needs. Their manufacturing of ventilator components during the pandemic is an excellent example of this. 

While their manufacturing philosophy is not universal, there are lessons and insights that other manufacturers could use on their shop floors. Crank it to 11 and have a listen.

00:00-03:56 – Intro
03:56-05:53 – Meeting the guests
05:54-08:37 – An intro to Yorkville Sound’s history in Toronto
08:28-10:45 – The ‘Yorkville Difference’, “…it starts with our ears!”
10:46-13:37 – The unique relationship between Yorkville Sound and Long & McQuade
13:38-16:24 – Yorkville’s secret: Doing as much as possible under one roof
16:25-19:00 – “How do you do this all cost efficiently?” – B. Sweeney
19:01-22:02 – What’s coming off their shop floor (and how they test it)
22:03-27:19 – Yorkville’s talent pipeline & employee retention strategy
27:20-30:11 – Nick wants to talk Traynor and exporting Yorkville’s manufacturing philosophy
30:12-34:26 – “How was COVID?” – the pivot from guitar amps to ventilator controls
34:27-37:57 – Ontario is a unique place where a speaker manufacturer can help make a ventilator
37:58-39:36 – The Yorkville and IMAX Partnership
39:37-41:24 – What’s next?

Yorkville Sound
Long & McQuade
Traynor Amps

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