WInnipeg Airport

The Story of AXIS – Part 3

In the summer of 2007 we had managed to get our Weld Test Centre operation, we were selling test plates, offering mechanical testing services, in addition to our foundation of Visual Inspection and Non-Destructive Testing. Dan Shewfelt came on board as a partner and owner, and things were going pretty steady.

CWB Test plate

Test Plate Assembly for CWB Weld Tet

We had challenges getting into a few of the markets, but the Winnipeg Airport Authority was keeping us busy with being their representative to all the fabrication and site erection inspection. Additionally more and more crane inspection clients were coming on board.

Marketing was pretty straight forward, door to door, and sending out marketing pamphlets. The business was good, and the company was growing.

The following year my husband who was also my business partner left, I was forced to sell our house and put both the building and engineering business up for sale. My personal life was holding on by a thread. My survival instinct was to sell everything but buy him out of the Inspection Company as fast as possible. AXIS was solid. The clients were and are loyal, and I knew, for the most part, what I was doing. (Oh we made lots of mistakes, but it all seemed to work out). As 2008 came to a close, the company was being re-born. The start of 2009 brought some wild and unexpected opportunities.

In 2008, when the sale of the Engineering company went through, and I was left owning half of an inspection company, I wondered what was going to happen. The sale was a bit bumpy, and we no longer had an engineering firm that was able and willing to do our Engineering work.

The most amazing thing happened. Engineering companies came out of the woodwork and approached us. Companies that wouldn’t give us the time of day before were now on our doorstep issuing PO’s and offering work. They hadn’t wanted to work with a company that had their own engineering resources. This was one of many “AH HA” moments that would come in rapid succession over the next few years.

Until next week,

Bonnie Pankratz


For Part 1 – The AXIS Story

For Part 2 – The AXIS Story

For Part 4 – The AXIS Story

For Part 5 – The AXIS Story