ECL, Yanke on top 50 list

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TORONTO, Ont. -The Financial Post’s annual hunt for Canada’s 50 best-managed private companies is over and two Prairies-based carriers – Calgary’s ECL Group of Companies and Saskatoon’s Yanke Group – are on the list.

Both companies impressed the judges with their attention to technology, service and human resources.

For example, drivers at ECL, whose main business is petroleum hauling, are expected to think and act like independent businesspeople. In January, the company introduced a participation plan that allows staff to share in the company’s equity growth. After five years, employees could be handed a cheque worth 30 per cent of their salary, predicts Tom Fredericks, president of ECL.

“If we expect them to act like owners, we have to reward them as such,” he adds.

At Yanke Group, a pair of IBM AS/400 mainframes are linked to desktop PCs for every office worker and every rig is linked via the Internet to that system. Yet Scott Johnston, president of the group, says technology can only take a company so far.

“I’m sure you’ve heard this time and time again, but that doesn’t make it any less true: Ultimately, it’s our people that determine our success,” Johnston says.

There were 512 entries for this year’s awards.

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