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Manufacturer of garage doors, Garaga, will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding throughout 2008. It was February 1983 when the assets of Garaga Doors Ltd. were acquired by Mr. Michel Gendreau, current president and CEO of Garaga Inc.
At the beginning, Mr. Gendreau had a hard time believing the primitive approach taken with clients in that era. ?The rule was simple: you take what we offer, or buy somewhere else? he recalls. Coming from the more dynamic securities industry, Mr. Gendreau found this approach unthinkable.
A bit of history
Although Garaga was up against much larger competitors at the start, it rapidly gained a large share of the market through its unique product offerings and consumer-oriented approach. In 1983, the first new product from Garaga, and previously unheard of in Canada, was a light, insulated, aluminium garage door, in a choice of 6 resilient baked-on polyester paint colors. Right away, Garaga was offering consumers a different product, and now on the map.
By supplying the $ 2.5-million thermal reinforcement of the Daniel Johnson dam (Manic 5) on the North Shore in 1991, Garaga proved its credibility and expertise. Coming in the midst of a recession, this contract was critical for Garaga. Fortunately, Hydro Quebec preferred to place its trust in a product from the Beauce rather than an American multinational.
Knowing how to innovate
Garaga has targeted niche markets neglected by other garage door manufacturers. Over time, it has positioned itself as a provider of energy-efficient and custom garage doors. As a result of being attentive to consumers and also on the lookout for the latest industry trends, this Beauce-region manufacturer presented a new collection, adding style and elegance to the traditional garage door. The Townships Collection consists of the North Hatley (2005) and the Eastman (April 2007), two carriage-style doors with the charm of yesteryear.
Thanks to the efforts of its employees and their unceasing willingness to innovate, Garaga now offers consumers a diverse range of products for all tastes and all budgets.
Innovate to best serve the client
For Garaga, innovation means not only investing in the acquisition of new equipment, but also changing the way of doing business. In 1996, the company launched its Garaga Expert network in order to provide complete satisfaction to end users of its products, a choice they would never regret! Today, Garaga is backed by an active network of garage door specialists. This network, unique in Canada, extends even into the Eastern US. ?When you create a win-win relationship, you can only succeed. You should never rest on your laurels. Innovating, changing the way we do things, and taking a look at things from different angles, are our daily challenges here,? explains Mr. Gendreau.
Surround yourself with the best
Good leaders know how to surround themselves with competent people. For Mr. Gendreau, it was crucial to have employees who shared his same values: integrity, teamwork, respect for others, openness, and concern for a job well done. At Garaga, everyone would agree that the client is king. ?Without clients, there is no company!? exclaimed Mr. Gendreau. In order to provide the best possible support to its Garaga Expert clients, key positions at Garaga are occupied by people with solid management experience. ?Each employee has a clear mandate: assist their clients with marketing, publicity, computing, and business management? says the president and CEO of Garaga.
Concerning the succession of Garaga, Mr. Gendreau's children have been immersed in the business since they were young and are already very involved in the company. Mr. Gendreau sees to their preparation and proudly tracks their progress.
Over the years, the reputation associated with the Garaga name in the Canadian marketplace is the result of efforts to stand out from the competition by offering a variety of products which are tailored to the needs of consumers. Garaga vows to continue in this direction by staying in tune with its clients.
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