Ron Yuers is exactly where he thought he would be after 40 years of building his company. Yuers’s vision of wanting to create products that actually work, and would continue to work through the test of time without sacrificing quality or revenue, has become the mantra of his successful concrete waterproofing company.
“I never diverted my thought patterns. If you’re going to succeed in anything and excel, you have to have a plan. You need to have a goal and know how to get there. Money is not the goal. It’s the reward,” says Yuers. “l had every intention of making Kryton and the product Krystol the most used material of its kind in the world — simply because it was, and still is, a product that has always worked as it was meant to work.”
In 1973, Yuers co-founded Canwest Waterproofing C0mpany, initially specializing in concrete restoration work. Frustrated with the poor quality of the products available in the market, Yuers began thinking about improvements and resolved to develop a product that reacted internally and remained permanent.
Yuers partnered with a chemist in Vancouver to develop a surface-applied cementitious slurry coat system, what we know today as Krystol T1 and T2. Based on the success of his first project and knowing the void in the market-place the decision was made to manufacture and sell the new product under the name Kryton.
During these early years, Yuers put everything he had into getting Kryton off the ground, and he found the best way to get global distribution was to buy a one-way ticket somewhere, and not buy a ticket home until he sold something. His wife Jeanette would manage the business back in Vancouver.
By 1979, there were many companies manufacturing new ways to waterproof concrete, usually as a brush-on product. His team began experimenting with adding Krystol as an admixture directly to the ready-mix. After some testing and innovation, the new product successfully waterproofed, strengthened and rendered concrete crack resistant — a huge breakthrough.
This admixture, Krystol Internal Membrane (KIM), was subsequently used when building the world’s largest volume building under a single roof — The Boeing Developmental Center in Seattle. Boeing used KIM in the tunnels which delivered parts to where they were manufacturing 747s. The structure remains waterproof today.
To help improve international trade, Yuers joined The Vancouver Board of Trade in 1984, serving on many committees and as a tour director, as well as a director for the Board of Trade from 1985-88 and again from 1989-1992. Through these positions, Yuers helped form a committee to study a potential bilateral trade agreement with the U.S. He felt strongly that the study should be Canada-wide, as small businesses were suffering as a result of having their incomes impeded by high import duties. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney stood behind the committee’s findings and campaigned for what would become the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement.
By 1994, Yuers had refocused back on Kryton’s expansion. By that time, his son and daughter had joined the company and together they began to explore how to increase their brand’s awareness on a global level. Their straight-talking, ethical business style combined with their category-defining products, meant they boxed above their weight-class, winning projects against tough competition from larger companies.
The Kryton team went on to win Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Hanley W00d’s Most Innovative Product Award in 2003. In 2006, they again won Most Innovative Product for their Krystol Waterstop System.
Most recently the Yuers’ commitment to Kryton’s company culture has resulted in being named one of the “Best Companies to Work for in British Columbia” for four consecutive years.
Forty years after he first created Kryton, Yuers can proudly say he has built a solid company. With over 50 distributors in 43 counuies, Kryton is featured in hundreds of projects annually “Though you must keep your thinking organic to survive in the construction industry as it is constantly reinventing itself your vision must remain sound,” says Yuers. “If you have clarity from the beginning, and commit to that vision, you will most certainly achieve your goals.”
Sarah Rippin is multimedia coordinator for Kryton International Inc.
Source: Business in Vancouver