From left: Susan Wellman, sales order specialist; Wayne Rousseau, owner/president; Heather Rousseau, VP, Jacob Rousseau, sales/service. (Courtesy photo)
For 25 years, Wayne Rousseau has kept his clients’ machines running smoothly by providing the necessary oils, lubes and other metalworking fluids needed. Then the pandemic stalled the supply chain. “We did everything we could do to get stock in our warehouse. We didn’t worry about profit; we just needed to get product,” says Wayne’s wife, Heather, who handles the administrative side of MHR Resource North, which is based in Lempster. “We keep a high level of inventory on hand as we never want our customers to run out.”
Wayne adds, “My wife did the best job anyone could do making sure we ordered quicker than we would normally order.”
There were also major delays with delivery companies. “It was horrible. We would have to go back into our own supply and Wayne and [our son] Jacob would drive it down [to the customer] at 9 or 10 at night,” Heather says. “We weren’t going to allow COVID to destroy everything we had built.”
While the company did take a hit as some customers shut down temporarily and others couldn’t let outside vendors in because of COVID protocols, Wayne quickly figured out how to troubleshoot a problem over the phone. “Word of mouth traveled we were still in business and when things settled out, we started to grow,” he says. Indeed, they added their first non-family employee and revenue jumped above pre-pandemic levels. “It was a battle, but we got through it.”
The company’s clients include manufacturers of guns, medical devices and aerospace parts. Its clients are primarily in Northern New England though they are expanding further south and plan to add two more employees before yearend.
Heather credits the Claremont Center, a warehouse and logistics company in Claremont, with helping them succeed. “They worked with us to grow and accommodated us from one pallet to a truckload every two weeks. They have always been amazing,” she says.
“Wayne is an honest person with a lot of integrity. I knew it would work. We just had to keep pushing and pushing,” Heather says. “Now we have a successful business [and] that is gratifying.”