Mi Integration : Imagine, Innovate, and Integrate

Michael SommerfieldKieron HarveyEd Budds
Michael Sommerfield - Project Manager Kieron Harvey - Project Manager Ed Budds - Editor
MI Integration 1536px
At A Glance
  • Mi Integration (Mi) shines through its value-added and innovative products, which are used by the automotive industry around the world.
  • Currently, about one-third of the company’s revenue is now earned through its Mexican operations, and as further investment is realized, this number is expected to grow.
  • With many new and exciting clients in its portfolio, customer satisfaction is the company’s major focus, and its team is aligned to develop and create numerous successful projects.
  • “Right now, across North America, there is a real opportunity to position ourselves as a strategic partner for many companies,” says Vincent Houle, President, Mi Integration.

Mi Integration is an innovative and efficient partner offering collaborative and integrated engineering services through a wide range of products, tooling, and polymer injection procedures, mainly for automotive sealing systems and multi-material products. We unpack the company’s story with President, Vincent Houle.

IMAGINE, INNOVATE, AND INTEGRATE

Founded in 1984, Mi Integration (Mi), a family business born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, shines brightly through its value-added and innovative products, which are used by the automotive industry around the world. 

Over the last three decades, Mi has distinguished itself through its top-tier expertise, natural creativity, and the thoughtful manner in which it efficiently solves complex design and performance needs.  

“As a manufacturer always on the lookout for new opportunities, we pride ourselves on our ability to quickly and effectively adapt our service offering,” introduces President, Vincent Houle

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a difficult period that seriously affected the automotive industry, Mi demonstrated its resilience by capitalizing on its established expertise in sealing and product development. 

In this way, the company has managed to respond and diversify its portfolio in personal protective equipment (PPE) and the healthcare sector, where a new division, Mi Protection, was created to offer high-performance products that improve safety for all while remaining environmentally responsible.  

Houle believes that the automotive industry in general is a highly interesting and rigorously challenging landscape where participants must embrace innovation and endeavor to make and do things differently.   

“I like to be connected to the market and clients’ needs, then transpose this internally to our team to get the best out of them and realize great projects and harness innovation,” he sets out. 

“I have worked in business development for many years, and in 2017, I became President of Mi, where my role is to find the right balance between strategy, organizational development, and lean manufacturing.”

ADAPTING CAPABILITIES

A truly game-changing development for the company was the creation of its own Mi lab in 2015, which exists as an R&D center for innovative new products and technology integration.    

“Our dedicated people in the Mi lab work very hard as we want to position ourselves as the first point of contact when clients need to improve their working cell process or product performance,” Houle affirms. 

As more complex and innovative designs continue to evolve throughout the industry, the company must stay agile and respond to new trends and developments. 

Undoubtedly, there are many exciting projects taking shape across the entire automotive manufacturing market, and Mi continues to establish itself as a partner looking to add as much value as possible to its assembly operations.   

“We like to simplify something that might look complex at the beginning, and if Mi can help to enhance a demanding trend in the market, this is where we become an accelerator,” Houle tells us.   

Another important trend Mi aims to play a more significant role in relates to sustainability.   

“This is difficult to position ourselves within as a small player in the value chain, but obviously, the interest in developing products, materials, and processes that help our planet is an axis that we will emphasize in the coming months and years.”   

A CANADIAN-MEXICAN LOVE STORY

Mi’s involvement in Mexico began in 2011, and its total investment in the country to date totals $6 million, which has been poured into the company’s facilities in San Luis Potosi.   

“All of our units are important, and this new geographical expansion represents a good growth opportunity for us. There are countless talents in Mexico as they have been thriving in the automotive market for many years now and have felt the level of maturity and expertise emerging from this,” Houle expands. 

By adapting the culture and leadership style to Mi’s new colleagues in Mexico, the company is developing true synergy between its Canadian and Mexican operations.   

Today, Mi’s Mexico plant mainly focuses on the mass production of thermoplastic injection molding, but the company is increasingly developing autonomy in terms of engineering and product development.   

Furthermore, Mi estimates that up to 75 percent of its new business will be produced in Mexico, mainly because of its proximity to clients.   

Beginning as a localization strategy at first, the San Luis Potosi facility is a strategic location that will continue to help Mi enhance its business.  

For Mi, the investment has been worth it. About one-third of the company’s revenue is now earned through its Mexican operations, and as further investment is realized, this number is expected to grow. Mi will also launch a new facility of close to 100,000 square feet in Ramos Arizpe, which aims to be fully operational in October 2024. This will be delivered to better respond to the company’s needs in the northern regions of Mexico and the Southern US. 

“Right now, across North America, there is a real opportunity to position ourselves as a strategic partner for many companies”

Vincent Houle, President, Mi Integration

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The power of the company’s dedicated and hard-working staff is the most important tool at Mi’s disposal.  

“We try to empower our staff with a sense of purpose by utilizing our corporate strategic plan and bringing this to all members so they can understand the reasons why they are carrying out a specific action,” Houle tells us. 

Mi has curated a thriving culture where it encourages and celebrates staff achievements, from the smallest milestones to the biggest wins, alongside inviting its people to lead a project they feel passionate about and develop within the organization.   

Concurrent to this, Mi works with colleges and universities to provide a chance for young professionals to experiment and develop a project within the company that enlightens them.   

“I am personally involved in a new foundation to develop the leaders of tomorrow. This is a fresh but promising initiative, as I find it interesting to help people from ages 15 to 17 explore new pathways and provide access to leaders who manage companies and teams so they can better understand leadership concepts that are often neglected in broader education programs,” he excites. 

CAPITALIZING ON EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES

Moving forward, Mi’s key priority is to organize the business in order to effectively scale its operations. With many new and exciting clients in its portfolio, customer satisfaction is therefore the company’s major focus, and its team is aligned to develop and create numerous successful projects.  

Alongside the aforementioned launch of Mi’s new manufacturing plant in the north of Mexico, the company recently opened a new sales and engineering office in Detroit at the beginning of 2024 as part of an objective to become more widely known and develop a better relationship with the entire value chain, which in turn will help Mi to drive innovation faster and more efficiently.   

“We need to understand our clients’ challenges and personalize our approach and development to meet these communicated and latent needs,” Houle acclaims.  

“Our service offering is vertically integrated from product design to mass production, passing through a rigorous product development process to build optimal capabilities. 

“Right now, across North America, there is a real opportunity to position ourselves as a strategic partner for many companies. Cost reduction, localization, and technology integration are all opportunities where we could potentially play a significant role in the automotive industry,” he concludes. 

This exciting landscape promises to open up multiple opportunities that Mi could not necessarily have accessed if the sociopolitical climate was the same as 10 years ago. 

While this evolving sector still exists parallel to countless uncertainties, the company must now take advantage of the current trends and remain agile with further evolution on the way.

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By Michael Sommerfield Project Manager
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Michael Sommerfield is a Project Manager for Outlook Publishing. Michael is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Michael is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Michael to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.
By Kieron Harvey Project Manager
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Kieron Harvey is a Project Manager for Outlook Publishing. Kieron is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Kieron is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Kieron to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.
By Ed Budds Editor
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Ed Budds is an in-house writer for Manufacturing Outlook Magazine, where he is responsible for interviewing corporate executives and crafting original features for the magazine, corporate brochures, and the digital platform.