Dominion Sure Seal sticks to values of honesty, loyalty 50 years after opening doorsBy Kristen Lipscombe
From the logo adorned with a red and white maple leaf, to an unwavering commitment to customer honesty and employee loyalty, Dominion Sure Seal Ltd., is the epitome of a “very proudly Canadian” company that is steeped deep in family values.
Indeed, Dominion Sure Seal has always been independently owned, which is becoming increasingly rare in the highly competitive automotive industry, since patriarch Ronald Morton first opened the company’s doors in Mississauga, Ont., almost 50 years ago. Brothers and business partners Greg Morton and Derek Morton have honoured their late father’s legacy by staying true to his strong business ethics.
“We treat our employees like family,” said Greg, who has worked at Dominion Sure Seal in some capacity since he was just a teenager and now serves as its CEO and managing director. “A lot of them have been here for 25, years, 20 years and 15 years… and it’s because we treat them with a lot of respect and very well.”
Dominion Sure Seal, a leading North American manufacturer of sealants, protective coatings and adhesives for the automotive paint, body and equipment industry, also knows how to keep clients coming back for more.
“We have good customer retention,” Greg told Auto and Trucking Atlantic. “We’re known for good quality products at a good price.”
Greg along with brother and business partner Derek, believe that following in their father’s footsteps by keeping their company family-oriented and independently owned is a large part of why they’ve been able to double their business since Ronald passed away in 2011 at the age of 71, and also why they’ve been able to continue that forward momentum through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our success lately is because a lot of our competition has been bought out by huge companies,” Greg said, adding clients don’t want to deal with “billion-dollar companies” that are slow to react to customer demands rather than being proactive by adjusting to their needs and demands.
“There are very few family-owned businesses left,” Greg said. “A lot of our customers, they like the fact that they’re dealing with a company that’s not some multi-national conglomerate. We can be reactive to their needs and supply what they want. We’re very flexible.”
Dominion Sure Seal is always prepared for client needs well in advance, Greg said. “During COVID, we have been ordering supplies out six months, so we’re not being affected nearly as much as our competition.”
The company sources Canadian-made materials for its products, which include under-coatings, paints, plastic repair, anti-corrosion materials, liquid bedliners, adhesives, tapes and specialty chemicals, according to www.dominionsureseal.com.
Greg and Derek also own Rust Check, which supplies rust proofing products to more than 200 dealers within the retail sector across the country. Taking over Rust Check was another one of their father’s savvy business moves; he acquired the company in 1998 to continue growing his family’s automotive industry assets.
The company name itself is proof positive of its support of products manufactured on home soil.
“Dominion stands for the Dominion of Canada,” Greg said, referring to our country’s formal name.
“Our Maple leaf in our logo is on all of the products that we sell in the U.S., too because we are very proudly Canadian.”
Meanwhile the Sure Seal part of the company moniker came about “because at the beginning we made sealants; which was our big product.”
In fact, it was one of Ronald’s chemists who worked at Dominion Sure Seal during the company’s early days who actually invented plastic repair for vehicles, Greg said. “Cars were just coming out being made with plastic back then, so instead of replacing the bumpers and throwing them out, which was an environmental concern and also costly, the auto body world decided to start repairing those bumpers.
With the help of his staff members, “my dad came up with something kind of like a body filler, but it wasn’t for steel, it was for plastic,” Greg said, adding that as a result Dominion Sure Seal started distributing the new and useful product in about 30 different countries.
Dominion Sure Seal was also one of the first companies to come up with the idea of spraying a protective guard “into the back of trucks as bed liner,” Greg said, adding sales skyrocketed as a result of the invention despite other businesses catching on to the innovative idea and creating similar products.
The Mortons continue to grow and expand their company across the country. Over the past five decades, Dominion Sure Seal has moved from one 5,000-square-foot facility to at one point having two facilities that equated to about 80,000-square-feet total.
Currently, Dominion Sure Seal employs about 30 staff members at its headquarters in Mississauga, in addition to 10 sales representatives that are dispersed from coast-to-coast, including in Atlantic Canada, to help market and distribute products to shops across the country.
“It’s basically to offer products and services to our customers (on site and in person) and to fulfil their needs with on-time deliveries,” Greg said. “We market our products in Canada way more than any other companies our size do.”
Dominion Sure Seal is also heavily involved and invested within the industry it serves, sponsoring organizations and events such as client golf tournaments, various trade shows, and the Canadian Collision Industry Forum. Regular clients for Dominion Sure Seal include most automotive retailers and automotive jobber stores across Canada.
As for how Greg, Derek and the rest of the Dominion Sure Seal family plan to celebrate opening Dominion Sure Seal back in October 1972, a fast-approaching milestone marking 50 years of distributing high-quality Canadian-made automotive products, the company may potentially host an anniversary golf tournament “down the road” as long as Public Health guidelines allow, More importantly, though, the brothers in business simply want to share their father’s business story with the public.
“It’s a huge source of pride,” Greg said. “It’s about growing his legacy, increasing our business and being good to people.”