In 1969 Chateauguay Machine Parts was founded in a suburb of Montreal’s South Shore. Today Chateauguay is a bustling community at the crossroads of major highway links Canada and the U. S., as well as rail lines and sea lanes.
In 1972, CMP was bought by Hans Zimmermann, a Swiss immigrant and former police officer, tinsmith and plumber. In the early 1980s, his 21-year-old son Steve Zimmermann joined the family business and since then has lead the company’s transformation into a dominant, technology driven, manufacturer.
The company, now CMP Advanced Mechanical Solutions, is a leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of mechanical, sheet metal and machined systems and enclosures.
It has also incubated several spinoff companies including Zimac Laboratories, a leader in composite bonding equipment in aerospace and Visual Knowledge Share which has developed and now markets the revolutionary VKS Visual Work Instruction System.
CMP, with hundreds of employees working in manufacturing facilities in Quebec Canada, upstate New York and with Advanced Mechanical Solutions Partners including Jabil AMS in Mexico continually invests in advanced state-of-the-art automation. CMP relentlessly pursues productivity, efficiency, defect-free manufacturing and unparalleled service. At CMP the CEO answers his own phone. The company tirelessly promotes onshore manufacturing and proves North American manufacturing delivers. At CMP, we believe onshoring is not only a sound business decision but a way to help our communities thrive.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Steve Zimmermann, CMP’s president and CEO, has spent much of his career searching for the “elusive zero,” the no-defect manufacturing system. He is an admitted perfectionist with little tolerance for ineptitude. He likes to say business is straightforward. “Keep customers happy, make quality products, keep looking ahead, make a profit,” he says.
At the age of 21, Steve dropped out of university to work with his father Hans, a former police officer and tinsmith, and his older brother at the family metal works. It had six employees and was on the brink. In a year the family pulled it together and turned the company around.
Today, more than 30 years later, CMP Advanced Mechanical Solutions is a leading manufacturer of metal enclosures and is on the cutting edge of modern automated and computerized production. It has 400 employees in facilities in Chateauguay, a South Shore suburb of Montréal, QC, New York State and in a joint venture with Jabil Advanced Mechanical Solutions in Mexico. CMP remains a privately-held business where family plays a large part.
Steve is active in the community and reaches out through public speaking and philanthropy. His dedication to quality and innovation is matched by his zeal for community and ecology. His favourite toy, more dear than his skis and cross-country bicycle, is an all-electric Tesla automobile.
Steve Zimmermann spends long hours at the plant — he’s considered a mentor by many — but is careful to balance work with an active, healthy lifestyle and time with family. Steve Zimmermann’s wife Janet is the company’s director of finance and his children, Ryan and Katie, also work at CMP.
Executive Vice President
John Soares, CMP’s executive vice president provides strategic guidance and leads the corporation’s business development and engineering teams. He joined CMP in 1999 after co-founding CMP’s design organization and since then has held several key positions within the company. He is a member of the CMP AMS Group executive committee charged with expanding CMP’s North American footprint. He holds a DEC in Aerospace and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology.
He has spent more than 24 years in the world of product development focusing on emerging technology. John has worked for and acted as a consultant to a number of multinational corporations. He, like the rest of the CMP team, is dedicated to finding the most innovative ways to manufacture and to bring manufacturing back to North America from offshore.
Vice President of Human Resources
With 25 years of expertise in human resources management, Michel Labrecque oversees all organizational initiatives that have a major impact on CMP’s shareholders, executives, managers, and employees. A strategic partner, Michel acts as a mediator for change management, with the goal of supporting the ongoing CMP structuring process.
Prior to joining CMP, Michel worked from 1994 to 1999 as the Vice President of Human Resources at food production company Culinar Canada. There, he oversaw a number of activities relevant to the company’s 3,000 employees. His initiatives included the conversion of the status of unionized employees to contractors, and the implementation of 50 autonomous teams grouping together executives, the union and employees. Michel also played a key role in a strategic negotiation process that concluded with the signing of five collective agreements for a period of five years.
From 1989 to 1994, Michel was Director of Human Resources at Labatt, representing 2,200 employees. At Labatt, Michel implemented a 60-person telemarketing network within a record timeframe of two months. He also played a major role in two mass reorganizations. Additionally, over a period of 30 months, he helped to reduce absenteeism by 50 percent.
As Director of Human Resources for Sico Inc. between 1979 and 1989, Michel’s strategic initiatives helped the company to win several IRIS Awards for its innovative Health & Safety, Excellence, and EAP programs.
Michel has a Bachelor in Industrial Relations from Laval University. He has been President of the Quebec Continuous Improvement Network since 1995, which has seen over 40 high profile manufacturing enterprises including Johnson & Johnson, Alcoa, and Alcan implement world class tools. He is also a member of the Organizational Development Network, an international learning community that develops and supports professionals in human organization and systems development.
Background in Aeronautical fabrication with several certificates along his career path including his latest green belt certification in lean manufacturing as given Phil the required tools to continuously improve and charter new waters for the corporation.
In his career, he has successfully managed Production, Quality and Engineering teams and for the last 4yrs was the CMP Québec General Manager before taking on the position of VP of operations.
From pioneering the visual instructions technology platform (VKS) that is now one of CMP’s strongest competitive advantages in the market to introducing a breakthrough manufacturing concept called HMF (Horizontal Manufacturing Flow), Phil continuously challenges the status quo and drives for both evolution and revolution of CMP’s operational processes and technologies.