Find out how a company can serve a society with advanced technology.
Isidor Buchmann, founder and CEO of Cadex Electronics, recognized the high failure rate of nickel-cadmium batteries in portable devices and developed a battery analyzer that would exercise and rejuvenate these rechargeable batteries. He ran his business in a small room in his residence under the name Buchmann Enterprises Inc. After receiving the registered Cadex trademark, he changed the company name to Cadex Electronics Inc. in 1985. Cadex is derived from “CADmium-EXerciser.”
The first battery analyzer introduced in 1981 failed to achieve the anticipated market acceptance and only a few of the Cadex 450 were sold. The setback did not discourage Isidor, and he started to design a modular battery analyzer that could simultaneously service different battery types. The resulting Cadex 550 battery analyzer sold reasonably well and became the workhorse for two-way radio batteries serving the public safety, railway and oil industries. In 1983, the company moved from Isidor’s home address to a rented office.
In 1985, a communications company commissioned Cadex to develop and manufacture an intelligent fast-charger for the End-of-Train Unit. The device clamps to the last car of a freight train and replaces the caboose by providing vital operating information such as brake pressure and car-in-motion data. The successful project formed the foundation for several new Cadex products that were assisted with research funds from the Science Council of British Columbia and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).
The charger design led to the development of a fully programmable battery analyzer in 1991 that benefitted from the rapidly growing mobile phone market. In 1995, the Cadex C7000 Series with the SnapLock™ battery adapter system established a new standard to which competitive products were compared. This opened markets in public safety, defense, healthcare, transportation, logistics and mining in over 100 countries, resulting double-digit growth for several years.
As Cadex grew, the company needed relocating to larger premises. Doubling plant size with each move made the new location look empty at first. Items that were within arm’s reach now needed long-distance running. Eventually, employees and equipment filled in the void and the hum of activity replaced the echoing sound resembling an empty hall.
Isidor felt proud walking down the long corridors with offices to the left and right, filled with dedicated staff serving customers and taking orders. During this period of rapid growth, Cadex received contracts from a U.S. defense organization and a leading medical company to supply battery chargers and analyzers for defibrillators. Business organizations took notice of this rising company and Isidor was a finalist at four Entrepreneur of the Year events.
Cadex reached financial strength to build its own headquarters and acquired one of the most scenic parcels of land in a new industrial park in Richmond, BC. Architects drew up plans and Isidor spent several months optimizing the floor layout and enhancing the appearance.
The building includes a large two-story glass octagon that serves as entrance lobby and accommodates the reception and meeting rooms. A broad staircase leading to the second floor conveys an atmosphere of grandeur and space. Large windows and balconies facing the mighty Fraser River, on which the building is located, provide a relaxing show of swans frolicking in the waters and ducks grazing on the riverbanks. This tranquil setting central to metropolitan Vancouver provides a pleasant working environment and promotes creative thinking.
Cadex headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada
With the wonders of nature at its door, Cadex offers its staff a tranquil alternative to the noise and hustle of crowded city streets.
Courtesy of Cadex
Everyone with an idea and a little bit of savings can start a company. This turns Karl Marx’s famous dictum on its head that imposed layers of permissions, secure access to capital, a plant filled with machinery and ready buyers to consume the products it produced. What is needed more than ever is a vision and the discipline to slug it out even when the first attempt goes bust. Once the products are accepted, continued improvements must be made together with attentive customer service. Products may fail in the field, but how quickly these problems are being solved measures the success. And, yes, don’t forget sacrifice. The owners must become the servants who continuously hunt for the greatest talents in the land.
Last updated 2016-04-15
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