It’s stability that investors might be looking for at this point. The company has seen a raft of executive changes in recent months, including the resignation of CEO Doug Lucky. Additionally, it called off a takeover with ArmorWorks LLC in May for undisclosed reasons.
PSP has struggled with profitability despite a merger with a holding company two years ago that was supposed to boost its finances.
But Mr. Vaudrey, who has been on the board for two years, says he willingly sought the position and that he sees potential in the soft-armour maker.
“I like the business. For me, it’s heartening to be in a business that literally saves lives,” he says.
For the past decade, he has been the owner and president of North American Logistics Services, a Toronto-based transportation and customs brokerage company. The firm does about $30 million to $50 million in business, which is about where he hopes to bring PSP.
Mr. Vaudrey will remain president of the logistics company, but says PSP is his full-time job and focus.
When past CEO Mr. Lucky took the helm of PSP in 2010 following an executive shakeup, the soft-armor maker was generating about $30 million in annual revenues at the time.
Mr. Vaudrey says that is now down to about $18 million a year as the company focuses in on soft-armor business. The company also posted a narrow, $100,000 net income in its most recent quarter after years of red ink.
Mr. Vaudrey added that the firm has been “rightsizing” by letting go of business lines outside of soft armor (such as selling APS Distributors in 2011) and not necessarily employees, in the past year or so. The company has 140 employees across all offices.
The company told OBJ earlier this year that its local headcount stood at approximately 130 employees. The staff numbers fluctuate according to contract wins, and the business is also somewhat seasonal given the business with the federal government, Mr. Vaudrey said.
The new CEO said it is difficult to speak about business ideas in great detail given the nature of several of the contracts, which for security reasons are not disclosed.
Some customers also prefer to remain private, although PSP has disclosed wins with the RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police, Department of National Defence and Canada Border Services Agency.
When asked about specifics for maintaining profitability, Mr. Vaudrey said he preferred to speak in generalities.
“We’re not going to get distracted with large initiatives. The customers are telling us we have great products, and the customers are telling us we have a great team.”