A Start from Scratch Business, a Laser Cutting Success
Hi-Tec profiles is a leading provider of steel processing services, creating built-to-specification products which can be seen throughout the Western Canadian manufacturing industry.
Working closely with some of the world’s most renowned brands, Hi-Tec continues to develop innovative solutions to complex manufacturing challenges. With the aid of high-end steel processing technology and a team of highly experienced staff, Hi-Tec has revolutionized the sector. Today the firm is expanding their horizons, more recently diversifying to serve all of the steel processing demands of the wider mining and industrial industry.
Today, Hi-Tec Profiles is one of Western Canada’s leading providers of steel processing services including profile cutting and bending technology but the firm’s current successes are the result of humble beginnings and a companywide commitment to growth. “It was a start from scratch business,” explains Darren Carroll, President of Hi-Tec Profiles.
Three manufacturing professionals who came together collaboratively to address a growing market demand for innovative steel processing technologies created Hi-Tec. Starting out in the agricultural industry, Hi-Tec began working in the Canadian agricultural market. As the firm quickly expanded, management put forth a plan for further growth and investment. In the company’s third year of business, the president and vice president of Hi-Tec opened up the opportunity for staff to invest in the company. This was a turning point for Hi-Tec; by enabling staff members to have a greater stake in the firm, Hi-Tec was able to purchase new equipment, and in turn created a personally dedicated team of staff members.
Today, the employees-turned-shareholders represent a major portion of the firm’s management staff, and continue to reinforce a legacy of internal, as well as external development. As a result of this grass-roots growth strategy, Hi-Tec’s team has a close and personal commitment to the growth of the company, a feature which is illustrated by Hi-Tec’s 20 year anniversary, taking place this year.
Hi-Tec’s successes are an accomplishment by any standards, but especially when one considers Hi-Tec’s quick evolution. Carroll explains, “We started out in a 12,000 square foot shop, with one shear, one press break, one torch plasma table, and a grand total of five employees counting the president and vice president.” Upon approaching the 20 year benchmark it is safe to say Hi-Tec Profiles has reached new heights. Today, Hi-Tec is home to eight lasers, one torch plasma table and seven press breaks. With 52 employees and facilities that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Hi-Tec has grown from the ground up – but the firm’s current standing is only just the beginning of Hi-Tec’s overall potential.
Within the highly competitive laser cutting and manufacturing sectors, companies must find a way to stand out or be stamped out. Against the odds, Hi-Tec has remained a stable and consistently growing firm through some of the toughest economic times in world history. According to Mr. Carroll, the firm’s longevity boils down to an in-depth understanding of the market and above all, service reliability. As he says, “We sell a service and we stand behind that service; we are committed to being reliable and honest with our customers.”
Working closely with engineers in the large agricultural industry, as well as carrying out continual research and development in-house, Hi-Tec is backed by quality processes which underlie the company’s promise of reliability. Operating under stringent timelines is a challenge seen throughout the manufacturing sector, but Mr. Carroll explains that it is the company’s commitment to open and honest communication with its clientele which continues to differentiate Hi-Tec from the pack. “The honesty of my sales staff is a really important thing for us… the date my salesmen say is the date we deliver. We are very upfront with our customers about delivery dates and on-time reliability.”
The expertise which has informed Hi-Tec’s success has also established the firm’s reputation as a leader in the wider North American manufacturing industry, an accolade which has drawn in the company’s cohort of noteworthy clientele. “Hi-Tec is where it is today because our customer base has grown, so as our customer base grows, so will we,” explains Carroll.
Customer service is a key feature of the overall quality of Hi-Tec Profiles’ offerings and as a result, long-term customer relationships are a major focus for the business overall. Although Hi-Tec’s clients are among some of the world’s most influential agricultural brands – including Seed Hawk, Brandt and Honeybee – the firm’s growth has happened organically. As the mining, power and agricultural sectors expand, Hi-Tec’s clients have taken the firm with them, creating more demand, and simultaneously more work for the steel-processing firm. This expansion, driven by customer satisfaction continues to draw clients to Hi-Tec for a range of profile cutting and bending needs.
Hi-Tec’s major growth over the past two decades has been driven by the firm’s longstanding relationships with major industry leaders and repeat clientele continue to represent a large portion of the firm’s work. These return customers are indicators of a job well done and are the result of a companywide commitment to “doing what it takes” to best serve the needs of each individual project.
Hi-Tec’s success in the agricultural industry has opened up other doors within the wider manufacturing industry, and according to Carroll, although Hi-Tec will always work in agriculture, the firm is now taking on new endeavours and additional markets.
Recently, the firm has increased its processing capabilities, through the procurement of a 22 ft long, 850 Ton press break. As a result, Hi-Tec has taken on new endeavours, carrying out advanced work that services the power and mining sectors. Hi-Tec’s steel processing technologies work to specification, and this new investment has facilitated a new realm of possibility. The new heavy tonnage press break enables the adaptation and bending of major steel works, an integral part of the manufacturing processes necessary for creation of major transformers and other equipment utilised by the power and mining industries. As a result, Hi-Tec’s move into these new markets was logical and timely.
As Hi-Tec approaches its 20th anniversary, it is safe to say that the company may look different from the outside – but it is what lies at the heart of Hi-Tec which holds the firm’s promise for future success.
Carroll explains that Hi-Tec’s current and future successes are built on a companywide commitment to quality and a reputation which is the result of an exceptional team. When it comes to laser cutting or any manufacturing service, reliability, and experiential knowledge are king. Consequently, the firm continues to invest not only in top-of-the-line equipment, but also in staff training and development.
Hi-Tec’s staff are a secret weapon in terms of development, and Carroll emphasises that the company culture at Hi-Tec continues to not only draw in, but retain the best staff in the sector. “If we didn’t have people that can do their jobs and be reliable, we wouldn’t get that repeat customer… Hi-Tec is not Hi-Tec without everyone from back to front in this place.”
In the end, Hi-Tec is a success story which exemplifies the power of reliability, dedication, and experiential knowledge. From a one-room Canadian operation, Hi-Tec Profiles took their laser cutting technologies to the North American manufacturing market and prospered. Mr. Carroll assures that, “We have done this for 20 years, and we will keep on going along and keep on growing.” 20 years on, the company shows no signs of stopping; now a leader in laser cutting for agricultural manufacturing and an emerging player in the power and mining sectors, the last 20 years are only the tip of the iceberg for Hi-Tec Profiles.