Hi-Tec Profiles

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Location: Regina, SK

Years in Business: 17

Key manufacturing processes: plasma, laser, bending

Recent investment: 7th laser cutting machine

When Hi-Tec Profiles in Regina, SK, opened its doors, both the owners and its employees were “jack of all trades,” recalls co-owner Darren Carroll, president.

“We did everything—sales, invoicing, running the machines; we did it all to get the company to where it is today.”

And the company has come a long way. It began in a 12,000 sq ft facility with one plasma cutting machine, one brake and one shear. Today the shop operates in a 43,000 sq ft facility equipped with a plasma cutting machine, six brakes and eight large dual bed laser cutting machines from Cincinnati Inc., the most recent installed this past August and purchased from Cincinnati distributor Elliott Matsuura.

“Our big focus today is laser cutting; that’s why we invested in an eighth machine. All our Cincinnati lasers are 6 ft by 12 ft dual bed machines capable of cutting three quarter inch mild steel and three eighths stainless steel. Our wattage for the machines range from 3330 to 5000 W,” explains Carroll.

When Carroll began in 1985, he wasn’t an owner of the company. At that time, the original owners decided to get into laser cutting but didn’t have the financing to invest in the new equipment. “They offered employees shares in the company to generate the money and several of us took the offer,” says Carroll. In addition to Carroll, employees who took the offer included current co-owners Scott Reid (now vice president), Regan Wagner (sales), and Miles Gardner (shipping).

“We’re still a hands-on company. We understand that customers come first and to meet customer deliveries we run three shifts during the week and a 12-hour week-end shift too. Our employees understand that if customers are happy we get repeated work, which keeps us busy and helps us grow the business.”

Recently the company added two new partners and when they asked existing co-owners what they to need to grow the business, there was no hesitation: more lasers.

“The new laser will add needed capacity. The agricultural sector in Saskatchewan is busy. We also have the potash mines coming on stream and a busy oil patch industry. With these types of markets, we’ll likely need more equipment. For instance, big bending and big rolling is now more in demand because of the mining work and we have to be ready to meet new demands from customers,” says Carroll.

As a job shop, you need to be flexible, adds Carroll. You have to be ready to meet demands of a diverse range of customers with a diverse range of requirements. And that’s where Hi-Tec excels, he says.

“We have a large Hutterite community and sometimes they will come in with cardboard box cutouts. We’ll take that, design it and fabricate it. We do anything that needs profiling and we work with a variety of materials—mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum.”

One of the toughest challenges Hi-Tec—and most other job shops face—is retaining skilled workers. One way the company has learned to overcome this challenge and maintain long-term workers is simply by “creating a good place for them to come to work,” explains Carroll. “We’ll help them to work around family schedules. So if someone needs to take off early to go watch a son play baseball, we let them. We try to accommodate our workers and keep them happy.”

Carroll and his co-owners are confident that business will continue to grow, as long as they focus on meeting customer needs

“It’s been a great ride. I have a bunch of guys that I like working with and we’ve grown with many of our customers. Of course there are always challenges running a job shop, but our strength lies in our reputation and our honesty too. We tell our sales reps to never lie about delivery dates. We have a scheduler who handles this and I’m very proud of this aspect of the business. If we say we’ll delivery in three weeks, that’s what we’ll do. Our honesty has paid off and we’ve grown and developed loyal customers because of it.”

Hi-Tec Profiles



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