Since 1978, HiQual Engineered Structures has been a leading manufacturer of livestock handling equipment. With a history that dates back 35 years, HiQual’s reputation as a supplier of high quality products has pushed the organization to the top of the industry and has paved the way for an expanded global reach of its business and brand.
Over the years, greater consumer demand plus synergies within the manufacturing process saw HiQual expand its product lineup, as it also became a supplier of fabric covered steel structures.
HiQual provides new, innovative, and quality products to the agricultural and livestock handling industry. It is this commitment to both quality and product development that serves as HiQual’s edge in the marketplace. HiQual is known in the industry as the ‘Brown-supplier’ with its distinctive, patented brown powder-coated equipment, a colour that was developed through close consultation with customers and a leading paint supplier.
“We are not the cheapest, we will not win the price war, and that is not what we are after,” Randy Friesen, President of HiQual, told The Canadian Business Journal. “We build quality and we built it to last.”
Offering customers value at a competitive price, as well as a variety of unique features and options that cannot be found elsewhere in the market, patented products have always been and continue to be a significant part of the HiQual product offering. From round pens, to connectors, to leading-edge gate structures, HiQual builds products with the end user in mind, always working alongside its dealers and customers to develop beneficial products that reflect the needs and challenges of the agricultural sector.
Most recently, HiQual launched its latest development, a hydraulically operated calf chute that efficiently automates the handling process for calves up to 650 pounds. The product is an industry first, and ranchers have responded tremendously to the latest product. As Friesen detailed, “With the average age of ranchers, and increasing difficulty attracting extra ranch hands, it has become important that we come up with products like the calf chute to assist the ranchers.”
Other innovative products include the Tombstone Saver Feeder, designed to reduce feed costs while also preserving product life. HiQual uses North American steel and all products are finished with a long lasting, non-abrasive, and protective brown powder paint, distinctive to the company’s offering.
About six years ago, HiQual began a rebuilding process following a devastating fire to its manufacturing operation and company infrastructure. Nevertheless, the dedication at HiQual has seen the company bounce back stronger than ever, with a new, larger facility that has pushed the company to new growth levels supported by its increased capacity.
“We have also gone after markets now that we previously did not. A lot of our business is now in the United States and we are doing a considerable amount of export sales,” Friesen said. “We are very aggressively going after new building business as well, especially after the demise of one of the biggest competitors in the industry. That has opened up a lot of opportunities.”
Moving forward, HiQual has an aggressive strategy to continue the growth it has realized in recent years. As well, the booming agricultural sector certainly bodes well for this plan. Described as a diamond in the rough, there is currently a high level of optimism in the agricultural markets, especially when compared to other sectors of the economy. As the industry grows, so too do the opportunities for organizations like HiQual to provide in-demand agricultural equipment.
By the numbers, HiQual hopes to double its business in the next three years, achieving this through further market expansions. Currently serving North America, HiQual will aim to grow into other agriculturally dominant and expanding markets, such as Eastern Europe and South America.
“We already have some projects underway and we are very aggressively going after this business,” Friesen summarized. “We recently shipped to Russia, and that is just scratching the surface. If you look at the agricultural sector right now, with corn, wheat, or cattle prices that have been at a level they have not been in past years, that bodes well if you do business in this sector.”