Company’s Consistent Tech Reinvestments Build Market Niche, Help Retain Employees

A focus on cleaning large-diameter pipes forced Uni-Jet Industrial Pipe Services to acquire specialized equipment, which has had a positive effect on the company in several ways

Company’s Consistent Tech Reinvestments Build Market Niche, Help Retain Employees

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It’s no small feat to go from a tiny operation with one old rodding truck and one employee to a multimillion-dollar-a-year company with more than 50 employees and 100 pieces of equipment.

But that’s exactly what Morris Baziuk and his wife, Ursula, have accomplished since they founded Uni-Jet Industrial Pipe Services in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

One key to this growth was the Baziuks’ foresight in capitalizing on a niche market: cleaning and inspecting large-diameter pipes. That market sector has few, if any, competitors in Manitoba and western Canada, says Shane Cooper, operations manager for the company.

“There are a lot of sewer cleaning companies out there, but they’re just not built to do this kind of work,” he says. “That’s where the Baziuks’ foresight came into play.”

It takes significant upfront cash outlay to buy the specialized equipment needed to clean large-diameter pipes — typically 48 inches or more in size. That creates a significant barrier to market entry. But Uni-Jet has shown a consistent commitment to reinvesting in itself, another key to the company’s success.

“Reinvesting in technology is what allowed us to break into the market for bigger-diameter pipes, not to mention the investments in shop space and equipment to build our own equipment,” Cooper says.

Of course, having the best possible equipment isn’t worth much without excellent employees to operate it. And Cooper says that the company’s emphasis on investing in quality equipment and advanced technology has helped attract quality employees and minimize turnover. Some employees have been with the company for more than 30 years, and supervisors commonly have 20 or more years of tenure.

“The owners treat employees exceptionally well and pay them competitively,” Cooper says. “And because of our capabilities, we get the chance to work on very unique and challenging projects — definitely not the same thing every day. Part of what makes guys interested in staying here is those challenges, as well as being part of a team that does something no one else can do. Our guys will talk the ear off of anyone who will listen about the unique jobs they’ve done. There’s a lot of pride there.”

Read more about Uni-Jet in the August 2019 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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