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Great People, Better Solutions, Best Company

Great People, Better Solutions, Best Company

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Kris Fewster, president of SPS West. Photos by Riverwood Photography.

SPS West is a group of curious thinkers who are relentless in their pursuit to provide better solutions — no matter what. They don’t conform to the everyday or do what’s easy to get out of work on time; it is just not part of their makeup. SPS West’s consultative approach means they work harder to learn about their customers’ businesses and earn their trust.

What started as Sarnia Piping Specialties (SPS) in Ontario in 1974 has grown into a network of privately-owned companies across Canada. SPS West, with a head office in Calgary, opened in 1996 and while it operates independent of the eastern companies, they continue to collaborate and support each other as they carry on the SPS legacy of integrity, quality and service.
“It’s the same three original partners and now we all own our individual shops, but we still go to market together and share a lot of the same products across the country,” says Kris Fewster, president of SPS West.

SPS West exclusively represents some of the best-in-class manufacturers in industrial safety such as Hughes Safety Showers, ThermOmegaTech and Drake Specialties.

SPS West’s expertise in providing fluid handling solutions has spanned decades. Baum is the world’s largest lined pipe manufacturer and the company is the exclusive Canadian distributor/fabricator for Baum plastic-lined steel pipe. It also offers a great selection of ThermOmegaTech self-actuating temperature control valves, Swissfluid lined process valves, Behringer hygienic pipe supports as well as A-Flex PTFE lined flex hoses to ensure clients have the best products on the market.

“As an ISO-certified company we take pride in qualifying both local and global vendors and their products to ensure they meet or exceed Canadian standards,” says Loriann Bowman, operations manager.

SPS West protects its clients’ investment by bringing world-class engineered measurement and instrumentation products to the Canadian market. SPS is the exclusive distributor for Sensor Sampling, with Sensor designing custom closed loop sampling solutions commonly used in industries like refining, chemicals, LNG and petrochemicals across Canada.

Serving a niche market, the SPS West team provides a deeper technical understanding of these specialized products and how they can best be used to engineer solutions for clients. SPS West has redefined the role of a traditional supplier, making it that of a valued consultant. The team has strong relationships with clients and partners with them to ensure that the products they purchase are the right ones.

“We ask the right questions and listen to understand the challenges our clients face. We then work on an engineered solution that is customized to solve that particular problem,” says Shawnah Moseley, vice president of sales & marketing. “We are not prepared to offer an engineered solution without properly consulting first.”

Whether it is a multi-million-dollar project or a smaller MRO job, the SPS West team has a diverse line of specialty products that fits every situation. SPS West encourages collaboration with clients to offer them the best solutions for their unique situations, and by engaging with SPS West during front-end engineering, clients can incorporate solutions for handling corrosive fluids more efficiently from the start.

The company also encourages collaboration among staff in-house so the team can consider all options and perspectives before tailoring a solution for clients. The power of the team and teamwork is what the company is built upon, and its tagline reinforces its focus on team: “Great People, Better Solutions.” SPS West makes its great people and solutions even better through training and professional improvement opportunities, a top-down open-door policy facilitating the sharing of ideas, collaboration to spark innovative ideas, and adaptability and flexibility to keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry.
“I think what I’m most proud of is my people,” Fewster says. “We have really good long-term employees who like being here, which speaks to the success of the company.”

SPS West’s success initially came from distribution but has evolved to include manufacturing its own products as well. Fewster plans to continue to engineer new specialty products, growing the company from within its wheelhouse in its niche market. It started with the company’s Enviro-box products and the sky’s the limit for future innovations.

Enviro-boxes help to protect people and the environment by ensuring corrosive and hazardous leaks do not make it to the ground during fluid transfer at truck-out connections. Sarnia Piping Specialties and SPS Quebec distribute this product across eastern Canada, and SPS West is dominating the spill-box market while looking for the next challenge for which they can innovate and manufacture creative solutions.

In the 25 years since SPS West came to Calgary it has grown beyond distributing both through innovation and acquisition. Two years ago, Fewster brought Flow-Tech Meter Services into the SPS West fold, adding site and shop services to the company’s offerings. Flow-Tech specializes in volumetric meter proving and industrial coatings as well as shop repairs and rebuilds, and the company recently added gauge calibration solutions to Flow-Tech’s portfolio.

Flow-Tech’s focus on innovation and service meshed well with SPS West’s philosophy, and it was seamlessly integrated into the company.

“Kris has kept what my father had always done with Flow-Tech – integrity, responsibility and making sure clients get what they need. Quality above anything,” says Logan Martin, Flow-Tech service manager and son of the original founder.

It is this attitude and focus that has seen SPS West succeed over 25 years and what will keep the company growing into the next 25. The company is dedicated to expanding its products and service offerings for clients, and as the industry evolves so does SPS West. As alternate energy is developed in areas like lithium and hydrogen, SPS West’s products can cross over into those markets, and the company is constantly searching the globe for new specialized products to carry that will support their current and future clients.

With Great People coming together to bring Better Solutions to Canada’s industrial sector, SPS West continues to protect people, the planet and improve profitability for its valued customers. SPS West sees past the sale and does whatever it takes to deliver the greatest outcome. The SPS West team feels ownership over each project, even after completion. Some might say they take their work too seriously but knowing they have kept their integrity every step of the way helps them sleep at night.

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