The Doepker family business began as a repair shop and farm equipment manufacturer in 1948. The company made its entrance into highway trailer manufacturing in 1972, when it produced its first grain trailer. Its presence in the agricultural community has grown dramatically since. Today, Doepker Industries Ltd. produces bulk trailers to haul grain and other bulk commodities, in either steel or aluminum and, more recently, equipment trailers that are rapidly taking on a measure of importance to farmer and family alike. The company also supplies a wide variety of flat-deck units for the commercial marketplace. These may be single units, trains, drop decks, utilities or detachable gooseneck models. Doepker also manufactures oil floats, hazardous waste trailers, logging trailers used extensively in forestry and an array of other industrial equipment. Finally, Doepker also markets a number of specialty trailers, specifically designed and custom-built for the transportation industry. If you are in the business, you know how important these models are.
The company’s three locations, all in Saskatchewan, serve different purposes. Annaheim is headquarters and produces all bulker grain trailers. The Humboldt location is responsible for the flat decks, loggers and specialty trailers; much of the engineering and marketing also occurs here. The Moose Jaw plant is the main producer of parts through the use of robotic cells, supplying both the Annaheim and Humboldt factories their parts in kit form. All the sites are electronically linked for administration, accounting, engineering and human resources.
Committed and Resilient
The three current Doepker family members guiding the organization are Dave Doepker, president; Lionel Doepker, vice president of marketing; and Randy Doepker, director of technical sales. They continue a line of dedicated family ownership that began with the six Doepker brothers who founded the company in 1948. The newest company officer is Gurgcan Kocdag, vice president of operations. Doepker Industries is now in its second generation of family management. It has survived two devastating fires, which burned the original facility and part of the replacement facility. In both cases, the family and the production bounced back quickly.
While Doepker maintains a pervasive marketing activity throughout Canada using independent distributorships – in the west by Fort Garry Industries Ltd.; in southern Alberta by Southland International; in Ontario by Transit Trailer Inc.; and by Pierquip in Quebec – it has also begun making inroads into the U.S. market. Several outlets are currently in place. These, and many more yet to be established, will offer practically limitless expansion possibilities for Doepker’s products. In addition, Doepker produces specialized equipment under a private-label agreement. Through this network, the company reaches customers from single operators to large multinational fleets.
A strong marketing effort is essential to the success of any organization, but even more crucial is a commitment to quality. Doepker has always taken pride in being an industry leader in product quality. Not only do its products meet all the transportation industry requirements, but in 1992, Doepker became the first trailer manufacturer in all of Canada to have its quality assurance program registered to the ISO 9002 standard. The company has ongoing plans to raise this to ISO 9001 in the near future.
Doepker Industries maintains a substantial amount of production and office space. Its Annaheim headquarters measure 75,300 square feet, encompassing both production and office areas. With 24,400 square feet at the Moose Jaw facility and 28,000 square feet of manufacturing and 8,600 square feet of office space in Humboldt, the company totals 137,100 square feet of office and production space in its three locations. The plants operate with approximately 350 employees, modern equipment, a state-of-the-art paint department and three-dimensional solids-modeling engineering and design capabilities. Doepker is currently adding robotics and CNC equipment to maximize its production efficiency, accuracy and capability.
Doepker can boast 53 years of manufacturing experience, 30 of which have been devoted exclusively to the design, development, production and marketing of various types of trailers. In addition, the management staff is committed to bringing the highest-quality products to the company’s customers. Doepker’s proven track record of high customer-satisfaction levels stems from its mission to be the best-value supplier of superior products, services and solutions. Its goal is to lead the industry as an innovative, customer-responsive and profitable manufacturer, while being the supplier of choice for totally satisfied customers. Doepker prides itself on its high standards for continuous improvement, innovation, integrity, teamwork and stability.
The company’s objectives also include a safe, secure and pleasant work environment for its employees. Through its training program, Doepker enhances company performance by promoting quality craftsmanship and a culture that allows employees the flexibility to become experts at producing multiple units or a batch of one. The company communicates its mission and values to everyone in the organization to maintain their commitment to quality, to promote corporate responsibility in the community, to achieve an appropriate return for its shareholders, to facilitate long-term partnerships with customers and distributors, and to establish and maintain strategic alliances with its suppliers.
Doepker’s future looks bright. The company works very closely with its customers to ensure that existing and potential needs are being met. It will continue to produce and improve its current lines and it will develop new products to bring to market.