Conquest Equipment rents and sells heavy construction equipment and soil compaction equipment to its customers. Company President Greg Hodgson explains that the company has been selling heavy equipment since the early 1990s but was incorporated under the Conquest banner in 2011 after splitting from a prior business name. The company primarily serves Western Canada and the United States and is embedded “very heavily in… the northern U.S. market including North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana.”
Hodgson says that not many other companies in the industry have the full range of specialized compaction equipment that Conquest does. He explains that the company’s asset management program (AMP Advantage) is how it helps get equipment to its customers on the terms they want.
AMP gives customers four ways to buy: purchasing outright, a rent-to-purchase possibility which has “more flexibility in the present while leaving options open,” and short-term and long-term financing. Short-term arrangements of six months or less are ideal for one-off projects while long-term financing works for larger-scale projects.
The company offers free shipping of some of its equipment depending on the area and the equipment size. It also has expertise in exporting and border logistics and a free advertising program in which clients can advertise on the company’s various platforms for no charge.
Hodgson names the Conquest Equipment website as key to its marketing strategy, as it sees much traffic and communicates the company’s features boldly. Other methods, like online marketing with Google, email messaging to customers, and face-to-face marketing, have been particularly effective strategies thus far. The company even subscribes to various online equipment marketplaces of the industry so people can view equipment and learn more about the company. “Anywhere on the web where there’s equipment, we’re there,” he proudly states.
The company has become known as much for its approach to customer service and being a desirable workplace as it has for its selection of construction equipment. It pays a great deal of attention to its values of integrity, commitment, accountability, and attitude. Hodgson believes that Conquest’s commitment to its customers is “unparalleled in the industry,” thanks to its one-on-one service.
This “allows customers to not get lost in the hierarchy of a large corporation,” he continues. The company sports a young team as part of its workforce. Hodgson adds that it “hires for attitude,” when deciding on what type of employee to add to its roster and on which attributes to concentrate. He feels that creating a younger team brings in people who are more in tune with both new technology and newer ways of communication.
The industry has many older, experienced people who are slowly cycling out of it, and the new generation coming in have a different attitude to and familiarity with technology. Companies like Conquest are poised to take full advantage of this as time goes on. These methods have given the company much better luck in breeding an internal culture that forms positive relationships and outlooks toward customer service.
The industry right now is “generally steady, not overly busy but also not stagnant,” which is a fine area for Conquest to find itself. The company foresees big projects on the horizon, especially in British Columbia, with new pipeline projects, industrial complexes, and mining projects to be underway soon. This will likely see an uptick in the economy, and as Hodgson observes, the busier people are, the more they want to rent.
An increase in economic activity will lead to bigger business for Conquest, as companies require additional equipment, and the company excels at meeting this need. A recent move and product launches as part of its 2019 strategy, have kept the company busy, and Hodgson notes that it is continuing to grow quickly, making the fast and effective training of employees very important.
“As we grow,” Hodgson explains, “there are challenges around servicing customers that are further away from our core locations [in western Canada].” The company particularly focuses on more rural areas for renting and selling equipment, especially to mining sites and less accessible regions in the far north of Canada in places such as Nunavut and Yukon Territory. This has been a unique selling point but is difficult to maintain as Conquest serves areas where other companies simply will not go.
Ultimately, the company has made its name on going farther than others are willing, and to keep itself on the cutting edge of the market, time and attention will continue to be paid to this aspect of the company’s vision.
At the beginning of 2019, Conquest Equipment completed a move into its new business premises in Estevan, Saskatchewan. The bigger facility has more options than ever before, and the new location puts the company right on a corridor highway, allowing it easier access to its American customers and giving its product a more direct path into Western Canada.
Conquest has also launched its own product line in the new tow-behind compactors, as well as new hydraulic attachments to add to its current line-up. Hodgson notes that the company has recently had “very good projects and awards in the gold mining, hydro-electric, and energy industries.”
Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, Hodgson reveals that Conquest Equipment has even more plans for continued growth, including the opening of new offices in Abbotsford, and yard locations in Terrace and Fort St. John in British Columbia, in anticipation of the forthcoming projects in that area of the country. He also notes that the company will be focusing on both rolling out new product lines and beefing up its existing lines for the next couple of years while expanding further into Western Canada.
Conquest has a full plate on its hands in terms of projects and goals, and the company is more determined than ever to make the most of the opportunities at hand to remain top of its field in construction equipment.