TS&M team on their 50th anniversary. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

 

ESTEVAN – TS&M Supply celebrated its 50th anniversary on July 28 with a barbecue in front of their Estevan branch, followed by a gold tournament the next day.

The company has been supplying the southeast Saskatchewan oilpatch since 1973, when it was founded by Ken Dowhanuik, Roy Arndt and David Bergum. Dale Fox later joined the ownership.

It was first sold in 1998, and has gone through several ownership changes over the years. Most recently, Distribution Now (DNOW) has taken ownership. But none of those changes resulted in a change of the TS&M name, in large part because of its strong reputation.

Karry Biette.

Karry Biette is vice president of Canada for DNOW/TS&M. He said on July 28, “We operate as TS&M in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We also have a TS&M has a store in Ontario. DNOW is mainly focused in Alberta, BC and then, obviously, the rest of the world.”

Arndt, Fox and Dowhawniuk, were present for the celebrations.

  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

Biette, who grow up in Estevan, said, “I remember as a young kid, working at Schindle & Bazin, coming in to TS&M and picking up fittings, and having Dale and Ken service you. It’s great to have those people here today. Obviously, there’s been a lot of people who have passed through TS&M that have ensured the success, and ensured we’re here today. And we’re certainly grateful for all they did and definitely want to recognize the fact they’re coming back today is special.”

TS&M’s locations employ 133 people between its various locations. Oilpatch locations include Estevan, Oxbow, Moosomin, Carlyle, Weyburn, Melita, and Virden. They have industrial branches in Regina and Thunder Bay. Perhaps some day they’ll return to Saskatoon, Biette noted, to supply industry and mining there.

Being a supply store is more than rope, soap and dope. They’ve got artificial lift, variable frequency drives, pump shops and more.

 

“Estevan’s kind of unique, here. We’ve got a repair shop. We’ve got Estevan Fire and Safety. We’ve got soap, dope and rope. We’ve got the pipes, valves, and fittings, fiberglass, artificial lift, as well as automation which covers the VFD, so Estevan is unique,” he said.

A big portion of the business is fiberglass pipe and fittings. That’s supplied in Estevan and Virden, but also Redcliff and Provost, Alberta. “A great product line that’s been around for almost all of the 50 years,” Biette said.

ESTEVAN – TS&M is keeping its eye to future developments as well. For instance, north of Thunder Bay, the Ring of Fire rare earth elements developments could provide an opportunity, as could possible lithium developments in Saskatchewan. Biette said, “I think all those alternative, what I call alternative energy – helium, lithium, the Ring of Fire and geothermal – those are things that that I think makes sense when we talk about alternative energy. I think they can drive the economy and Saskatchewan. And especially, it’s a nice trade off with oil and gas in that a lot of the same technologies, the same knowledge can be transferred into those areas with a little bit of tweaking.”

“I’m open always to looking at what is going to happen, and how we can replicate what TS&M did in the oilfield in the different industries.”

  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

The barbecue was followed by a golf tournament at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club, where they continued the celebration with both vendors and clients. He noted a turnout of 138 golfers registered. The company has been the name sponsor for the local golf course for several years now.

Roy Arndt is seated, centre. In grey on the left is Dale Fox. And in the dark grey is Ken Dowhanuik. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

History

Three of the founders of TS&M were present at the barbecue.

The company was started in 1973 by Ken Dowhanuik, Roy Arndt and Dave Bergum. Three years later, Dale Fox was brought into the ownership.

Dale and Ken are brothers-in-law.

Dowhanuik said he worked for a similar supply company called Midcontinent Supply. “The people that owned it were Bob Larter and Darwin Sawyer, and they approached me to see if I’d be interested in running it, and to come and look at it. I said, “No.” It was such a grubby, dirty place, it took me four years to find it had cement on the floor,” he joked.

“They came back a month later to see if we would buy it. So, I talked to the partners and said, ‘Why not?’”

  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

It all started in Estevan. But it also started just in time for a devastating new law to be brought in by the provincial New Democratic Party government, a law known as Bill 42. It jacked up royalties and brought the entire Saskatchewan oilpatch to its knees.

“Bill 42 came in. Business was very tough, Dowhanuik said. “That was tough because the oilpatch almost died. But one good thing about it, the government paid us money to survive. We took the money they paid us, because we never really hurt as bad as we should have. And we opened Weyburn, the second store. An after Weyburn that just kind of went in a line. We opened one in Melita, Manitoba, one in Edmonton, Alberta, one in Calgary, one in Regina, one in Saskatoon, One in Winnipeg, one in Vancouver and one in Thunder Bay, Ontario.”

Part of the coping strategy was to start servicing potash and coal mines, he noted.

“We enjoyed it. We had done well and grew more and faster than we thought we would. We had lots of good people. It made quite a difference,” he said.

At one point they had 100 staff members. They used to have a six-seater airplane and a pilot to shuttle them between stores.

  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

The National Energy Program was another challenge in the 1980s. “It seemed like every time things are going nice and busy, and some people come along to jerk the rug out from under your feet,” he said.

The partners eventually sold Bergum the Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver stores, and bought him out of the remaining locations. He still lives in White Rock, B.C. He ended up selling them to his daughter. They operated under the name Meridian Supply.

In 1998, a company which owned Dominion Oilfield Supply came along and made them an offer that was hard to turn down, so they sold, just in time for another oil downturn.

Dowhanuik has been retired since they sold out. Indeed, he, Arndt and Fox still reside in Estevan.

There have been many ownership changes over the years, but the name, TS&M Supply, has been maintained by all those owners, including the current one, Distribution Now. Dowhanuik was satisfied with that, saying, “It’s nice to see that. You know, usually when you get bought out a time or two that the name changes. For some reason, we had built a pretty solid relationship and everybody that bought kept our name, TS&M.”

And what that name stand for, anyhow? Dowhanuik explained “The company they tried to sell me at first was Technical Sales and Maintenance Limited. I thought nobody’s going to write all of that on a purchase order every day. Let’s shorten it somehow.”

 

  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

Predator Inspections takes off with drone applications that can improve ESG statements, monitor methane, crops and much more

SaskPower hit a record summer demand peak on July 31