Innovative Spaces and Solutions in Saskatoon
Con-Tech General Contractors
General contractor Con-Tech offers construction services to a wide range of customers from small private businesses to large commercial and institutional buildings for the city of Saskatoon and other towns across the province of Saskatchewan. The company has personnel with experience in project financing, design, project management, scheduling and product procurement and are capable of self-performing many aspects of each construction project.
Owners of the project work extensively in the design process with Con-Tech to establish budget limitations and other specific requirements. The company has an in-house design department where it collaborates with the project owner to increase overall efficiency.
Con-Tech was founded in 1994 by Owner, President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Platt. About five years ago, the company grew and added project managers and new administrative functions. The increase in construction activity in the Saskatoon area at the time benefited the company, and today, it has over sixty employees.
The company intends to continue its growth, even though the economy in Saskatoon is currently experiencing a slight decrease in local construction activity. Con-Tech recently invested in constructing a new office and shop facility, providing a much larger workspace to permit further growth.
The work environment at Con-Tech surrounds its values of honesty and integrity. “No matter what happens on our projects, it boils down to doing the right thing. If we catch each other not doing the right thing, we will get called out in the culture that we have here,” says Mike Lawton, the manager of finance and administration.
It has a set of six values that are often brought up in company meetings and gatherings. These include honesty and integrity; a commitment to excellence; individual well-being; family matters most; team development and establishing long-term partnerships. “If we find ourselves going in a direction that violates any of those six values, we are probably going the wrong way,” says Mike.
Con-Tech is very proud of its safety standards, and a commitment to safety is built directly into the company. It has its Certification of Recognition (COR), which requires an audit to be performed by the Construction Safety Association on the processes at the company. Management ensures that staff receives the proper equipment and training to safely complete tasks and employees are responsible for actively participating in the safety standards. The safety program serves to protect not only its employees but also subcontractors, the property and the public.
The company is capable of handling projects up to $10 million, although the majority of its construction projects are under $5 million. Much of its business comes from referrals from its past customers. “Our customers know that we are like them in that we are also a small-to-medium sized business that is locally-owned. We do business here in Saskatoon, and we work very hard to ensure that our local business relationships are strong,” says Mike.
The company supports other local companies whenever possible. Most of its suppliers and sub-trades are from the Saskatoon area. “We believe this allows us to source out and obtain competitive pricing on many types of construction management projects while still ensuring a high build quality,” the company states.
It recently completed a substantial project for Value Tire. The locally-owned company joined with Con-Tech to work on the design and site layout and discuss budgeting options before the construction began. The 20,000-square-foot project involved constructing warehousing space, service bays, offices and a customer lounge area. The building was angled toward the intersection to increase street exposure.
Security Building Supplies is another Saskatchewan company that came together with Con-Tech to construct a unique building. The 32,000-square-foot warehouse is a unique structure with a modern, elegant appearance.
Con-Tech also produced a 20,000-square-foot state-of-the-art automotive body maintenance facility for Kavia Auto Body in Saskatoon. The owner was looking to maximize efficiency and was happy with the added effort that was made by the Con-Tech team. All three projects turned out quite well, and the owners of those businesses are so pleased that they have become great advertising through word-of-mouth.
The primary challenge is the limited work available in the area. With the extra time available in the last year, the company challenged itself to increase the quality of its products and the efficiency of its procedures. Every branch of the company, from project management to onsite construction, was broken down and analyzed to discover the most effective methods possible.
There are many successful construction companies in Saskatoon, but there are several reasons that customers return to Con-Tech time after time. Its dedication to the pre-construction planning and design process is notable. “We try to invest as much as we can on the front end to make sure that we truly understand what you need and what you want from your project,” says Mike. “That tends to eliminate some of the issues that can come up while doing a construction project because you’ve invested the time at the beginning to clarify what the owner truly needs for their business.”
The company also considers its employees to be one of its distinguishing factors. Its accommodating staff have developed a reputation for excellent customer service and strong values.
The ability to self-perform many aspects of a project is another advantage to working with Con-Tech since the company has full control of the processes and the schedule to ensure highest quality products. This in-house skill allows it to provide extremely competitive pricing in the Saskatoon area.
Varco-Pruden is one of the leading metal building companies in the world, and Con-Tech has been a supplier of its lines since 2006. Every year, Varco Pruden hosts its Hall of Fame Awards, at which Con-Tech has been recognized multiple times for its outstanding work. The competition rewards the most innovative projects that integrate Varco Pruden building systems and products.
The company has set itself up to take advantage of the growth that is expected soon in Saskatoon. “The sky is the limit for our city and our region in terms of economic growth, and Con-Tech wants to be a big part of building the network that will facilitate that growth,” says Mike.
Its primary goal is to provide quality structures and exceptional service to its surrounding community, but the company has also begun to expand its reach to Alberta and Manitoba in the last decade and hopes to continue establishing its name across Canada.
Con-Tech strives to foster its partnerships through open communication and integrity and pursues long-term relationships with each person it comes into contact with including employees, customers, subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals, communities and selected charities. “We look to give good service. If we say we are going to do something, we will do it, which goes a long way in our industry,” says Mike.