Tri-Can Contract

Building with pride and confidence

At Tri-Can Contract, diversification is essential. Coming through the recession, the company learned the importance of its business lines in order to navigate any economic downturn.

Gerry Himes, President, and Konstantinos Kasekas, a member within the sales team of Tri-Can Contract, spoke with The Canadian Business Journal about Tri-Can Contract’s business operations. Established in 1979, the Markham-based company faced little impact from the recession due to its secure business lines, predominantly industrial, commercial and condominium renovation work. As such, the company prides itself as a direct supplier to architects, designers, engineers, developers and general contractor clients.

A guideline for excellence

As one of the larger flooring companies serving the Greater Toronto Area, the company and its projects are always on the move. Most recently, Tri-Can Contract completed a project at the Telus Building, 25 York Street, Toronto, supplying and installing the carpet and laminate flooring from the ground floor, up.

“It was an exciting opportunity because [the project] was leading edge with its commitment to the environment and LEED [certification] pursuit,” Kasekas said. “The building is a guideline for excellence. For us, it was definitely a learning experience, working on a brand new building in the downtown core with so many other trades coming and going.”

In terms of Tri-Can Contract’s condominium developments, the company has specialized in structural refurbishment for more than 25 years, emerging as an industry leader in that time. Offering a complete design/build package, Tri-Can Contract’s service is certainly unique. With that, the overall development process can begin as early as the planning and design stage, from project management to its completed construction. Commercially, Tri-Can Contract is an Approved Flooring Contractor (AFC), recognized as a graduate of a training program to ensure best practices and top level client relations. AFCs effectively work alongside designers and associated trade professions.

“We have many employees, when a lot of our competitors use subcontractors exclusively. When you’re trying to find a painter to come in, they’re working on 10 other jobs and you get bumped down the line. By using the same tradespeople for all of our jobs, instead of outsourcing the roles to the lowest bidder, we have more control of the schedule and the quality of the work,” Kasekas added. “A lot of our competitors subcontract 80 to 90 per cent of the work that they do to outside trade workers, whether it is in the condominium renovation business, or the flooring business on the commercial and industrial side. By using the same people in all of our trades repeatedly, we can commit to a price and a schedule, as well as service and delivery.”

“We subcontract out maybe 20 per cent, far less than the industry norm,” adds Himes.

Subscribing to green philosophies

According to Himes, Tri-Can Contract is in a position of support in terms of its environmental initiatives. “It is typically driven by the manufacturing component and the LEED aspect of their product. From our perspective, we can facilitate…for example, the recycling of floor products in many ventures.”

Innovators of viable solutions to meet clientele environmental standards, Tri-Can Contract ensures the highest of expectations are met through its commitment to leadership and excellence and through its unwillingness to compromise on standards of accomplishments, according to the company’s website. Working with their in-house, ARIDO designer, Tri-Can Contract constantly re-evaluates these attributes based on the demands of an increasingly competitive environment.

Goals for the future

The overall plan for the company is that, in an industry where there has been plenty of consolidation, its priority and commitment to further enhance its commitment to service because “as manufacturers continue to drive specifications, more and more service is lacking,” according to Himes.

“The whole focus seems to be on driving product and style,” Himes said. “But without implementation of the products, there is a gap in the delivery process that needs to be filled with better quality installation services.”

Kasekas feels that for Tri-Can Contract there will always be opportunity for growth, in any economy. “For us last year, our direct business lines took a major hit and then other aspects of our business, in fact, increased during the recession. Diversification is definitely key because no recession will ever hit equally.”

Unlike most companies over the past few years, notably in the construction sector, Tri-Can Contract grew its business during the recession. “It is an opportunity for growth because not only are you hurting but so are your competitors. While the market may be shrinking, it is an opportunity for consolidation and to increase market share. We found that a lot of the competitors disappeared simply because they could not weather the storm,” Kasekas said. “Rather than focus on relentless cost cutting, we focused on strategic growth, never sacrificing quality of service. I think for us, this strategy has worked. As we look at history, our financial output over the last couple of years is a testament to that.”

It goes without saying that in an ever developing market place, Tri-Can Contract is a leader and trend setter among product information, growing environmental concerns and in offering the most advanced solutions for any building need.