TriBuild Contracting

A reputation for repeat business

In the competitive world of contracting, how does a business give itself an advantage? It’s a three-pronged approach: repeat clients, retention of those clients, and recommendations from those clients. Long-term, loyal client relationships are key to remaining steady when the economy is not. This has been a major factor in the strong showing of TriBuild Contracting Ltd. during the last few years, as the majority of its work comes from repeat business and recommendations. This Calgary-based contracting company has been offering general contracting and construction management services since 1982. CFO Fred Baxter and John Leskow, supervisor of on-site operations, work with a small team of qualified and experienced sales managers, project managers, and support workers.

A reputation for renovations

TriBuild built their business roots doing primarily interior renovations and, over time, grew into a wider variety of general contracting projects. This includes major projects for communication and data centres, office and retail facilities, and educational facilities. In fact, the company has garnered a reputation as a leader for data centre renovations that involve upgrading critical back up power and air conditioning systems. These are considered challenging projects within the industry because of the capacity for shutdowns to important 24/7 electrical systems. After multiple successful projects over its history, such as the $20 million data center for Telus in 2000, TriBuild has proven to offer seamless services in regard to electrical and power services.

Another thing for which TriBuild has a reputation? Impressive turnover times for projects. “We are very quick to mobilize,” says Matt McCaig, Project Manager with TriBuild. “A lot of our clients like how fast we can get things done.” And indeed, if there is a project that needs to be completed on extraordinarily tight timelines, the phones at TriBuild are sure to ring. Clients often approach the company asking it to “knock one out of the park” in regard to time, says McCaig. Admittedly, he concedes, this is a tough thing to accomplish repeatedly, but the company has become quite skilled at getting projects underway quickly. “We are able to provide the attention required to move things along.”

Company philosophies

Despite a reputation for quick turnover, TriBuild is still committed to occupational health and safety programs, and provides training in WHMIS and first aid for all of its workers. It also engages in the worker’s compensation Partners in Injury Reduction Plan and has been noted by the Alberta Human Resources and Employment Certificate of Recognition for its safety management system. All of this is proof of TriBuild’s genuine concern for the well-being of its workers and commitment to overall safety.

McCaig explains that the high customer retention and loyalty rates stem from a group of employees who “love what they do”. From management to workers, TriBuild fosters an environment in which people enjoy working, an obvious way to boost productivity. The team is committed to the success of the company, bringing years of experience to the table. Many senior supervisors have been with the company for upward of 15 years, a testament to favourable working conditions. The company also encourages staff members to engage in educational diversification, such as classes on project management or involvement in apprentice programs.

Green initiatives

There are several exciting projects underway at TriBuild including a major undertaking with Suncor. The project involves a complete restacking of more than 36 floors by the end of 2010. The project has been a 16-month, front-to-back, project, precisely the kind of tight timing TriBuild has proven it can handle. “For each week that we complete a floor, we are starting a new floor,” comments McCaig. The company has a history of projects with major companies such as PetroCanada, Telus Communications and the Calgary Board of Education. This current project has also presented an exciting opportunity for the company in regards to LEEDS certification. Although always environmentally conscious, once Suncor merged with Petro Canada, the company saw the perfect opportunity to apply for certification upon completion of the project. It was a proud and market-smart move for TriBuild, as green initiatives become increasingly important.

Growth plans

The company continues to follow the successful path that has served it well over the last few years. Loyalty and retention rates will continue to be monitored, and long-term client relationships will remain of utmost importance. “We’ve been lucky enough to have a client base which is extremely steady,” says McCaig.
It is the company’s involvement in major projects with long-time clients that has kept it growing steadily during two recessions, only anticipating that trend continuing. The company was fortunate enough to have steady business during the most recent economic downturn and in fact has about 50 per cent more staff than last year. TriBuild is committed to remaining a loyal favourite with its valued customers and a prosperous future is foreseeable.