The Westcor Way
A Decade Strong
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hen you enter the double doors at Westcor Construction Ltd., an air of energy and enthusiasm greets you. Curved walls showcase many of their keynote projects, along with the Gold Seal credentials that management has earned over the years. They are all displayed proudly – it’s a company that has worked hard to earn a respectable position in an industry that’s tough on business. When the founders of Westcor established the company 10 years ago, they set out to service the mid-sized construction market with a mantra that reads: every client should believe their project is the most important one — a lofty goal even by today’s standards but the founders were steadfast as they rolled up their sleeves and went to work. Three colleagues started Westcor: Bob Robinson, Brad Hammond and Val Stordy — all of who had worked together in the industry for many years. Robinson and Hammond came up through the project management side and Stordy worked on the administration side, and as Robinson notes, it was simply the right time to start Westcor. To round out the executive team, Andrew Morgan joined a short time later, adding more experience to the operations side of the business. “We found there were many companies that serviced the
The team at Westcor Construcion. Photo by Mary Savage.
By Mary Savage
smaller markets, but there were very few that looked after the mid-sized market,” says Robinson. “When we started Westcor, we brought large-company experience to the marketplace, but we delivered a level of service that’s very personalized.” And this mentality was soon coined the ‘Westcor Way.’ Their philosophy was so integral to the day-to-day operations that it became the foundation of their mission statement – seeking to provide the highest level of customer service, while demonstrating excellence in safety and integrity. Quality, workmanship and cost-effective solutions also sat at the forefront and became the standards by which they measured their success. The Westcor Way is all encompassing: it engages innovation, imagination and collaboration. They are progressive thinkers, proactive industry leaders and consummate professionals. No detail is too small and no project is too large to deliver the personalized service that’s become their signature. During the startup years, the founders’ strategy worked extremely well and before long, Westcor carved out a reputation for being one of the go-to companies to call for construction projects in the mid-sized market.
Westcor Construction • 10 Years • 1
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Ten years later, Westcor has grown from a three-person business to over 50 employees and they have worked in every quadrant of the city, the surrounding communities and throughout Western Canada. You will find Westcor’s crews on commercial projects (including retail), institutional buildings, industrial expansions and renovations. They have been instrumental in building public structures and office spaces. Demolition, site servicing and preparation, along with concrete structures are also part of the list of services they offer. Westcor has also built churches, recreational facilities and educational buildings, but you will also find them working inside specialty industries such as seniors’ housing and healthcare renovations – two fields that require a specific level of expertise. “We’ve completed hundreds of healthcare renovations and that type of work is very complicated because the facility usually remains operational while the renovations are underway,” says Robinson. “This type of work calls for specialty services like dustfree demolitions, negative air systems and IPC (infection prevention and control) procedures; we have people that are experts in these areas. It’s specialty work and the clients know they need to work with a construction company that
understands what precautions have to be taken to ensure the existing and operational environment is safe,” he adds. Today, they continue to serve the mid-sized construction market and they have remained true to their mantra, but inside the Westcor office virtually everything else has changed. Westcor has evolved in part from necessity and partly from ‘blue sky’ thinking that has fostered many opportunities for them. One of those opportunities strengthened their executive committee by welcoming the extensive experience and skills of David Vandegriff as CFO. Three years ago, Westcor moved from a 2,800-square-foot leased bay into an old warehouse they purchased, expanded and renovated to accommodate their growing business. And when you enter their new 10,000-square-foot space, the two-storey office building is humming with activity. For the 55 employees who make the wheels of business churn inside the Westcor office and across all of their project sites – unequivocally – they are making a difference in their corner of the construction industry. “Today we work on pre-qualified projects, invited work and jobs with repeat customers – and that’s enough to keep us busy,” adds Robinson. The term ‘pre-qualified’ assumes that competing companies engage in specific criteria: they offer good value, have an excellent safety program and have a proven track record.
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“In the construction industry, anyone can get a business licence and bid on a project, but that doesn’t necessarily bring good value to the client,” comments Robinson. “The industry is trending toward ‘best value,’ and not best price. In today’s market, you need to have systems and people in place to sustain long-term growth and stability; and you need to develop excellent partnerships with your trades and contractors.” As Robinson has observed, the pre-qualified standards have been around for a long time, but after the last economic downturn, both the public and private sectors have become more selective with whom they work. “A project is not always awarded to the lowest bidder anymore…and the last recession cleaned up the industry – weeding out many of the companies that couldn’t meet the pre-qualification criteria,” Robinson adds.
Hats off to you Westcor congratulations on 10 years!
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Congrats on reaching your 10th anniversary! From all of us at Hamilton & Rosenthal, we wish you many more successful years!
Congratulations Westcor Construction! Wishing you many more decades of success!
(403) 266-2175 www.hamrose.com
Westcor Construction Ltd. on their 10th Annversary!
Congratulations to Westcor Construction on their 10th Anniversary!
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Westcor Construction • 10 Years • 3
Vocational Centre Extraordinaire
Career and Technology Centre – Lord Shaughnessy High School When Westcor was selected to be the general contractor on the Career and Technology Centre (CTC), they were honoured to be part of the $8.6-million project. A first of its kind in Alberta, the CTC is flagged as a prototype building and program that invites youth wishing to pursue credentialed trades training — while still attending high school. The school originally opened in 1967 and over the years, has undergone additions and renovations, but there were many challenges that Westcor had to overcome – one being that the school Lord Shaughnessy High School remained opened to the teachers, students and CBE administration. The project was completed in phases to accommodate the daily activity. In addition to the new construction, many existing areas of the building were repurposed and modernized, adding to the complexities of the project. Westcor’s safety program proved to be almost as challenging as the construction work itself — in order to ensure the staff and students were provided a safe environment. The construction was completed in the spring of 2013 and today, the CTC is over 110,000-square-feet. The programs offer dual credentials as well as post-secondary preparation in welding, auto body, preengineering, hairstyling, culinary arts, media design, business information technology and health services.
Resort-Inspired Retirement Community Amica Mature Lifestyles – Aspen Woods
During the fall of 2011, Westcor was awarded the Amica project and 19 months after breaking ground, the $25-million project was completed. Designed as an assisted living community for seniors, the four-storey, greenfield construction site provides 185,000-square-feet of resort-inspired living with a 146-bed capacity. As construction got underway, the majority of the structural concrete components were poured during the winter – meaning Westcor needed ground-thawing techniques to keep the project on schedule. The following winter, the interior finishes were completed Amica Mature Lifestyles, Aspen Woods with the assistance of a dry-heat system that was installed throughout the building. The system was monitored daily to keep the building at a consistent temperature – necessary for the construction finishes. High-end finishes include coffered and domed ceilings, extensive decorative wall and crown mouldings, and vinyl wall coverings throughout the corridors and common areas. The facility offers an array of amenities including a beauty salon, full pool, spa and exercise area with change rooms, a theatre room, full commercial kitchen and laundry room, dining rooms and a pub.
Westcor Construction • 10 Years • 4
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Congratulations to Westcor Construction!
Proud to be working with Westcor Construction. Extending our congratulations as they celebrate 10 years of success.
Proud to be working with you, ● and we wish you many more years of success!
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403-273-9511 Congratulations Team Westcor on 10 successful years of build contracting service. Your company’s professional approach and attention to detail has distinguished above many as a contractor of choice. It has been our pleasure to work with you and we at Western Weather Protector Ltd. wish you another 10 years of success in building. Sincerely, Management and Staff
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www.uniteddecorating.com “Congrats to the whole Westcor team, we look forward to the next 10 years!” Westcor Construction • 10 Years • 5
“Today we compete with like-minded businesses that have excellent safety programs, operate efficiently, bring value to the client and can sustain long-term growth,” he continues. Westcor has undergone other changes and most recently, they have been working to upgrade and improve internal operating systems. “When planning our future, we engaged a certain amount of brainstorming and many great ideas were born. One of those ideas looks at improving our internal operations, which has enabled us to take on more work, larger projects and bring more value to our clients,” notes Vandegriff. Currently underway, Westcor is implementing an ERP (enterprise resource plan) that ultimately seeks to expedite client and project communications. “The ERP solves two major growth problems: it makes us significantly more efficient internally, but more importantly, we are far more responsive to our clients’ needs,” says Vandegriff. “Once the system is fully operational, we will be able to provide our clients with real-time details about their projects regarding costs, production schedules and related information,” he adds. “The clients really enjoy working with our people, our culture and our systems, but they wanted access to information quicker and we are responding.” Looking back over the past decade, Robinson observes they are working in interesting times. “We are at an inter-
ons i t a l atu ars! r g e Con 10 y on
esting growth level now and by integrating new systems, we are building a better company. All of our team leaders have risen to the challenge…most of them have been with the company since its inception and they understand the Westcor Way,” notes Robinson. “It’s how we run the business, how we keep employees engaged and challenged, and what we value in order to make our clients feel important,” he continues. “And as we move forward, we are able to give new employees a roadmap that teaches them the importance of the Westcor Way; it’s not just a philosophy – it’s how we do business.” Westcor views every relationship as a collaborative one – from their clients to subtrades to the employees. “Anyone should be able to build to plans and specs, but we work with our clients to make their project the best it can be. Everyone we work with is viewed as a partner and we continue to work hard to build a collaborative environment,” says Robinson. As Westcor celebrates their 10th anniversary, they pause from the workday to extend a sincere note of gratitude to all of the clients, business partners, suppliers, contractors and employees who have helped them achieve this milestone. “We recognize that we could not have arrived at this point without a lot of help from a lot of good people!” adds Robinson.
Westcor Construction Ltd. www.westcor.net | (403) 663-8677
#11, 2701 16 ST, S.E., CALGARY, AB T2G 3R4 TEL: 403-207-7291 FAX: 403-207-7254
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Congratulations to Westcor Construction on 10 years of success! It has been great to work with you through your first 10 years. Westcor Construction • 10 Years • 6