Geo A. Kelson

Newmarket, Ontario

Number of employees:  300+

Mechanical contractors

President: Rod Kelson

Primary markets:  Ontario


Contracting an impressive success


One of the biggest boosts to productivity during recent years has been the use of increasingly sophisticated supply chains. Few industries have jumped further along in this area than building contractors. That’s good news for companies like Geo A. Kelson Limited, which during that time has become one of Canada’s largest industrial commercial and institutional construction sector contractors.


“Non-residential construction activity has been stronger during the past year than at any time I can remember,” said Rod Kelson, the company’s president. “We already have an excellent order backlog. But in addition, we are also bidding on projects that could keep us working at an unprecedented pace.”


“It’s a difficult industry because of the variety of the challenges that you can face,” says Kelson. “The HVAC, plumbing, refrigeration and sprinkler systems that we handle in a typical hospital contract may comprise between 25 and 30 percent of the construction costs. So there are a lot of places in which things can go wrong.”


Despite the good times, mechanical contractors face an extremely competitive environment as builders squeeze to get the best deals possible, and then, once the job is given out, are just as demanding in ensuring that the bid specifications are met.


Kelson attributes his company’s success to the ability to successfully navigate the price-quality balance, to maintaining a skilled, satisfied workforce and to reinvesting earnings in the business in areas such as a pre-fabrication shop which he describes as the “best in the industry.”


“In construction, two things are paramount: the first is meeting all of your deadlines on time and the second is being competitive on price,” says Kelson. “”But on top of that, in the 30 years I have been here, we have also always wanted to deliver the perfect job, so that the architects, the general contractors and the clients are all satisfied.”





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