The founder of Scott Construction, John C. Scott, laid out the company’s guiding principles simply and eloquently:
“Clients wanted to know what the real costs would be for their building, how long it would take to build, and if there were ways to build for less and still get what they wanted.”
After 35 years, Scott Construction still embraces those goals, even as the tools it uses to achieve them become increasingly sophisticated.
“We grew significantly through more than 30 years under John Scott’s leadership,” says Darin Hughes, the company’s current president. “Now we’re building on those achievements as we enter a new phase of our history as part of the JV Driver Group.”
The decision to join JV Driver wasn’t made lightly. The acquisition, which was completed three years ago, could succeed only if the Scott brand remained intact and the company could deliver projects with the same care and attention to detail that it had become known for in Western Canada.
“Cultural fit is always important when JV Driver makes an acquisition,” says Hughes. “I think what they saw in Scott is an organization that’s really rooted in collaborative pre-construction. It’s the ‘people-first’ attitude toward collaboration that unites all of the individually branded entities that have become part of the company, operating under its North American umbrella.”
JV Driver has been true to its word. Both Scott Construction Group in Burnaby and Scott Construction Management (Alberta) Ltd. in Calgary have retained their individual identities and independence. Both are now part of the company’s Building Enterprise Group, which handles anything from multi-family residential to commercial and institutional construction projects.
“We knew that JV Driver would respect what makes us unique in the market,” says Hughes. “They are committed to maintaining our brand recognition and to ensuring Scott remains agile and nimble in all our markets, providing the expected level of responsiveness to our clients’ needs. Each of the individual companies has its own president and we have the ability to make our own decisions quickly, with autonomy.”
The new structure allows Scott to count on the resources offered by other member companies, to partner with any of those entities, and to draw on their expertise. Scott has also benefited from a balance sheet that is much stronger as part of a billion dollar company, and the ability to bond at a much higher level.
For its part, Scott provided JV Driver with a more diversified footprint in Western Canada. But the benefits flow both ways. Scott is now poised to extend its expertise into new geographic markets.
“We’re set to begin work on a medical office project in Milton, Ontario in April,” says Hughes. “It’s a conservative entry into the Ontario market where we’re looking to fully appreciate its construction landscape and how we can best serve customers in that market. Having Ontario in our portfolio is a really important step for us as we make our first forays into reaching out across the country.”
Scott continues to be committed to using new technologies that improve efficiency and deliver better projects. It was an early adopter of the Procore project management platform that moved many of the company’s operations to the cloud.
“It allows our people to access project information anywhere, any time,” says Hughes. “We’re using digital plan tables at job sites, to change the way our superintendents and field teams work, so that we’re not as reliant on paper documents and the wasted time that goes along with them. Last week we were on the 13th floor of one of our tower projects and a question came up from an architect regarding what a wall detail would actually look like. Our superintendents were able to be immediately responsive and called up the information right then and there on an iPad. Those are real advantages that flow from the adoption of technology.”
Scott was adamant that its employees also benefited from the new structure. The company’s commitment to its workers was recently recognized when Scott Construction Group was selected by Aon as a Platinum Level award winner among its 2019 Best Small & Medium Employers.
“For a construction company to appear on that list really speaks to the people side of our business,” says Hughes. “The wellbeing of our employees is critically important to us and we’ve recently initiated a mental health campaign that we believe is very innovative. Our internal commitment to our people is a key differentiator that will help to build a very engaged workforce that continues to operate at the highest level and leads to better retention of experienced workers. Study after study shows that an engaged workforce is a committed workforce that finishes projects on time and on budget and provides a better product for the client.”
Scott’s blueprint for the next 35 years?
“We’ll continue to leverage our people, our expertise and our collaborative approach,” says Hughes. “But with the support of a large extended corporate team, we’ll be doing it on a larger scale on a much larger stage.”
This content is sponsored by Scott Construction Group in collaboration with ConstructConnect® Media. To learn more about Scott Construction Group, visit www.scottconstructiongroup.com.