Titanium Contracting Inc. is a heavy equipment general contractor launched in August 2012 by Steve Foster. The company specializes in providing turnkey public works services throughout Ontario, ranging from retaining wall installations and culvert replacements to demolition and deconstruction. Other services include street tree planting, site remediation, storm water management ponds and landscaping. We spoke to Steve to find out more about his role at the head of this diverse and successful business.
Tell us a bit about Titanium Contracting and the way your team works.
Our team of experienced personnel combined with our extensive fleet of equipment provides us with the ability to meet comprehensive project requirements. We emphasize teamwork, hard work and integrity in order to achieve our goal: to provide a quality of service within schedule and budget that meets or exceeds expectations.
How does it sit within the global trends of your industry?
Global trends are never easy to predict, and our positioning even harder to gauge because of the versatile nature of the work we do. Titanium Contracting Inc. is not your everyday company; we like to dip our toes into all the sectors of the construction industry and see what we come up with. Global trends are great for companies that have a single focus, a single end game, but here at Titanium we don’t shy away from new challenges. We embrace them and use them to grow. We set the trend for a versatile nature of work and excel every step of the way.
Please give an insight to your role as CEO of your company.
As CEO of Titanium Contracting Inc. my role is to make sure the work we do and the products we deliver reflect the company and the people who comprise it accurately. We are a company of dedicated individuals, although at work they are no longer individuals; they come together as a team accepting the strengths and weaknesses of others and ensuring that nothing gets in the way of a successful project. My role is to make sure that the clients know they are in reliable hands. Anyone can problem solve and come up with all the answers, but assembling people who can work together to find solutions is something I take great pride in as a CEO.
As a business leader, how do you ensure that your visions are executed across all sectors of your company?
It’s really common for leaders of any size business to fear a lack of control, and then micro-manage their projects and people, but what those leaders need to recognize is that they’re ultimately then telling those people they’re not trusted in their roles. A good leader ensures that their visions are carried out by building a company with people who share the same vision. The people who work for Titanium Contracting Inc. know what expectations I hold them to, and I would expect nothing less than for them to complete a project, regardless of its size or sector, with the skills and efficiency I know they are capable of.
What have you done as CEO for the company since you started?
Since Titanium started back in August of 2012, we have grown exponentially on a yearly basis. This is a success not only for myself, but also for a company that I and a few others believed in when we began. Bringing in work, using connections forged over many years and past projects, convincing myself and those willing to take a chance on Titanium in the early days are big accomplishments. Bringing in people who are able to work with me to continue this growth and turn Titanium Contracting into what I’ve dreamt will be my biggest achievement.
What has your experience brought to the company?
My past experiences have allowed me to bring the will and resolve to know that we can overcome any challenge we encounter. There are many companies and leaders out there that will shy away from risk, and those are the jobs that I look at and tell my teams that they can be done. There’s nothing special about risk, there is risk on every job, but looking past the risk to see how to overcome obstacles; that is something only time and experience can bring.
How does your firm ensure that they are at the forefront of any emerging developments?
By staying aware of the things we don’t understand. Complacency is dangerous; not only to a growing company such as Titanium, but anyone. Changes happen in the construction industry constantly and keeping staff apprised of training requirements, job requirements and knowledge of a project in general ensures that we are never caught off guard and are always ready for new opportunities.
Tell us a bit about your clients.
Our clients vary about as much as our jobs do; working mainly for municipalities there are similarities in expectations but it’s always a new ball game when we start a job. There are clients who want to be involved every step of the way, there are those who only want to be updated when something goes wrong, and there are all those in between. What our clients all have in common is that they want to be able to show off a well completed project, and have confidence that we will satisfy those expectations.
Does working in your region throw up any specific challenges or opportunities?
Ontario gives us the constant challenge of the weather and its impact; you never know what the season holds for the site. You can have scorching heat one day and cold rainy winds the next. The opportunity here is the way we adapt and demonstrate quick thinking in order to overcome project setbacks. Knowing how to minimize potential damage or prevent any hazards despite changing conditions is a great skill for all Titanium employees to develop.
What makes your company unique? What distinguishes your firm from its competitors?
We are so much more than just the sum of our parts. The people who make up TCI put in effort that can’t be seen just through a brief glimpse. Our employees don’t clock a 9 to 5 day and then go home; these are crews and project managers that spend hours of extra time going over problems or things they think could have gone better to make sure that Titanium is always putting its best foot forward. I think our ability to work well with each other, to genuinely want to see the company as a whole succeed and not just vying for individual successes, is what makes Titanium Contracting Inc. different from our competitors. I have staff always willing to go the extra mile – quite literally in some of our more remote projects – to help each other out; that’s a rare thing in this industry and needs to be valued. Our combined admiration and respect of each other makes the TCI crew uniquely capable to solve whatever problems arise quickly and effectively. At TCI, teamwork just comes naturally and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What does the future hold for your firm?
If I knew this, my life would be a lot less stressful! What I can say is that no matter what Titanium comes across in the future, the foundation set by myself and the people I have built this company with, will prepare us well for any challenges.