Summa - SKMG Construction

Summa-SKMG operates as one firm to serve the Canadian industry. Included in the MOST Canada Group of Companies is Summa– SKMG Construction, a combination of Summa Management and SKMG Construction. Since 2009, when the two divisions joined forces, Summa-SKMG has become a well-known player in the Canadian construction market by offering clients the combined strength of construction management and general contracting.

The joint venture of Summa-SKMG consists of pre-design, general contracting, construction management, surety bonding and other forms of construction services within the civil, commercial and residential markets. In addition, the company develops wood frame, concrete and steel facilities.

Much of the company’s success is due to each side of the business retaining its area of expertise since merging, giving clients a special two-in-one benefit. According to Norm Starnes, general manager for Summa-SKMG, the joint company still operates in two distinct ways. “With Summa Management, we like to get to the table with the client when they have their initial concept in mind,” Starnes explains. “From there, we work with the client on value-engineering and help to put their consulting team together.”

As for the SKMG aspect of the business, the division specializes in general contracting, project management and consulting. This area of the business takes pride in its competitive pricing, top-quality materials and equipment, as well as its experienced manpower and exceptional customer service.

As the construction industry continues to ebb and flow, Summa-SKMG’s construction duality proves to be an asset in the shifting Canadian market.

The Power of Two

The recent downturn in the economy is the culprit behind many dramatic changes within the construction industry. One such change is the increased competition firms face today as they bid for jobs. According to Starnes, the market north of the border is just as fierce. “The Western Canadian market is extremely competitive,” he explains. “It’s not uncommon for 10 to 20 general contractors to bid on projects as small as $1 million. This certainly was not the case five years ago.”

According to Starnes, the downturn in the economy also has caused a trend toward bypassing construction management services, which, as he explains, can be detrimental to a project. “A lot of developers, businesses and government contracts have taken advantage of the ultra-competitive tender world and are choosing to go ahead without the use of construction management,” he explains. “This opens up the potential for change-orders and additional costs down the road for the client.”

To offset the recent alterations within the Canadian market, Summa- SKMG has been hard at work flaunting the benefits of its two-pronged approach. “We can give clients the opportunity to have the best of both worlds,” Starnes explains “From a preconstruction basis, using Summa construction management, we can help with the design, feasibility and costing of a project. If the client decides to have a fixed-price contract, we can roll it into SKMG and bond the project, as well, if that’s what the client wishes. We really do offer the best of both worlds.”

Secret Weapons

In addition to its dual service offerings, Summa-SKMG has found another competitive edge within the market. The company is quick to share with current and potential clients information about its most valued resource – its employees.

According to Starnes, Summa-SKMG is a strong advocate of the Canadian Construction Association’s Gold Seal Certification Program – a nationally recognized certification program for construction project managers, superintendents, estimators and project managers. Starnes explains that the voluntary certification process is based on the candidate’s education, experience and his or her ability to satisfy the rigorous standards of the program.

As Starnes explains, acquiring employees who are Gold Seal certified has proven to be an advantage for the company. “We look at [the Gold Seal Certification] as a means to our recruitment process,” he says. “It demonstrates to our clients that the employees working for us have reached a certain level of competency.”

And in terms of upper management, those in charge practice what they preach. “I’m a Gold Seal professional, myself,” Starnes adds.

Looking Ahead

With its hand in multiple aspects of the construction industry, Summa- SKMG is poised to succeed as the Canadian market continues to evolve. “The construction industry is a very exciting business to be in right now,” Starnes explains. “The current market aside, there’s always going to be a need for roads, bridges, damns and office towers.”

Even as markets continue to become increasingly competitive, Starnes is optimistic in Summa-SKMG’s ability to thrive, thanks to its grounded sense of self and its team of valued professionals. “I’m excited about the opportunities of the future,” he adds. “The next two years are going to tell the tale of which companies are strong enough to survive and which ones are going to fall by the wayside. I’m confident in Summa-SKMG’s ability to continue growing.”

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