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SAT Consulting & Construction – Celebrates Business Excellence

SAT Consulting & Construction – Celebrates Business Excellence

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Photos by Rebeca Lippiatt

Serial entrepreneur Sergio Torres is no stranger to starting and running successful businesses, even though SAT Consulting & Construction launched in an atypical way.

“I graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and started a technology consulting firm,” says Torres about how SAT got started. “A family member wanted to come to Canada for work, so I extended the company for him to legally work here. Then, during the summer we finished a large project and needed something else to focus on. I pivoted into construction. One thing led to another and SAT Consulting & Construction was the result.”

Now, SAT is part of a group of companies focused on providing a full suite of consulting and construction services for clients across a variety of industries.

In 2006, when SAT officially launched, Alberta was in a boom cycle and Torres had no problem securing projects and labour.

“Money was flowing fast and growth was very significant,” he remembers.

However, for every boom there is a bust and in Alberta, a significant one came in 2008.

“Between 2008 and 2009 we got into trouble,” Torres says candidly. “By 2011 I was ready to shut down the company but we managed to get back into the black. In 2011 what helped turn things around were commercial contracts with Walmart and several institutions like banks and the University of Alberta. By 2016 things were a lot more stable.”

From there, the trajectory was very positive. A modest office, warehouse and employees followed. Then, in 2019, SAT purchased and moved into its own building.

“By 2020 we got work directly with the City of Edmonton and Alberta Infrastructure,” says Torres. Now, 80 per cent of our clients are institutional and between the company and the subtrades we work with, we have a team of around 160. With this team we are able to work locally in Alberta and also extend into B.C. and Saskatchewan. Pre-COVID we also did some work in the state of Washington.”

The turnaround was impressive but a very humble Torres does not cite his own experience and tenacity for SAT’s success. Instead, he credits the team.

“We have young talent. Really capable members. The average team member has been here for about nine years; that longevity is great for construction. We have a very small management group of about 14, which is unusual for construction but great for agility.”

The success is also due to SAT’s diversity in services and firm value of being problem solvers.

“Contracts,” Torres continues, “are very important but how we present ourselves matters the most. We are in construction but in the office, we identify as the service industry. The service we provide is problem solving.”

Those services include structural demolition, interior and exterior abatement, restoration, construction, asset management, facility maintenance and repairs for institutions, high rises, multi-family units and more. From demolition to millwork to finishing, SAT takes projects from start to finish.

“We never say no,” says Torres. “Our job is to find solutions. If our client needs something done or is in a pickle, we figure it out. I tell my clients that ‘your problems are my problems. I will solve them. We are here for you.’”

He smiles as he notes, “Every project is special. I could talk about a kitchen reno or a full build with equal passion. Falling in love with every project is probably a bad habit, but we do! Knowing we are doing something good that people will benefit from is the best reward. Building a school means children will keep on learning. Working on a hospital means people can keep on healing. That is our spark. Knowing that what we do is bigger than us and being humble and grateful to be a part of it.”

SAT’s value of problem solving and its commitment to its team and clients has been recognized many times over. The company has been honoured with a Best of Build Canada – subcontractor of the year award and has been the recipient of the Consumer’s Choice Award for three consecutive years (2021, 2022 and 2023). In 2022, SAT was recognized among Canada’s safest companies.

Torres concludes, “I truly believe that I would not be in business without the people around me. I’m
so thankful for them and the support of my family. No company exists without the employees. They are equally important. You can get the most expensive watch but if you miss any piece, it won’t work. Here, from the person receiving the mail to the person constructing a building, we are all equal. Our collective goal is to come to work so we can change people’s lives and support their opportunities and goals.”

The future of SAT sees more acquisitions and a possible expansion to an office in Calgary.

SAT Consulting & Construction INC.

(780) 993-5300 • info@satcc.ca
www.satcc.ca

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