October 16, 2020
Open Communications and An Ability To Listen
POSTED BY Trinh Dong
At Truspace, we constantly challenge the status quo and develop new approaches to stay ahead of the curve. For us, to continue to innovate and think out of the box, we need to listen to clients for their feedback.
Mikisew Group of Companies (Mikisew) is a distinct business entity for the Mikisew Cree First Nation. Since 1991, Mikisew Group has been a leading oil sands partner specializing in site services, maintenance, logistics, and construction.
When Mikisew reached out to us for a new office space for their growing team, we were very happy to be able to step in and give them the space that uniquely reflects their Indigenous tradition and culture. The project has been completed and in use since 2019.
Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Bilad Abdu, VP Finance for Mikisew Group of Companies to learn more about how Truspace was able to come in and help Mikisew solve their problems.
Truspace: Would you mind sharing with me the reasons Mikisew needed a new office?
Bilad Abdu: At the time we were a company that was about half the size that we are today. We were in space-constraint with the doubling up in offices We quickly outgrew our old space and wanted something that had offered more square footage with a fresh, modern appeal. In the last few years, we’ve seen significant growth along with an acquisition, which made it necessary for us to move into a new location as quickly as possible. Another benefit of our new move is being on reserve land which is important to our company ideals being a company that is owned by the Mikisew First Nation.
Truspace: What was your original vision for your new office?
Bilad Abdu: Our vision was to create a space where we would be proud to call it our head office. We also wanted to have a proper lunchroom, where we could invite the Chief and Council over and have our Board and management meetings.
Truspace: How did you hear about Truspace?
Bilad Abdu: I was involved from the onset of the project from the decision to move to find a suitable company to help us achieve our vision at our new location. Truspace was recommended to us by our colleague.
Our concern at the beginning was that the construction of the base build had some significant delays, which might impact the timeline. I had numerous discussions with other companies that conducted their base builds; however, after discussing with a previous client of Truspace – OnTrack’s Consulting we had extremely positive feedback on the process along with a very positive review of their office spaces. So, we decided to go with Truspace.
Their recommendation was accurate in that Truspace had done a fantastic job, came in on budget, and was on time. Truspace provided exceptional quality. The team was able to come in and achieve the leasehold improvements. We saw our timelines met and any delays caused by issues with the base build were communicated in a timely fashion.
Truspace: Thank you for your feedback! Greatly appreciated it! In terms of the design process, how was your experience with Truspace?
Bilad Abdu: From the early stages of the design process, we were informed of the virtual tour we would be able to see. We believed it was fundamental in the process that allowed us to re-design the front entrance space to better suit our needs, as well as make a few changes along the way. Without this feature, we would have not been able to fully grasp the layout and what worked and didn’t work.
In addition, having the ability to view the materials in person, sit in the chairs and desks made a huge difference in the selection process.
Truspace: What were the main challenges during the project? How was Truspace able to come in and help you solve your problems?
Bilad Abdu: As mentioned above, we had significant problems with the construction of the base build and Truspace took the initiative to have discussions with the landlord and complete some of the ducting work, so as not to delay the project any further.
With such a large-scale project, communication was always a challenge. The intangibles that we saw with the communications and the eventual changes we requested as our business had changed were conducted with care, and all costs were communicated.
Also, during the drawing and design process, we made a lot of changes, the team at Truspace was easy to talk to about our vision of what we had wanted the space to look like. Even when we were presented with the “final” drawings and we made a slight change, the team at Truspace always listened and assisted us through the change process.
Truspace: How do you enjoy your new office?
Bilad Abdu: As you first walk into our new space, you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Our new office exhibits our Mikisew Culture, and you’ll see throughout the building that is infused with traditional, local First Nation’s artwork and elements.
Each department now has its own dedicated space which has improved our productivity and morale.
We are now able to host our Board meetings at our new location. We feel very proud to invite community members, as well as our industry partners to our office, seeing the pride on their faces when they see our new office.
We are now able to have lunch together, host team events, schedule large board meetings, and enjoy the space as a full company instead of single department gatherings.
Truspace: That’s great to hear! The last question. How confident are you to recommend Truspace to others?
Bilad Abdu: Very confident. I highly recommend Truspace to any organizations that are looking for new office spaces. It was a pleasure working with Truspace. I truly valued the open lines of communication, the level of professionalism, and their ability to actually listen to our vision and make that a reality.
Truspace: Thank you for a great conversation!