Fusion Projects Stays Small, Designs Big.
Written By Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers 2015
Nicholas Boyd, the president of Fusion Project Management Ltd., has worked for and owned companies both big and small. He prefers the latter and, as a result, has no dramatic growth plans for Fusion Projects, a Vancouver design-build company.
In a recent meeting Boyd had with one of his project managers, the employee told his boss that he was curious about starting his own business. “I said, ‘Let’s make that happen,’” recounts Boyd. “We’re working with him to help him grow a company similar to ours but different enough.” Boyd’s even willing to make a small investment in it.
Fusion Projects was established to provide businesses in B.C.’s Lower Mainland with a unique new option for creating complete business interiors and workplace solutions. Its clients include Sony, Coastal Contacts and the tech start-up Hootsuite. Most of its business is referral or repeat customers.
Boyd isn’t interested in lowest-bid type work, which is one of the avenues the employee who started his own company will pursue. Instead, Boyd focuses on using his talented and experienced team to provide “tremendous” value-add. “I’m always trying to be unique, always thinking about how I can move the needle away from what my competitors are doing.”
Fusion Projects has, for example, recently started a health care practice, which has led to the kind of controlled growth that interests Boyd more than simple expansion.
This is because Boyd is committed to keeping a sense of intimacy at the company. “I’m focused on the quality of work we do but also on people,” he says. “It’s the people that make the company tick.”
Fusion Projects’ mission states that, utilizing their diversified background, employees will improve customers’ world one interior space at a time, while consistently delivering a great experience.
Project manager Jakica Laus enjoys both the variety of work she does as well as the different people she works with. “It’s really fun, every day is a new day, something comes up and you deal with it. It’s always dynamic,” she says. “The cool thing about this company is everybody has a different background before they got here,” including, for example, people who were building engineers, architectural millworkers or in construction-related trades.
Staff do, however, tend to have one big thing in common. “Most of us are type A personalities. I’m probably the most obvious,” laughs Laus, who joined Fusion Projects in 2006 after working with Boyd at another company.
As a project manager with a background in design, Laus ensures continuity and control throughout the job. She works with sub-trades, design groups and City Hall to help smooth the development process and to ensure the designer and client’s expectations have been met.
Laus says she’s never afraid to pose questions, to ask specialists to explain things until she “gets it.” Another key part of project management is motivating the team and Laus is constantly picking up tips from Fusion Project colleagues, who, she says, excel at motivation.
“Respect is so important,” she says. “Everyone gets treated the same whether it’s the CEO or the guy sweeping the floor on the job site.” Or whether they’re customers or suppliers.
Boyd says Fusion Projects also prides itself on transparency and has an open book policy with clients, showing them every dollar that comes in. “The return we expect is reasonable for what we do,” says Boyd. “What we do is more of value add.”
Since being named a top SME employer, Fusion Projects has implemented gym membership and a profit sharing plan for all staff.
To deal with the managed growth, the company will also be doing some hiring this year. “I get approached by a lot of people from competitors,” says Boyd. “I see them at different events and then they decide to make a change.”
One new hire even told him: “I feel like I’ve been called up to the NHL, being able to work at Fusion.”