Access to Expertise


gcsBy Anna Guy

Having established an outstanding record of leading operations for oil and gas, wood forest product, mining, OSB, commercial and heavy industrial oil construction, Jeff Houghton is taking on his latest venture.

Jeff Houghton is no stranger to success. The first company he started, Norweld Mechanical Installations Inc. grew to $70 million, serving some of Canada’s largest industries, including mining, forestry and oil and gas.

His next venture, Edmonton-based PROFAB is an energy services company that services the oil and gas, mining, forestry, pulp and paper, cement industries with manpower solutions. Founded on guiding principles of Performance Excellence, Fair Return, Ethics, and Safety, PROFAB has become an innovative industry player in the industrial construction market, while retaining the creativity and integrity in little over four years.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Houghton saw the success PROFAB is experiencing required a great deal of support from sub contractors. Finding PROFAB was generating a lot of work opportunities for companies in the area, Houghton realized there was a way to better service the industrial and commercial industries.

Group Contract Services

GSC (Group Contract Services) is Houghton’s latest brainchild, a one-stop-shop for a group of the best-of-the-best sub contract companies. “I like thinking outside the box,” Houghton says, reflecting on his ambitious new direction. Designed to “[eliminate] all the failures that are happening in the industry today,” GSC originated around a focus on Oil & Gas construction, maintenance, and fabrication. Showing impressive traction and growth, GCS has since grown to accommodate market demand, offering a full range of services in Construction Management, Plant Maintenance, Module Assembly, Shop Fabrication, all site work from engineering Design right through to commissioning.

“Adapting to a changing market and consistently answering customers’ needs,” is what Houghton says is the running vision for GSC. Not only do customers get prompt work done by contractors that are top of their trade, GSC regularly saves them considerable money on their project’s bottom line.

“There is never a markup as each company bills the client directly, saving our clients 15 to 20 per cent,” says Houghton. “One company at a time, we have proven our model as one that gets the best results for the best cost.” And while quality policies and processes are developed at the senior management level, they are implemented by all levels of management and embraced as values by all employees. Q”uality is an important part of the culture with all the companies in GCS.”

Listing them off here would take up pages, but suffice to say, GCS has experience in almost every facilities and industry involved in industrial, institutional, and commercial markets through some of the most advanced management companies.

Uber Man Power

Houghton is always searching for ways for his clients to access reliable tradespeople in a timely manner—after all, time is money. Next on the docket is what Houghton describes as his most exciting venture yet: an app called Uber Manpower. By Summer 2018, customers looking for a trade will only need to type in their needs, then choose from anyone on the map with those qualifications. The trade’s photograph, resume, distance, cost, and 5-star color coding rating will all show up.

“I met a client yesterday, and he couldn’t believe it would be that easy, but it will be as simple as scrolling through, finding the right fit, and pressing a button to hire.” Houghton believes this idea has applications world-wide and is working hard to prepare for the surge in interest.

“We’ve stayed diversified,” says Houghton. “There isn’t an area of the industry that we haven’t served and tried sincerely to improve.”