Growing a Start-up: A look to the future at Tetranex

A new year and another planned growth coming to one of Calgary’s newest engineering firms.  I recently sat down with VP of Operations and part owner of Tetranex Solutions, David Harman, to talk about some of the opportunities and challenges.

Tetranex Demographics (Oct 2013)

Tetranex Demographics (Oct 2013)

Being a new entry into the industry, the ability to attract new minds is just as crucial as how the company approaches new projects.  As an alternative to much of the prevalent complacent thinking of existing cookie-cutter style engineering, Tetranex strives to aim higher. Part of this is achieved by how the company is structured. The corporate structure is based on a tier of senior level professionals with the experience and the willingness to mentor junior staff, and the rest consisting mostly of young minds with new out-of-box thinking and enthusiasm for problem solving. The near flat hierarchy is intentional to allow owner accessibility to maintain company vision and allowing direct feedback to owner for betterment of the company.

Growth of Tetranex in past 2 years

Tetranex Resource Growth Curve (Oct 2013)

A team-positive attitude and good work ethic is consistently found throughout the Tetranex team. Recruitment focuses on hiring new people who have this certain drive. New recruits will quickly find out if they will do well in Tetranex with daily dynamic challenges and non-traditional approaches to current engineering and design methodology. Surprisingly (or not, as this could be inherent to the recruitment process), attrition has been few, and the company has been experiencing steady positive growth in numbers in the short three years it has existed.

Mentorship programs such as the TetraPlant are being put in place to bring new hires up to speed with design concepts and engineering deliverables, while exposing young hires to typical industrial processes and hardware. Creation of a dedicated internal development team will now fast track creation of internal tools and modules to help deliver quality and consistent design.

The new year will see Tetranex shifting focus on their recruitment strategy. So far, 75%-80% of the new hires have come from referrals and has been a good strategy to bring in bright people who would intrinsically work well together. However, with a push to grow the company further, the need for more exposure is needed. Career fairs at the various institutions such as UofC and SAIT as well as taking part in industry nights at SAIT will continue to be part of that effort. More presence on the social media front is another venue and will be a continual work in progress. Tetranex will also be stepping up volunteering efforts and contributing to charitable events as well — most recently serving meals at the Drop-In Center on Jan 31 and the Toy Drive last Christmas for the Calgary Women’s Centre.

It looks like the company is geared up for another push of growth in 2014. New projects, new faces, and definitely more hands on deck. All the new initiatives and new talent help deliver on the company motto: “Quality, Consistency, and Repeatability”. More to look forward to in the upcoming year for Tetranex Solutions.