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The Power of an Agile Mindset

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The concept of agile methodology in project management, manufacturing, and construction may be a familiar one. However, the idea of an agile mindset? Maybe, not so much. An agile mindset is rooted in the principles of collaboration, innovation, and putting customers first. It’s a flexible way of thinking that empowers individuals and teams to respond to dynamic situations swiftly— a far cry from the rigid bureaucracy of traditional old-fashioned firms. Tony Mitro, owner and managing director of Toronto-based general contractor Neutral Contracting Group, follows this philosophy to the core. Mitro believes his company’s success relies heavily on the flexible and reliable attitude of its management, staff, suppliers, and trades. “We have to say a big thank you to our clients for trusting us to always deliver top-quality work on time and within budget. But this wouldn’t be possible without the best-in-class people in every area.”

The benefits of this agile, quality-driven approach create, in essence, a domino effect with the company’s customers passing these benefits on, and so forth. Neutral Contracting Group’s own journey, however, began in 2005 as a small painting company. After the 2008 financial meltdown, the Canadian residential market experienced sustained growth, creating the need for more contractors that could offer quality work at competitive prices. This led to Mitro seizing the opportunity to expand his business into a general contracting firm. In 2010, it started offering bespoke construction services to institutional property management firms under the name Neutral Contracting Group. For the past 13 years, Neutral Contracting Group has been working with Canadian housing providers, property managers and owners to deliver high-standard multi-residential projects and suite upgrades. The company provides a wide range of interior finishing services, and in addition, it offers commercial services acting as a single point of contact for any construction and maintenance needs and offering a 24-hour contact center. In the past 20 years Greater Toronto Area has seen an incredible boom in the construction of condominiums. As they naturally age they also deteriorate due to factors like weather, poor construction and other factors leading to buildings experiencing deterioration, fire and flooding incidents. To fulfill this market niche, Neutral Contracting Group the opportunity to add emergency and restoration services to its existing suite of services. These services include fire and water damage restoration, electrical and mechanical upgrades, heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair, and round-the-clock emergency response in case of floods and fires.

Neutral condo project interior

With over a decade of experience working in the industry, Neutral Contracting Group has garnered valuable insights into the Greater Toronto Area residential market. Lessons learned are listening attentively to clients needs and respond in a prompt manner as timing is of essence. Mitro and his team use this knowledge to shape and streamline its operations, making sure materials and labor are always available. With its 16,000-square-foot warehouse, Neutral Contracting Group has the capacity to order construction supplies in excess. Even when faced with supply chain disruptions and other external challenges, this forward-thinking approach allows the company to service jobs on time and at competitive costs.

at the guest suite renovation project at 44 Charles Street in the heart of Yorkville is a testament to the efficacy of this strategy. The project commenced and finished during the pandemic. Neutral Contracting Group was hired to upgrade and transform the residential units into high-end four-season-like suites. Due to COVID restrictions slowing down the supply chain, and the pandemic affecting the health and safety of staff members, this project was particularly challenging. However, stock surplus and clever staff management allowed Neutral Contracting Group to work without interruptions, meet deadlines, and exceed client expectations. “We have multiple crews, so if a staff member got sick, we were able to remove the entire crew and replace it with another team,” says Mitro.

“With over a decade of experience working in the industry, Neutral Contracting Group has garnered valuable insights into the Greater Toronto Area residential market.”

Neutral Contracting Group encourages team members at all levels to adopt an agile mindset and to learn, adapt, and improve processes following customers’ feedback. “We try to be innovative and creative, from sourcing suppliers and negotiating pricing to storing excess materials.” The company’s culture is based on collaboration and good communication, both internally and externally. Mitro attributes most of the company’s achievements to this open and ongoing dialogue among all the parties involved. “We’re a people’s company. We strive to set clear expectations and manage them diligently.”

Good and honest communication has also helped Neutral Contracting Group create long-lasting partnerships with its suppliers. This is a key factor in its ability to maintain competitive prices. The same approach has also earned the company multiple contracts with many big names in the GTA residential market. “We have proven, and we’re still proving, that we can deliver excellent work on time. That’s why we are trusted partners of some of the major players in the industry like QuadReal, Morguard, GWLRA.”

Confident of its abilities and good reputation, Neutral Contracting Group plans to open additional offices across Canada over the next five years. Drawing on its experience, expertise, and flexibility, the company is eager to work on new projects and onboard new clients. Having worked with many property management firms, Neutral Contracting Group is well-positioned to adapt its processes to different visions and design packages, offering advice and tailored solutions to meet new and existing customers’ needs. “Our company is well-known to the institutional property management firms in the country. We want to see organic growth without compromising on our core values which are providing best-in-class bespoke services, meeting deadlines, and offering competitive prices.”

Striving to be an invaluable asset to any project, Neutral Contracting Group takes great pride in playing an active role in its customers’ success. The latest example is the ongoing upgrade of The Galleria Apartments on 77 Finch Avenue East in Toronto for one of the premier property management firms in the country. This residential complex consists of 3 buildings comprised of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom rental units, a fitness center, a swimming pool, a sauna, and other amenities. Neutral Contracting Group is working closely with its client to execute the full design vision. “We see ourselves as an extension of our customer’s team, and we are proud to say that we are on time and budget and that the transformation this site is undergoing is incredible. Tenants will be very happy to see the premises turned into modern and aesthetically pleasing, yet functional spaces.”

As the industry moves into a new era, where sustainability, affordability, and excellence are all demanded in equal measure, Neutral Contracting Group is in a good position. The company has established and built a reputation for high quality and trust. They say that in construction, only change is certain. With an ability to plan ahead and an unrivalled level of skill and professionalism in-house, the company is here, serving its customers, for the long haul.

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