The construction industry ground to a dramatic halt in the early stages of lockdown but, with plenty of new regulations in place it’s great to see the sector booming again with new developments appearing around the world at a rate of knots.
From new housing developments to commercial premises and high-rise apartment blocks, the construction sector has bounded back and there are now genuine signs of growth throughout the industry. The question is, how do construction companies expect to keep growing as we continue into the new normal, and what tips do they have for others in the sector who might not have had such a successful time of things in recent months?
In the latest in our series of growth tips from the experts articles we’ve spoken to a number of leading companies to find out how they managed to keep growing, and how others can follow in their footsteps by building for the future.
Matt Stacey, MD, QMS
It goes without saying that in order to grow you’ve got to do plenty of work in the background, the kind of things that many won’t see but that will lay the foundations for you to reach your goals in the end. In construction, an ISO certification is a sign of quality assurance and Matt Stacey – the Managing Director of QMS who award certifications to hundreds of construction firms each year – is a strong believer that certifications and accreditations can help massively when it comes to growth, and especially winning new contracts.
Matt said that “A construction company can hugely benefit from being ISO certified. For example, ISO 9001 will help companies to win more tenders, gain better supplier relationships and improved record keeping. ISO 14001 helps a construction business to minimise its environmental impact, again, helping them win tenders especially in a world that is becoming more and more conscious of the impact they are having on the environment.”
“There are always opportunities to find new business in construction, as given the nature of the task, one thing to expect is the unexpected! This can range from flooding, and the need to dewater large volumes of water, to the unforeseen limits on equipment currently being used.”
That is the view of Simon Hooton, the Technical Product Manager at the Nottinghamshire-based North Ridge Pumps. He went on to add that “Equipment can suddenly fail, and one of the most expensive issues the industry faces can be downtime, along with penalties for late delivery.
Simon Hooton, Technical Product Manager, North Ridge Pumps
“One way to win new business is to always be of value. The person you approach may not need you at this moment, but should an issue arise you could be their first port of call if you are positioned as someone who can help solve their issue, can demonstrate experience in having solved a similar issue or act as a trusted advisor to point them in the right direction when they do. Furthermore, by providing insights into new techniques, showing ways of doing more with less, and operating more efficiently, can help drive new business.
“Socially conscious firms are looking to meet the UK’s Net Zero Target either now or by 2030 and some of the ways they are looking to offset carbon is by looking at ways to either recycle or reuse water, and reduce the amount of energy consumed or generate green energy where possible. Companies which can demonstrate to another how to operate more efficiently and profitably will secure business and differentiate by not appearing to be a commodity.”
Jamie Downes is the CEO of Air Conditioning Wales
Another recommendation comes from Jamie Downes, the CEO of Air Conditioning Wales who specialise in HVAC installation as well as construction and maintenance. He suggests that construction firms should partner with charities and charitable organisations in order to improve and increase their reputation in the sector.
Many construction companies are seen as large organisations who come into areas, transform the landscape and then leave; but working with a local charity can have a great impact on the local community. “More and more customers are socially conscious, especially now in the midst of a pandemic which is causing devastation, both personally and professionally,” he said. “As a result companies are increasingly committing to making a positive change in the world and their close knit community, and supporting businesses or charities that are doing the same. Choose a charity your company and employees are passionate about, and pledge to donate on the customer’s behalf for every referral they send your way.”