Our Vision for 2021
Now we’re into a perfectly rectangular month (which only happens once a decade), we thought we’d share our insights into what we’ve learned in the last year and our vision for 2021. COVID-19 is still very much part of the conversation but we continue to drive our business forward, delivering some innovative and exciting projects throughout the North West, North Wales and North Yorkshire.
The Last 12 Months…
Whilst the last 12 months have proved really challenging and like most businesses, we continue to experience some uncertainty about the future due to the current pandemic we remain positive and have a healthy forward order book and a strong pipeline.
Our senior teams have worked very hard to ensure that all areas of our business have been remobilised and that all our people are back at work. We are very lucky to have such a good business culture where our teams go above and beyond to ensure we can continue to deliver our services as seamlessly as possible.
We have also continued to develop our business through our existing business improvement model. Our teams are very forward-thinking, striving to be the best in the industry, and work collaboratively in the development of new initiatives that enhance our existing services. We have seen significant improvements in; health & safety, pre-construction, customer, procurement, IT, operations, and commercial, which will continue in 2021.
Like many businesses we continue to monitor our current business position, forecast forward order book and pipeline regularly so we can react to any major changes within the industry or due to the current pandemic.
Whilst our teams have all been furloughed at some point in 2020, we have remained positive and managed the back to work process successfully through regular communications and one to one discussion. Setting expectations and reassuring our people about the future have been key in managing the stress and uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
Unlike many other organisations, we have also remained focused on our 4-year business plan and in 2020 complete around 10no new appointments in various disciplines within our business.
2020 was one of the hardest years our business has experienced…
I suppose what our business excelled in was working together to find a way through the issues and develop new innovative ways of delivering our services. Our senior leadership team and directors initially developed a business / pandemic specific task team that was responsible for the development of our covid-19 compliant services. They also worked in conjunction with existing clients to further develop / test new policies, procedures, processes, and systems in order to provide greater confidence to our customers about our ability to deliver during unprecedented times.
We also continued to stay focused on our business plan and its development. Growth is a key area of our business strategy and will ultimately ensure our long-term success. Remaining focused on the development of our business, our people and the way we deliver services sets us apart from our competition and makes us the contractor of choice for many of our existing clients.
However throughout all this our business still achieved;
- Successful demobilisation and remobilisation of the entire business
- Development of new innovative techniques – COVID-19
- Forward order book of over £34m
- Strong long term pipeline
- Retention of 260no employees
- Supported 260no employees throughout the national lockdown
- Continued to deliver improvements across the business
- Continue to deliver COVID-19 compliant services
Keeping our Teams & Residents Safe…
Our teams have worked tirelessly to keep all our services in line with government guidelines. Our core priority is to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our people, our customers, their residents, and the wider public at all times. Its been challenging for all involved due to the amount of change in guidance, but we believe that our approach has enabled us to continue to deliver for our customers successfully with the correct safety measures in place.
During 2020 we have seen the addition of remote working and the use of new remote technologies to ensure key communications can continue. Our teams have very quickly adapted to working remotely and work collaboratively with all our customers to ensure that our services can continue as required.
We continue to develop new ways of working to enhance our delivery model which more recently have included; a remote management meeting video to over 120no people, the development of remote inductions, and the development of remote business catch-ups/progress meetings.
Our Social Value is at the heart of everything we do..
Over the last 12 months, the approach to social value has changed dramatically. We are unable to deliver a substantial part of our existing social value model due to current lockdown restrictions which have ultimately affected; People who require support to get back into work, people who require job creation support, the local community and development within it, local schools and careers and long term local legacy projects.
However, we have continued in our approach and continue to heavily invest in apprenticeships, training and development, our impact on the environment, and supporting local communities where we can. We have also experienced a larger demand in our acts of kindness service, a part of our overall delivery model which supports residents, providing greater support in light of covid-19 and the completion of works within the property.
Working with our Clients During the Pandemic…
One example of our approach to collaborative working would be on our existing long term whole house external refurbishment programme with Flintshire CC, where our teams have worked in conjunction with our client team to develop a delivery solution to suit the local residents and reduce the overall impact to the community. The volume of work has been reduced from the forecasted programme to allow additional time and management to manage the day to day access / covid-19 protocol.
Our aim for 2021 remains as per our existing business plan. We are focused on our approach to continuing to develop our housing, build, and development streams to around £45m turnover. Increasing our pool of directly employed staff to around 275no, whilst creating over 15no apprenticeship opportunities.
The next 12 months will also see the development of an inhouse flooring and electrical department to support our growing housing business stream, the further development of our pre-construction team, and the launch of our new social value model.
Innovation plays a huge part in our business development and 2021 will be no different. We will focus on improving our IT systems, our health & safety approach, our customer approach, and specifically the health and wellbeing of our people.
Our core campaigns for 2021 will be; supporting mental health, Dust and vibration, reducing our impact on the environment, and enhancing our return on investment (social value) for our customers.
Simon Harrison, Managing Director