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Blog: SME of the Year SECBE Awards 2019 finalist - Baxall Construction

04 June 2019

Sponsored by CIOB

*** WINNER *** Baxall Construction Limited

The key challenges facing Baxall (as an SME) include: competition (larger and smaller); modernisation; staff retention and capability/ skill; sustainable profit; and return on investment. Baxall has maintained a positive trend in turnover and profitability over the last 4 years. The company has in place an active Business Plan (reviewed twice yearly) to ensure actions remain on target.

There has been steady growth in turnover: 2016: £23m // 2017: £23m // 2018: £26m (currently being audited) // 2019: £29m (predicted). This is attributed to a structured, controlled and well-managed strategy for growth and development that has included: analysis of the company strengths and skillsets as a business; analysis of available markets and types of work; and identifying how to be more efficient and profitable in a competitive marketplace.

This has been achieved by:

  • Concentrating on repeat clients
  • Significant investment into the company learning & development function and staff development with dedicated leadership (Contracts Director/ Learning & Development Manager Steve Turner FCIOB)
  • Continued focus on frameworks as a procurement route; Baxall was successfully awarded places on the Metropolitan Police, Orbis and ESFA (DfE) Construction Frameworks in 2017/ 2018
  • Further innovation investment and training (notably BIM and Modern Methods of Construction)
  • Ongoing promotion of Baxall’s Buildings Built on Teamwork’ ethos of collaborative working with clients, consultants and supply chain partners
  • Supply chain engagement and training programmes

Baxall believes they stand out from the competition because of what they are achieving as a local SME. Baxall’s main competitive advantage is their approach to delivery. Baxall has embraced digital technology, BIM and Modern Methods of Construction, which create a diversity of efficiencies and benefits for the business, clients and environment. They promote a forward-thinking approach via:

  • Active involvement in BIM working groups, including the MPS Framework and Kent BIM Hub and their connection with Kent Constructing Excellence
  • Developing their Digital Integration Programme over 18 months into training internal teams, design consultants and supply chain partners along with regular clients in how to benefit from collaborative BIM and digitalisation
  • Partnering with several UK and European based offsite manufacturers and they are continuing to establish new relationships
  • Planning for a UK manufacturing and distribution factory

Baxall aims to have an embedded culture of the ‘Baxall Way’ to give themselves a skillset for competitive advantage. Their strapline is ‘Buildings Built on Teamwork’ and, in parallel to the Government Construction Strategy 2025, this is how they say they have been working since the Latham Report ‘Constructing the Team’ in 1994.

Traditionally, construction companies work in a manner of ‘them and us’ with the client, consultants and contractor as separate parties. Baxall’s approach aims to be the opposite. They encourage a collaborative approach with early involvement from all parties (including the building end-users). This begins upon contract award and continues post-completion encompassing regular meetings, reviews, input and buy-in from the complete team. The outcome is a building that is not solely designed and built to specification but to the actual requirements of the client/end-users and one that is delivered with minimal defects with a full ongoing aftercare service (soft landings).

Whilst profitability is important, it is not their sole driver. Baxall believes they have developed a sound reputation for reliability and quality. It is customer service excellence and getting the best that they can for clients that form the core aim of their business. They respect budgets and limitations and, in line with their ethos of Buildings Built on Teamwork, work collaboratively to value engineer specifications and provide cost, time and sustainable efficient solutions. The outcome of this is long-standing relationships with a number of local clients with whom they maintain 20+ year relationships.

Reflective of this approach and evident success was Baxall’s listing in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2018’. The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP congratulated Baxall via letter and with a visit to the Paddock Wood Head Office. Managing Director Malcolm Clarke delivered an informative presentation outlining Baxall’s strategy including investment in staff training, innovation and sustainable construction techniques such as BIM and Modern Methods of Construction: a model for business success in the construction industry.


Highlights:

  • Baxall’s listing in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2018’
  • CIOB Development Programme: in the last 2 years 15 staff have achieved MCIOB and FCIOB status giving a total of 80% of all technical staff employees being professionally qualified at the highest level
  • Driving BIM innovation through PAS1192-2 accreditation, staff and supply chain training, workshops, CPD events and industry presentations

For more details:

Visit Baxall Construction

The SECBE 2019 SME of the Year Award is sponsored by CIOB.

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