04 June 2019
Sponsored by CIOB
Golden Houses Developments
Golden Houses Developments want to demonstrate that common problems within the construction industry - conflict, ‘blame game’, lack of collaboration, low level of satisfaction and growing costs - can be largely overcome. They want to become practical proof that construction can be better while also increasing worker satisfaction. So they set themselves the target of high profitability while delivering high-quality products.
They believed they could grow significantly, increase profitability and re-invest to become one of the most successful medium-sized contractors. In order to do that they believed they needed to create a ‘one team culture’ based on these values: togetherness, common sense, fairness, respect, reliability and competence - where there is accountability and drive to improve as a profession and as people. They believe that people who know and respect each other work better together. Hence, they decided not to use sub-contractors, instead building their entire team in-house from demolition and steelworkers to dryliners, electricians and decorators.
The strategy of controlling their supply chain resulted in Golden Houses Developments buying a large 30,000 sq ft joinery factory, which delivers windows, doors, kitchens and wardrobes plus glass and metalworks to projects and external clients like two 5-star hotels or Tottenham Spurs Football Stadium.
Golden Houses wanted to have everyone working on the project at one table willing to focus on solutions while respecting each other. To do that they needed to develop soft skills, not only technical proficiency. They wanted to make construction simpler, easier and more pleasant for everyone.
Another challenge Golden Houses Developments faced was architects who often had long response times and low pragmatic experience on site. To overcome that issue, Golden Houses Developments created an architectural and engineering practice in-house, now serving most of the company's needs. A collaborative approach, speed and job satisfaction were the results.
Turnover increased from £11m between June 2017-May 2018 to £38m between June 2018- Feb 2019 - all the while they held on to their original values. They have been completing projects with gross profit margins between 24-38%, demonstrating that a human approach and investing in the people and their soft skills bring real financial rewards, while making the work simpler, easier and more pleasant for everyone.
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The SECBE 2019 SME of the Year Award is sponsored by CIOB.