Blog: SME of the Year SECBE Awards 2019 finalist - Warner Surveys

04 June 2019

Sponsored by CIOB

Warner Surveys

Warner Surveys (WS) is celebrating their 40th year in 2019. Founded in 1979, they are a specialist subcontractor delivering survey services to the UK construction industry and international oil and gas industries. Their UK offices are based in Reading, London, Bristol and Birmingham with an international branch office in Kazakhstan. Their goal is to offer great customer service through quality and communication.

In the 2018 financial year, they have achieved 20% growth in the UK business, opened a new regional office in Birmingham, with additional employment of local staff across their regions. Internationally, they have established a branch office in Kazakhstan and are forming a JV with a local partner. 

Some recent challenges faced include:

  • Succession planning: their long-standing MD retired in 2018 with David Hutson taking over. The loss of a leading figure can create a loss of direction, however, the vision and core company values installed at WS ensured a smooth process with continued growth.
  • Technological changes: the role of surveyors and technology used is constantly changing and advancing - from robotic total stations through to laser scanners and now Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Their continuing investment in the latest equipment and staff training has enabled them to remain as industry leaders over the decades.
  • WS offers scalable services, from major infrastructure projects, such as Crossrail, to smaller private home extensions. This requires careful managing and a scalable business and operational model.

In more detail

Warner Surveys is a fast growing and technically accomplished specialist provider of survey services. With a track record including high-profile projects as Crossrail, and HS2, 2018 was another strong year for them.

Their main accomplishments last year were: 

  • The development of two new departments: Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAVs) and Subsurface utilities surveys. 
  • The development of a highly specialised offering, along with a partner company, in the form of high accuracy and fast reporting on floor flatness surveys
  • Their expansion into new geographic regions of the Midlands and South West. 

All these developments led to more employment in the various specialisms and geographic areas.

2018 also saw a drive on two chosen company values: quality and communication. As a dimensional measurement company, quality is a must and communication has been chosen as a way to focus their work with clients, discussing overall outcome requirements for each survey and then recommending the best and most efficient way to achieve this.

WS believe this has provided savings to clients by surveying what is actually required for each specific project and eliminating unnecessary survey requirements from their projects. The smooth transition to their new MD, as well as the internal promotion of two new company directors, shows the strength they have as well as the power of these shared values to the business. Their Crossrail project manager says, "Crossrail Ltd confirms that Warner Land Surveys Limited continues to act as a contractor to Crossrail under the C821 Geomatics contract, which has been instrumental in assuring the quality of the constructed assets after 311 Task Orders with them".

Through staff support via schemes such as The Survey Associations (TSA) development and becoming Approved Development Partners to the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors, WS believe they are preparing future surveyors for their careers ahead. They understand that not all staff will remain at Warner Surveys but feel that it is an endorsement to their working environment that staff often return after working at other companies or extended periods of travel.


  • Warner Surveys are celebrating 40 years as a leading survey company.
  • Continued growth despite board and shareholder changes over the decades. They attribute this to a long-term shared vision and ethos within Warner Surveys that has allowed a sustainable business to be developed.
  • 2018 saw the largest year of investment in their people.

For more details:

Visit Warner Surveys

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

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