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British Housebuilder Announces New CEO

David Kenkinson has been appointed by the British housebuilder Persimmon as the company’s new Chief Executive (CEO). He has been serving as the group’s interim CEO since late last year and now he will take over the role with immediate effect. “Persimmon is a great company with a bright future and

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Turns & Townsend Warns Construction Insolvencies

The UK construction industry should beware insolvencies as demand weakens and margins are squeezed, warns UK consultant Turner & Townsend. Its latest market analysis points to falling demand, rising input costs and lower margins, and notes that the number of construction insolvencies far outstrips those in retail. The confusion over

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Business Leader Awards’ Judging Panel Joined by Piers Linney

The line-up of judges for the 2019 Business Leader Awards has been joined by former Dragons’ Den star, Piers Linney. The entrepreneur and investor is a champion of scale-up businesses and brings a wealth of experience to the judging panel. He qualified as a lawyer and is a former banker

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The Construction Industry Prefers Digital Marketing

A PMW Communications survey has revealed that the construction industry is rapidly moving away from traditional marketing in favour of digital platforms. The survey, conducted at the recent Construction Expo and UK Construction Week exhibition, asked participants to provide a list of construction companies’ marketing priorities. Digital platforms claimed the

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Mace Interiors Appoints New Director

Mace has appointed the new director of its recently rebranced fit-out business – Mace Interiors. Stewart Ward has been tasked with expanding the Mace Interiors business, building on a strong portfolio of clients and projects to deliver sustainable growth and support the wider Group’s ambitions over the next five years.

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An Epic Era for the Ballymore Business

Ballymore continues to be celebrated for its pioneering approach to creating places where people live and thrive. Putting quality of life and a rooted connection to arts and culture at the core of the business, Ballymore take great seriousness in their role as a place maker. Standing proudly as one

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LNT Group Posts £23m Profit for 2016

Garforth based LNT Group has reported an operating profit of £23 million for this year throughout the group’s five core companies. Around 2,000 people are employed by the group, which is made up of Ginetta, LNT Solutions, LNT Software, LNT Construction and Ideal Carehomes. The accounts have been published after

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T Clarke Reports Steady Core Market Improvements

Despite the ongoing uncertainty around the UK’s decision to leave the EU, industry contractor T Clarke has reported “steady, but cautious” improvements in its core markets. The firm revealed it has a “strong order book” of more than £300 million as its performance “continues to be in line with the

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Latest Issue

BDC 319 : Aug 2024

business

How Strategic HR Is Turning People Analytics into Business Outcomes

The function of HR is going through a rapid change. As with all industries and internal business functions, the advent of technology has boosted abilities and allowed for the once intangible to become tangible through the capture and analysis of data. In the past 20 years, its function has gone from submitting absenteeism reports to reporting on turnover and other employee numbers, to today delivering tangible business outcomes. While HR professionals have long cared about business strategy, the challenge has always been the ability to forecast, to prove with some degree of certainty what their actions would deliver for the business – what retention really meant. With the inability to predict outcomes, HR historically battled a disconnect when requesting budgets, knowing that their actions would have positive impacts, but not always being able to say exactly what that meant for the bottom line. The shift has begun; HR Managers or Directors are now becoming HR Business Partners, a sign that the function of HR is transitioning towards something more strategic, aligning with the goals of the business and driving outcomes that can be measured in a way business leaders understand and therefore demonstrating ROI. What is strategic HR? Strategic HR includes all of the typical HR components, including hiring, discipline, and payroll, but through the use of technology, HR can now also work with the business to boost retention, improve the quality of the work experience, and maximise the mutual benefit of employment for both the employee and the employer. HR departments today collect massive amounts of people data which can fulfil business goals and be presented to management in a more impactful way. Utilising business intelligence tools, HR teams can now forecast the ROI of their initiatives to prescribe the most effective course of action, whether for attracting new employees, retaining existing employees, or running initiatives internally to boost morale and drive sales. If the business wants to lower internal costs, HR teams can implement goals that back this up by employing increasingly effective strategies to retain more talent, thus lowering recruitment costs. Informed insight means informed decisions With the state of this technology as it is today, a proper HR analytics tool requires no major overhaul for a business. These tools simply pair with the best of breed systems an organisation already has and then creates a warehouse of data. No painful starting point. No need to be a data scientist. It is ‘drag and drop’ level easy with the massive upside of giving HR professionals unprecedented insight into the minds of their employees and thus the heart of their organisation. Workforce analytics tools help businesses to make better decisions, find hot spots, identify managers that are failing or excelling, identify employees to try and replicate, define programs that boost morale, and quickly quash initiatives, policies or other internal situations that are harming the happiness of the people. What can be uncovered with these tools is innumerable, but the simplest and most powerful outcome is preventing the loss of employees by leveraging employee data to make smart retention plans. After all, the largest unnecessary expense for a business is to lose good employees. If a company spends, on average, $100 per employee on retention, it makes sense that they would want to know who is actually most likely to quit, and who is most worth focussing the investment and time on retaining. This critical information helps to create and sharpen retention and engagement plans and forecast what costs could be saved as a result. Modern HR is backed up to the business HR teams now have the ability to be right there to back up business goals, attracting and retaining the best talent and consulting with the business on the best initiatives for employee satisfaction, even down to which policies could be replaced to retain more employees. Additionally, people analytics strategies allow HR departments to align measurable goals with business goals, provide actionable analytics to the right roles, suggest actions to improve the future, measure the impact of these actions, and report outcomes to the business. The benefit for the business is obvious; clear, predictive analytics to show the measurable business outcomes that can come from HR initiatives. For HR professionals, these tools not only allow them to work with more efficiency, but it also brings them into a new era where HR can stand as a strategic business partner, with tangible evidence to back up what they have known all along: happy people drive business forward. Brad Winsor, VP Workforce Analytics, SplashBI

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British Housebuilder Announces New CEO

David Kenkinson has been appointed by the British housebuilder Persimmon as the company’s new Chief Executive (CEO). He has been serving as the group’s interim CEO since late last year and now he will take over the role with immediate effect. “Persimmon is a great company with a bright future and I am honoured to have been asked to lead it. My priorities will be to maintain the strong operational and financial momentum of the business, to develop further our customer care operations and to bring a greater focus to our wider responsibilities as a leading UK house builder. We have a strong and committed team and I look forward to continuing to work with all my colleagues to deliver the high quality, attractively priced homes that the UK needs,” commented David Jenkinson on his appointment. For over 22 years David has been part of the company, assuming roles like Group Managing Director and serving on Persimmon’s board for over five years. Over this time he has held particular responsibility for land purchase. “After a thorough search, both within the housebuilding sector and more widely, it was clear to the Board that Dave was the best candidate for the role. Since his appointment as interim CEO last year Dave has shown both strong leadership in maintaining the Company’s track record of operational excellence but also that he is listening carefully to the views of all our stakeholders. Persimmon remains committed to its goal of being the leading volume builder of good value, traditional family homes throughout the UK,” said Roger Devlin, Persimmon’s Chairman.

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Turns & Townsend Warns Construction Insolvencies

The UK construction industry should beware insolvencies as demand weakens and margins are squeezed, warns UK consultant Turner & Townsend. Its latest market analysis points to falling demand, rising input costs and lower margins, and notes that the number of construction insolvencies far outstrips those in retail. The confusion over Brexit keeps persisting and contractors expect tender prices to increase 2.9% in 2019, outstripped by increasing materials costs of 5.3% and labour costs rising 4.5%. Only 28.4% of contractors expect the market to improve, against 42.1% prior to the Brexit vote in June 2016. According to official data, construction witnessed the highest insolvency rate of any UK economic sector, with 2,924 insolvencies recorded in the 12 months to the end of September 2018. This figure is 28.8% higher than the UK’s struggling retail sector. Turner & Townsend thinks that the underlying cause is weakening demand in construction. Despite a small 3.4% rise on the previous quarter, new orders in Q3 2018 were down almost a third (30.8%) on the high levels seen in 2017. As a result, Turner & Townsend’s latest UK market intelligence report finds that half of contractors (50.5%) surveyed were experiencing lukewarm tendering conditions, reporting increased competition and moderate price growth. The trends are hurting profit margins. The analysis shows median margins for tier one contractors standing at 3% and 5% for tier two contractors. Since the start of 2016, median tier one margins have shrunk by a quarter and tier two margins by half, leading Turner & Townsend to warn of a heightened risk of insolvency. “So much rests on the Brexit withdrawal agreement and there remain risks of further decreases in demand, coupled with increases in the costs of materials and labour from the continent and elsewhere.  Contractors’ already-thin margins could clearly come under further pressure, ” said Paul Connolly, UK managing director of cost management. “It’s essential for clients to be proactive about these risks – monitoring for warning signs, undertaking wide-ranging due diligence during procurement, and using project controls to pre-empt and correct problems at an early stage.  It’s about checking and challenging the supply chain, but also collaborating – understand suppliers’ pressures and concerns, as well as holding them to account,” he added. Turner & Townsend’s report outlines the steps clients should take in terms of watching for warning signs, due diligence, pre-emption of problems, and creating a resilient client-supplier dynamic.

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Business Leader Awards’ Judging Panel Joined by Piers Linney

The line-up of judges for the 2019 Business Leader Awards has been joined by former Dragons’ Den star, Piers Linney. The entrepreneur and investor is a champion of scale-up businesses and brings a wealth of experience to the judging panel. He qualified as a lawyer and is a former banker and fund manager with extensive experience in corporate finance and M&A.  Piers is also a Non-Executive Director of the government-owned British Business Bank, which has facilitated more than £12 billion of financing for UK SMEs. “I am a passionate believer in the importance of SMEs to the success of the UK economy and I am committed to helping ambitious businesses scale-up. The Business Leader Awards is a great way to recognise some of the UK’s most dynamic start-up and scale-up businesses,” Piers Linney commented. The Business Leader Awards champions British business across all sectors and is open to companies large and small, with 16 categories and a special ‘Business Leader of the Year’ accolade. “Starting and running a high growth business is exciting but also very challenging, and Piers is known for providing practical, no-nonsense advice and support. His experience and passion for scale-up business will be a real benefit to the judging process,” said Andrew Scott, Founder and CEO of Business Leader. A panel of judges independently assess award entries and the winners are announced at a prestigious gala awards dinner at the Hilton on Park Lane, London, on 21st June 2019.

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The Construction Industry Prefers Digital Marketing

A PMW Communications survey has revealed that the construction industry is rapidly moving away from traditional marketing in favour of digital platforms. The survey, conducted at the recent Construction Expo and UK Construction Week exhibition, asked participants to provide a list of construction companies’ marketing priorities. Digital platforms claimed the top three spots in the list. “PMW is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, so we’re in a great place to see how marketing options have evolved and expanded. The results of the survey reflect the fact that technology has become integral to our daily lives, as we no longer rely fully on adverts in newspapers or magazines, instead choosing to Google, or look on a company’s website or social media platforms for the information we need. It’s therefore now vital for businesses to optimise SEO so they appear on the first page of online searches, or to be engaging with customers over Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn,” said Peter Sutton, Managing Director of PMW Communications. Delegates at the trade shows were given 10 tokens each, which represented 100% of their marketing budget in 10% denominations. Participants were then asked to place the tokens into six category boxes: social media, traditional advertising, brochures, PR and events, website, and digital advertising. Over 200 people participated in the survey, representing a number of different companies within in the construction industry. The top priority for delegates, with 24% of the vote, was to have a professional and informative website. Digital advertising came second with 20%, and social media completed a digital top three with 19%. Brochure design and PR and events were tied in fourth with a respectable 15%. Traditional advertising methods were the lowest priority picking up 7% of the vote. “Despite the expected growth in digital options, there is still a place for more traditional marketing activities in the construction industry. Creative PR is a really cost-effective way of reaching target audiences, and can offer excellent value in terms of ROI, and events give a company the chance to engage with potential customers in person, which is something the digital world can never replace. It’s difficult to predict what marketing options will be available to construction companies in the next 10 years, but in such a fast paced industry, we’re excited to find out,” Peter Sutton concluded.

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Mace Interiors Appoints New Director

Mace has appointed the new director of its recently rebranced fit-out business – Mace Interiors. Stewart Ward has been tasked with expanding the Mace Interiors business, building on a strong portfolio of clients and projects to deliver sustainable growth and support the wider Group’s ambitions over the next five years. In this new role, Stewart will report to Mace’s Managing Director, Ged Simmonds, who is responsible for Mace’s commercial and fit out construction business. “I’m excited to have been appointed to lead the next chapter of Mace’s journey in the fit-out sector. We’ve got a fantastic team in place here, with a huge range of expertise and a portfolio of fantastic clients and projects. I’m very proud to have the opportunity to take Mace Interiors from strength to strength over the next five years and beyond,” said Stewart. Mace Interiors, formerly named ‘Como’, is responsible for a wide range of industry-leading commercial fit-out projects across the UK. The business was renamed to better align with the company’s corporate brand and reflect closer association with Mace Group. “We have delivered some of the most exciting fit-out projects in the UK over the last ten years, and with our new brand and Stewart in charge I’m sure we will continue to build on that fantastic legacy. The next twelve months will mark a key phase of growth for Mace Interiors, and I look forward to working with Stewart and the rest of the team to deliver it,” added Mark Castle, Mace’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Mace Interiors offers an attentive personal service with exceptional quality products to the leisure industry. With over 25 years of experience, the company has built an excellent reputation supplying and refurbishing projects throughout South Wales and beyond.

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An Epic Era for the Ballymore Business

Ballymore continues to be celebrated for its pioneering approach to creating places where people live and thrive. Putting quality of life and a rooted connection to arts and culture at the core of the business, Ballymore take great seriousness in their role as a place maker. Standing proudly as one London and Dublin’s most active property developers, Ballymore have over 5,500 people engages with them on every level throughout current projects. Current projects include that of new headquarters for the English National Ballet and London Film School, on London City Island. Previous work has seen the business work alongside the US Government, moving their embassy from Grosvenor Square to Embassy Garden, Nine Elms, a project which established a new riverside cultural district for the city. Recently, Royal Wharf has been presented with the Seal of Excellence at the NHBC Awards. An honour presented to Joe Cashman, Director, after the joined the top 450 UK Site Managers to win a Quality Award for the projects Phase 2B Development. Joe Cashman is now part of an elite and recognised group of site managers who have showcased dedication and commitment, leading to a representation of the top 100 site managers in the country. An initial 16,000 enter the NHBC Awards in the hope of being granted the honour of Seal of Excellence. The award stands as a testament to Ballymore’s continuous commitment to the creation of homes of outstanding quality, that are built with the benefits of the client in mind. The NHBC judge Site Managers on six key areas: attention to detail, leadership, consistency, technical expertise, interpretation of drawings and specifications, and health and safety measures. The Pride in the Job Award has been presented by the NHBC since its launch in 1980 and has since helped businesses to showcase their ability and performance, driving the standards that new builds should meet a certain criteria to be the very best they can be. NHBC standards are integrated into the culture and heart of Ballymore, which stands as a company that is forever looking to improve and innovate, to offer the very best in modern home design and construction. Joe Cashman has expressed his pride in being awarded the esteemed honour and is happy to have received recognition on behalf of the Royal Wharf project and Ballymore. Despite the award being granted to individuals, it is an overall representation of the company and every individual involved in a recognised project. “For the company, the awards from the NHBC mean we’re doing something right,” remarks Joe. “For me at Royal Wharf, it is the result of all the team’s efforts. We’ve been here on site as principal contractor for the last three and a half years, and the award represents the successful accumulation of a lot of hard work.” Ballymore offer an ability to not only continuously deliver homes to the highest of standards but have build an established reputation that show a willingness to constantly seek improvements through constant dedication.

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LNT Group Posts £23m Profit for 2016

Garforth based LNT Group has reported an operating profit of £23 million for this year throughout the group’s five core companies. Around 2,000 people are employed by the group, which is made up of Ginetta, LNT Solutions, LNT Software, LNT Construction and Ideal Carehomes. The accounts have been published after the decision by LNT to refocus the care aspect of its business as both a developer and an operator. A major reinvestment has been made in Ideal Carehomes with an above living wage increase for its staff, improvements to the built environment and a focus on offering active lifestyles in the home. Furthermore, LNT took the chance to concentrate on its development and construction businesses. Reflecting the expansion of services in the care sector, LNT built on its turn-of-key offer to include assisted living facilities. Demand kept growing from third party operators for new purpose built care facilities which allowed LNT to build a strong pipeline of sites and pre sold facilities. The accounts state that LNT Construction and LNT Care Developments are on track to be on 13 sites by the end of the current financial year. LNT Chief Executive, Matt Lowe, commented: “We are such a forward-looking company that we’re always thinking about the next innovation or expansion, so preparing the accounts is a great moment to reflect on the progress we’ve made. “As ever, it’s been a fastmoving year with lots of changes within the businesses, typical of the entrepreneurial flair the company has inherited from its Founding Chairman, Lawrence Tomlinson. “With the improvements we’ve been making in Ideal Carehomes, and the successful drive to ramp-up our construction activity, I am delighted by how much progress we’ve already made this year.“ The LNT results also reveal that race car manufacturer Ginetta saw an increase of 28.5% in turnover. Improvements to its car range means Ginetta now offers a full portfolio of GT and prototype race cars which has led to growing demand from international markets, in particular for the G57 sports prototype range. LNT Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson has described this year’s figures as “brilliant”.

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T Clarke Reports Steady Core Market Improvements

Despite the ongoing uncertainty around the UK’s decision to leave the EU, industry contractor T Clarke has reported “steady, but cautious” improvements in its core markets. The firm revealed it has a “strong order book” of more than £300 million as its performance “continues to be in line with the Board’s expectations.” Major deals include securing four key package deals valued at £56 million on the 22 Bishopsgate project in London. These are: • Electrical, Shell & Core • Electrical, Cat “A” Fit Out • ELV (Systems Integration) Package, including BMS, ICT and Security • Fire Alarm Installation Onsite activities will start next year to be completed in 2019. Furthermore, the group has secured a £24 million M&E fit out scheme at The International Quarter in London, while two new student accommodation schemes are being carried out in Newcastle. In Scotland, three quarters of revenues for next year have now been secured including the following notable recent wins in the residential sector: • Barratt Homes West Scotland, Bonhill, Dumbartonshire • Barratt Homes West Scotland, Wallace Fields, Glasgow • Cala Homes West Scotland, Dullater Greens, Cumbernauld • Robertson Homes, Fair Acres, Dunbar Other wins have been secured in the education sector, including at Easter Bush Campus, University of Edinburgh and St Joseph College, Dumfries. T Clarke will also work in partnership with Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Europe to make`, supply and install Calorimeter Testing Facilities at their manufacturing plant in Livingston West Lothian Scotland. T Clarke Scotland Managing Director, Gary Jackson, said: “TClarke will be working closely with Mitsubishi’s engineering partners, Onishi of Japan who are world leaders in the design and construction of Calorimeter Test Facilities. We are very proud to have gained the professional confidence of Onishi and Mitsubishi to undertake this massive project for them.” Elsewhere, the Group has begun proceedings to recover up to £2.8 million of “misappropriated funds” taken by an employee over a number of years.

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