Hub South West is “Building for Growth”
“There are a lot of good businesses out there, but some have areas where they need to build capacity if they want to rise to the next level. For example, many are relying too heavily on the skills of one key person, some of the IT practices are not very efficient or robust, and marketing communications can vary from the sublime to the almost non-existent."
Gordon Hunter, Supply Chain Development Manager, hub South West
Our commitment to utilising a local supply chain is one of the keystones of hub South West. Our Participants rightly expect great buildings, on time, on budget and of excellent quality, but also expect to work closely with the local contractors in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway to ensure that this happens. We are committed this year to ensure that at least 55% of tendering opportunities go to locally based businesses, and to support these businesses with information about projects, with skills development, and to build their networks with the Tier 1 and M+E contractors. It this way, they will be well placed to turn these opportunities into contracts.
The bottom line is that if local companies win contracts, local people get jobs!
Hub SW has now reached its second birthday. The priority for the initial engagement phase was to raise awareness of hub South West. This successfully increased our Territory Supplier Network from around 60 to over 360 fully approved contractors by running a series of over 60 Learning Workshops and Meet the Buyer Events. This approach to engagement was supported by more than 50 one to one sessions with contractors, focusing mainly on Business Health Checks and Tendering support. This enabled us to more clearly identify the needs of the local contractors in ensuring that they were sufficiently robust and developed to become successful Tier 2/3 contractors within hub.
It soon became clear that there are many excellent businesses out there, but that they would benefit from a deeper engagement with us in terms of support to develop their businesses.
“Building for Growth” was born.
Starting in late September, the programme delivered 11 modules over 7 half-day sessions. We recruited 8 local companies committed to grow their business in a sustainable manner, with a focus towards building their capacity to take on increasing volumes of business.
This gave the delegates:
- The opportunity to learn from experts in their fields, who also run small businesses and who could if needed, continue to provide development support following the programme.
- The ability to discuss key business issues with other business owners in a safe, non-competitive and trusted environment.
- Real progress through action planning and ongoing support to build capability and expertise in key business development areas such as people management, IT, tendering and marketing.
- Ability to build relationships with hub’s Tier 1 Contractors who hosted the sessions, attended some and attended the awards ceremony to hear their pitch for hub contracts.
The programme culminated in an Awards Event where the delegates presented to the hub team, programme facilitators and Tier 1 Contractors, Kier, Graham, Morrison and Ashleigh, on why they had joined the programme, their resultant development plans and why they should be considered for hub work packages.
Kenny Reid and Anne-Marie Fulton, Burnbrae Contracts, Strathaven
Burnbrae specialise in wet trades and general building works and are looking to expand their 4 year old business.
The workshop sessions allowed us to have a look at our business, its strengths and weaknesses, and to move forward with confidence in the growth and sustainability of the company. We developed SMART business objectives, gained a more in-depth understanding of the tendering process, and have introduced Google Analytics to measure the success of our new website. We now Update Twitter and LinkedIn on a regular basis, and review Public Contracts Scotland daily”.
Kenny Reid, Burnbrae Contracts Ltd.
Stuart Leith and Rebecca Cameron, Ayrshire Tree Surgeons, Kilbirnie
After 6 years of rapid growth, Stuart was looking to take stock and build capacity to grow the business further.
We already hold all the major accreditations and have a very strong training ethic. However, the business needed to become more responsive and efficient. I have now taken on Rebecca to run the office and help to market the business. Now 99% of calls to our office get answered and that alone should help the business move forward. We have also installed Sage and an IT Network, and are working with Gillian at Adworks and North Ayrshire Council to improve our marketing communications and Bernie at Sales and Marketing Solutions develop our sales.”
Keith Muirhead and Brian Bowman, Safeguard Security Systems, Kilmaurs
Safeguard had already started to add accreditations (NACOSS Gold, Constructionline and CHAS), and were looking at improving their sales function when the programme came about. They saw value in Keith and Brian coming on to the programme to support this development and find other areas where they had to up their game.
We are looking to grow the business from £400k to £1m over the next 3 years. The programme came along at exactly the right time to build on the work we had started, and helped us identify additional areas in which we need to improve to reach that goal. In particular, the programme helped me to re-define my role, and will enable me to take Safeguard’s marketing communications to the next level. I have also met a number of like-minded people who I will keep in touch with going forward”.
Keith Muirhead, Safeguard Security Systems
Fran McCartney, Asbestos Building Surveys / Damada Asbestos Removals, East Kilbride
Fran has 2 successful businesses, 18 and 10 years old, and was looking to see how she could improve her internal organisation, and review her marketing and sales.
I was introduced to Gordon Hunter by Andy Purdon of HR Services Scotland. The programme showed me that I need to work more on the business rather than in the business. We have now introduced KPI’s - to improve service to existing clients, have put more focus on developing our team through- regular meetings and training. We have also set up a tender desk, are better using social media to improve online profile and attract new business and are working on improving our sales capabilities”.
Fran McCartney, Asbestos Building Surveys.
Harry Mills and Bobby Mulholland, Premium Timber Mouldings, Kilmarnock
Harry bought into the business in 2013 with a view to modernising and expanding this 20 year old timber mouldings manufacturer. They have now set up Premium Contracts as a sister company to take on joinery work.
We recently achieved Constructionline and CHAS accreditations and with Gordon’s help, improved our IT set-up. Coming onto the programme gave us the chance to take the development process further. As a result of the programme, we have a clear idea of how to move forward, have started to improve our tendering skills, are rebuilding our website, and are looking at a full revamp of our marketing materials. We also made good Tier 1 connections and have now priced for a hub project”.
Harry Mills, Director
Robert Hoey and Tom Burns, Allstar Joinery, Cumbernauld
Robert Hoey set up this business just over 4 years ago. It has since grown to annual sales of c£2m and employs 22 people. Allstar design, build, supply and install suspended ceilings, dry lining, joinery manufacture, shop-fitting and Bar/Club fit-outs, and manufacture timber windows and doors. Allstar is supported by major suppliers and distributors S.I.G. Encon, CCF, British Gypsum, Knauf, SAS, Lafarge, Armstrong, Burgess, Metsec.
Our Delivery Team
Huge thanks are due to our facilitators who gave willingly of their time to conduct the workshops. It has been good to see that these sessions have already spawned a number of ongoing projects with our delegates, thus ensuring that the learning and development has progressed beyond the official end of the programme.
|You as a leader in your business
Building a team to achieve your goals
|Andy Purdon, HR Services Scotland Ltd, Hamilton.|
|Use of IT in your business||Colin Crook, Seric Systems Ltd, Paisley|
|Developing your Credibility as a Contractor||Fiona Graham, Constructionline, Glasgow|
|Marketing Communications + Social Media||Gillian Henderson, Adworks, Ayr
Tony Miller, Highnet, Edinburgh
|A Systematic Approach to Sales||Bernie Dyer, Sales and Marketing Solutions, Coatbridge|
|Writing Winning tenders||Kelly Morris Consulting, Prestwick|
|Pitching for Business||Irene Lang, CITB Construction Skills, Inchinnan|