Striving to be a responsible contractor

Business Case Study For businesses operating in today’s construction sector, a strong emphasis is placed on collaborative working.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine, Winter/Spring 2020

Working collaboratively is crucial to success

It is important to involve all parties from the earliest stage of a project, developing a supportive supply chain where sharing knowledge and experience is seen as crucial to the successful delivery of a finished scheme.

However, for over 40 years, Barnes Construction has always valued relationships with the companies and individuals it has worked alongside. From its first contracts in the late 70s and early 80s, the company was establishing friendships and partnerships which have stood the test of time and remain in place today.

Mark Hart and Bob Steward are Joint Managing Directors at Barnes. Mark Hart explains, “Our supply chain is a vital component of our success to-date and an integral part of our approach to being a responsible contractor. Although important, being responsible doesn’t just cover mitigating the impact our operations have on the environment and reducing our carbon footprint, it also encompasses the way we deal with people, whether they are a client, supplier, employee or consultant. We are passionate about developing long lasting relationships and avoiding the short-term benefits that a different approach would provide.

Ethos and principles are key

“In all that we do, our desire to operate in a fair manner is at the top of the list; reinforcing our ethos and company principles which have been at the core of our business over so many years.”

Fundamental to the culture at Barnes and one of the factors that makes it different is its family ethos.

As Bob Steward adds, “The people that work at Barnes care about what they do, how they do it and how they are regarded by those they value; clients, colleagues and supply chain partners alike.

“We have always been a keen investor in management trainees and apprentices. From providing curriculum support to schools to offering work placements, we are continually promoting the construction industry to students.

Nurturing our employees

“There has always been a commitment to bring on and nurture ‘home-grown’ talent in the business and we have remained committed to our programme regardless of the economic climate; recruiting throughout downturns in the economy and previous recessions; refusing to allow trading conditions to dictate our training policy.”

However, perhaps the greatest testament to its success is that over 60 percent of current staff, managers and directors have come through these routes.

Celebrating talent

Recognition for good work is also seen as important for employee engagement and staff retention. And, two great examples of this happened recently, when Matt Mclaughlin and Wayne Fleet picked up national awards. Site Manager Wayne, was presented with the SPACES Young Visionary Award – Contractor in recognition of managing the delivery of the Barking Town Hall project, and Senior QS Matt, won the National Rising Star Award at the annual Interact national lunch, where he was up against other regional Interact winners.

Bob continues: “Barnes Construction has worked hard to be perceived as the contractor of choice for our clients, consultants and supply chain partners. But we are not complacent and hold true to the core belief, that the best projects are delivered when the whole team work as one.”

Striving to be a responsible contractor 1

Mike Hart and Bob Steward are join Managing Directors at Barnes Construction.

Photo taken by Paul Nixon Photography

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