Technology absolutely, for example the rise of BIM, and project management software. It’s been great to see new software being embraced by the bigger companies which help filter down to the smaller operators. At Studio DB, I’ve been excited to see the company not only auditing the systems they currently use to ensure they are still relevant but researching and implementing new software such as SalesForce and Procore. Procore in particular has been really beneficial for my team and our subcontractor partners. For example, we’ve been able to move away from having printed drawings on site to freely giving access to the latest drawings to subcontractors, and being able to automatically notify them when there are changes.
Health & Safety
The move from health and safety as a tick box exercise to having it become a real priority and the shift to also include wellbeing. Initiatives like Mates in Construction are important in helping to prevent and bring awareness about construction related deaths, as well as promoting overall mental wellbeing which is so important in a tough industry with many internal and external pressure points. It’s been so great to see large numbers of people working in the construction industry willing to train with Mates in Construction to upskill themselves on how to have those brave conversations and connect those struggling with people and services that can help.
Obviously supply and demand is a huge issue at the moment with the residential and commercial industry dealing with Covid related freight and shipping delays which in turn is driving up costs. The market can only absorb so much and in the last six months we’ve seen suppliers having to increase their costs which affects everyone from supplier to customer. We are advising our clients to place orders now for projects being delivered next year to limit their exposure to price hikes.
We have the advantage of time. Time with our clients to understand what they want, and time to plan. DB offers workplace strategy, design, and build services so we have a good idea from the very start of what the client is wanting and if there are long lead time items, for example – lifts, we can flag these up to the client and order early. Sometimes we discover unexpected issues on site during the fit-out, that’s the nature of construction, but we also usually are able to identify issues early by bringing technical resources early on to inform design choices and avoid unnecessary costs and delays. It is the power of having a team being able to provide insights across all the disciplines involved in workspace projects.
Blackbull Markets – a great client and great fit-out. I especially loved the whiskey bar and fish tank features as well as the amazing water views which our design made the most of.
There are still candidates out there, and now more than ever there’s always jobs for good people. If DB just wanted a warm body in a seat, then we would probably find the market a bit easier. But rightly so, we place a big priority on getting the right person, the right personality, in the right team, at the right time. We are very conscious of forward workload and ensuring the current team isn’t overburdened so we are always recruiting, even if we don’t have a position open right now, we are constantly thinking about who else we might need on the team and when and seeing what candidates are out there. Retaining talent is as important as finding candidates. While everyone has different drivers there’s a number of things that DB does to help the team feel happy and fulfilled at work for example flexibility of working from home, DB bought lunches three days a week, an emphasis and promotion on good team culture, and a clear mission, purpose, and set of values. One of the best things I’ve found about working for DB is the ability of the directors to take on feedback and implement new ideas and processes very fast. When you’ve come from big companies like myself, being able to get something approved within days rather than in weeks via multiple people, is very empowering.