1. Can you talk a bit about your new role for CGL, and what your main responsibilities are?
My role is still evolving, but ultimately my goal is to drive GGL forward, grow the business and make it as profitable as possible. The role itself involves start to end project management, winning projects and seeing them through from the tender stage, to actually delivering the site completion. This makes it sound straight forward, but this means managing the planning, any risks, client relationships, staff and anything else along the way.
Client relationships are key for us, we want to be offered repeat work and also ensure we are a company that would be recommended by others, so it’s vital to forge these strong relationships.
It’s important that I know a bit about everything and so much of the early part of this new role has been me getting up to speed with the parts of the process that I wasn’t so familiar with.
2. What has struck you as the most surprising element of how the cladding side of the business operates? Is there anything that is different to what you expected?
I worked in the cladding side of the business up until around 5 years ago and between then and now the biggest change is that there is so much more competition. Previously it was easier to become one of the market leaders, where as now you have to have a much more competitive edge due to the sheer number of businesses out there trying to do the same thing.
We used to operate as a supply only business, but the shift to manufacture, supply and install and our ability to offer full project representation has become our key advantage.Today, we have to put in more effort than ever to win projects, think of new ways of doing things and be more innovative in our thinking – along with competitive pricing of course!
3. How does your previous experience help you in your new role?
I have experience of working in cladding and did so for over 4 years when it was a supply only offering. This has of course helped massively, as it means I have a fairly good understanding of the products, materials and the ability to project manage.
The biggest challenge for me is developing my knowledge and understanding of the install side of a project, which is where much of my efforts have gone in these first few months.
My role as division manager for CGL Rainpulse had some aspects that have helped, particularly managing the financials and budgeting of projects.
4. What do you think are the most challenging aspect of coordinating a successful cladding project, particularly one with both manufacture and installation elements?
No two projects are ever the same and so all of the planning and day-to-day workings tend to have different requirements, and these are all going on at the same time as each other so I’d say it can certainly be described as a juggling act.
The key to coordinating it all is definitely effective project management. Like any project, you never know what might happen, and quite often programmes can move and requirements change along the way, so having all the right information at the right place at the right time for each project is vital.
5. When it comes to managing client relationships, is there a single ‘golden rule’ that applies to all clients, regardless of the nature/scope of their project or who the client is?
That’s quite a difficult one to answer, as clients are all so different meaning you do have to adapt accordingly.
What I would say however is that we always have open communications with all of our clients and we ensure that we manage their expectations from the offset and keep this going throughout the project.
Much of what is important to a client stems from what happens internally, so effective programme planning, internal management and our team being on top of the project details ultimately feeds down to a satisfied client.
6. Environmental credentials and initiatives are crucial these days when it comes to winning projects. How significant a role does this play in managing projects today?
This is really important, and in our industry much of this is actually driven by the architect. We work really closely with the architect, to come up with a design and material solution that works to deliver the aspirations outlined at this initial design stage.
To develop this, we are constantly looking at material options and ways of working that can help drive this forward.