July 20, 2024

Detail Design Engineering – Quality-led approach pays off

Since its creation in 1991, Detail Design Engineering has put quality at the heart of its operation. This approach was recently further underlined when it was named Building Controls and BEMS Installer of the Year at the BCIA Awards 2023. We caught up with Andrew Powell, Operations Manager, to see what the achievement means to the business.

“It’s always great to receive external recognition, as it demonstrates that our approach is working,” says Mr Powell. “As part of the award application process, we were asked to request client feedback for one of our projects. We subsequently received a really positive testimonial from a customer we carried out work for at Eurocaps in South Wales. It was a large complex control system and the delivery of the project had many stand-out features.

“The size and technical complexity were significant and the integration with existing systems of various ages was important. The client was looking to integrate all aspects of their plant and services and help create a system that met their commercial and compliance requirements. With a backdrop of the energy crisis; providing a robust, efficient, modern and cost-effective solution was not just desirable but critical. We worked really closely with the client to ascertain their long-term objectives and match their vision, particularly in terms of their net zero targets. Providing a first-class service for our clients is our prime objective and this specific development was delivered by our project team and maintained by our service team, so everyone played a key role in its development.

“Awards of this nature are a fantastic way of giving our employees a pat on the back for their hard work, especially as we were in competition with some much larger organisations. It was a real team effort and a group of ten of us went down to the presentation ceremony to accept the award. Having the right people in the business has been crucial, not only in terms of winning this particular award, but also for our ongoing progress too.

“We’re very strong on staff development and apprenticeships. We don’t just give specific product training; we also provide a broad range of courses for all our employees. At a time when there’s a severe shortage of skills within the marketplace, retaining all our good engineers by making sure they feel valued is absolutely vital.”

(L-R) Comedian Jon Culshaw; Andrew Powell, Operations Manager at DDE, and Ross Baxter from sponsor, Honeywell

Having a highly trained workforce is enabling DDE to capitalise on a buoyant marketplace driven by a growing demand for smart buildings, as Mr Powell outlines: “There’s a high number of opportunities available due to the increase in the number buildings that are fully connected in terms of HVAC, lighting, alarms, security and much more. There’s a growing trend for all these elements to be combined into a single network infrastructure. The rise of AI is another major driver. It’s therefore a rapidly evolving arena, which makes it all the more important that we continually put the right people in the right positions and give them the training they need to fulfil their roles to the best of their abilities. We’re very holistic in our approach and rather than focusing primarily on a single element, we look at the entire building and how it operates as one.”

The skills that DDE has amassed over the years is allowing the company to operate in a wide range of different sectors, including pharmaceuticals, education, retail, industrial and commercial. It has also built a robust supply chain, including a long, highly developed partnership with Honeywell. “It’s an evolving industry with new technology being introduced onto the market all the time. Wireless technology is constantly improving, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly the focus these days. We therefore carry out a large number of workshops and in-house testing to keep the ideas flowing between all our engineers.”

This emphasis on continual improvement and development is certain to ensure that DDE keeps moving in the right direction and further award recognition could also be on the cards too, as it builds its reputation further within the marketplace.