Since its creation eight years ago, West Yorkshire-based Enviro Building Solutions Ltd has been careful to sustainably grow the business by focusing on delivering quality projects for its client base. This is a strategy that has worked well, as Craig Reidy, Finance Director, recently outlined to Construction Industry News.
“Our approach has always been to prove ourselves consistently by gradually increasing the size, scope and complexity of our projects,” says Mr Reidy. “When we were carrying out smaller schemes with contract values under £100,000, there would have been little point in tendering for a £1m contract, as the client would have required evidence that we could take on a development of that scale. With this in mind, we have gradually taken on projects of the same size or slightly larger than those we’d completed previously. It’s always been about learning to walk before attempting to run, rather than blindly trying to increase turnover just for the sake of it and without the foundations to support it. If you take on a project that’s beyond you, then you potentially limit your chances of securing further work in the future.
“Our ability to grow sustainably as a business has also stemmed from the success we have had in adding to the team in the right areas and at the right times. We are very ‘hands on’ as a company, with all directors having active working roles to carry out. For instance, although I am Finance Director, I also look after the tendering side of the operation. This gives us a tremendous amount of flexibility, as well as efficiency across the organisation.”
The wisdom of this philosophy is clear given the progression that Enviro has achieved, with turnover having increased nearly threefold in the last four years, During this period, it has also almost doubled its workforce and now has 19 employees across the business.
Further underlining the level it is currently operating at, Enviro recently completed a £2.3m project for South Gloucestershire Council located on the renowned Bristol and Bath Science Park. The high specification, three-storey modular office development includes a total of 27 modular bays, with one elevation using structural glazing and featuring an external terrace. In addition to the modular elements, Enviro was also responsible for all M&E works, including service connections to the existing Forum Building on the Science Park, fire detection/intruder alarm installations and automated door access facilities. What’s more, BMS (Building Management) and CCTV systems have been installed that link to existing site-wide systems.
Enviro’s ability to offer more than just modular has been made possible thanks to its recruitment strategy and ongoing staff development, which has helped enhance its skills set and overall capabilities. It has also further developed the bricks and mortar of the business, giving it a state of the art manufacturing facility equipped with the latest technology and quality control processes.
The growth that Enviro has seen is all the more impressive given that it has been achieved during a pandemic, although being a modular business certainly helped in this regard. “We didn’t really suffer too much disruption, certainly not after the first couple of months, and were able to stay on track with the projects we were delivering for clients,” says Mr Reidy. “Of course, there were various safety measures that were required, such as social distancing, but we operated a new shift pattern to adhere to the requirements to ensure the projects still ran to programme and we’ve been able to carry on pretty much as normal, which is of great credit to all of our employees, suppliers and subcontractors.”
While the pandemic has thankfully not been overly problematic, one issue that has been challenging has been that of materials shortages. However, by being proactive on the buying side of the business, and thanks to the close working relationships it has with suppliers, some of the hurdles have been overcome. “It’s an issue that has affected everybody so we’ve certainly not been alone in having to contend with the challenges. Particular items were completely out of our control, with windows and doors being an especially difficult area for us, but we worked closely with our trusted supplier to minimise any impact. We therefore had to slightly amend how we operated in order to work around the restrictions. We’re now coming through the other side and while there are still some shortages and prices have risen, the problems are nothing like they were 12 months ago.”
Materials shortages and the pandemic aside, Enviro is now fully focused on ensuring that the growth it has seen in recent years is built upon further. “As our portfolio has expanded with every new project that we’ve completed, we are seeing an increasing number of enquiries as we become more widely known in the marketplace. When I first joined the business the majority of our work came about by winning tenders, so it’s great that we’re now receiving more direct enquiries, as well as repeated clients, on the strength of the work we’ve been carrying out.
“While we are very prevalent within education and are currently partnering with a traditional construction company called SEH French on a special educational needs school project in Ipswich, we are increasingly branching out into other sectors too, as demonstrated by the Bristol and Bath Science Park development. We have also carried out community projects, such as the Nevendon Centre for Wickford Community Association, which was another major scheme for us with a value of £2.2m.
“We’re determined to not just specialise in one sector, particularly as offsite modular is suitable for a wide variety of applications, and, as our recent projects show, we’re willing to travel to wherever the work takes us. This has seen us carrying out projects from the north of Scotland down to Cornwall in the south-west of England.”
Despite its willingness to travel to the four corners of the country for work, as well as the open mind it is keeping regarding the sectors in which it operates, Enviro remains committed to securing the future of the business by taking a sustainable approach.
“Following the year-on-year growth we’ve enjoyed over the last four years, and a strong order book already for the coming year, we are at a point where a period of stabilisation is on the cards in order to consolidate the gains that we’ve seen,” concludes Mr Reidy. “This is not Enviro being pessimistic but more to ensure that we remain robust as a company. We want to firm up the foundations to support the next period of growth.”
With this sensible and sustainable approach having worked so well for Enviro in recent years, it looks like it could well be a winning formula moving forward too as the company strives to build further on its growing reputation.