Rob Blythman, general manager, engineering construction group, Total Construction, said being Australian owned and family run provides plenty of advantages for both the company and its clients.
Tony Tate, general manager Food and Beverage, Total Construction, said one of those advantages was the immediacy with which the company can work with Australian based clients.
“They are happy to know we are easy to contact and not just a fly by night business. Our longevity and the locality have helped us establish and maintain relationships,” said Tate.
Blythman elaborated on Tate’s point, saying many clients preferred to be able to work directly with the senior members of a construction company.
“One of the key things clients say to us is the ability to have access to and work with the owners of the business is a big advantage,” he said.
“It is a critical factor when it comes to our strategic alliances with clients. They want to know who they are dealing with and not just a faceless corporation.
“Being readily available to the client provides another advantage, but I think the key here is when you have that face-to-face interaction it is easy to build confidence in what we do.”
One example of a strong strategic alliance with a client is that of B&E Foods, a poultry producer which is also Australian owned and family run.
“B&E Foods is a prime example of how we work with other Australian owned companies. We are currently working on multiple projects for B&E Foods across Australia,” said Blythman.
“B&E started in 1991 as a chicken shop and they have grown since then, now you will see B&E food trucks all over Australian CBDs.”
Total Construction has spent years building a strong relationship with B&E Foods, which provides a deeper level of knowledge of the producer’s requirements, which in turn helps increase their speed to market.
As a result, the company currently has four projects ongoing for B&E Foods, providing an example of the detailed an in-depth approach that Total Construction takes when consulting and then working with a client.
“We’ve just completed a new production facility in Blacktown which has recently opened for a subsidiary of B&E Foods, Melco Foods,” said Blythman.
“We are about to start building a new storage freezer in their Melbourne facility which we have done from concept to construction, all the design works, location, sizing, authority approvals and provided advice and guidance to the client throughout the process.
“We are also working on a design project in Perth to fit out a brown field site to be a full chicken production and storage facility and we are halfway through completing the new freezer and production facility in Queensland, which is an extension to their existing facility.
Blythman said the advantages of building a long-term strategic alliance with customers were on full display with the B&E Foods relationship.
Tate said clients also responded positively when they know that the senior members of the company remain heavily involved in the entire project, from beginning to end.
“We don’t just hand a project to a project manager and leave them to manage it, our senior management team is involved at all levels of the projects progression. Our first meetings are between the GM and the client, and they see that from start to finish,” he said.
“We don’t just hand off a job and move on to the next. It is about going on the journey with the client.”
“It is far more valuable to stay with one company who knows what the client wants, needs, and knows the clients’ processes, accounting, finance, everything,” added Blythman.
Blythman said the long-term and in-depth strategic alliances, and the confidence created therein, also meant clients were more willing to continue pushing ahead with the project and taking Total’s advice around critical factors, such as material cost.
As mentioned in previous Total Construction stories, Blythman knows first-hand the pitfalls to starting a project from concept and then seeing it stalling because of the rise in material costs.
In the current climate, material costs will continue to fluctuate, so having a strong and trusting relationship with a builder provides trust that they are getting the best service and best material cost to make the project a success.
Blythman also said Total Construction puts emphasis on repeat business from clients, which in turn helps both the client and Total capitalise on the historical data achieved by previous projects. And as a result, mitigating risks and hurdles associated with all projects.
Another factor which has helped the Australian owned Total Construction is around the changing globalisation trends post-COVID. Blythman said he has seen a drop off in foreign investment around food manufacturing and production and seeing small to medium Australian owned companies capitalising on that opportunity.
Blythman said the need to mitigate supply chain issues was also helping drive more business towards Australian owned companies.
The reputation Total Construction has built around being a company with integrity had also fared well for the company in the face of increasing material costs, with clients being aware they are still getting the best prices possible, despite the cur-rent climate.
Blythman said Total Construction has built strong strategic alliances with a large portfolio of clients who continue to work with the company because of its approach, and ultimately, get the desired results.