27th October 2020 | Blog Posts
It’s never been more important to put in place processes that make our company strong and robust for the long-term. Rob Yeandle explains why he is focused on business resilience in his new role as Chairman of John Perkins Construction.
Put simply, business resilience means minimising waste and maximising efficiencies. This has the overall effect of protecting the business from both known and unknown threats (COVID-19 is a threat few would have predicted!), but the reasons to invest in business resilience are far more wide-reaching.
Since stepping into the role of Chairman earlier in the year, I am able to devote more of my time to business resilience. It’s a big investment for a company our size to make, but we feel we will get the investment back in the long run. We’re not radically changing the business – after all, so much of what we do works well – but we’re targeting the areas that need work.
Why make this investment in business resilience? Here are five of the reasons we believe it matters:
Big corporates already have whole teams that devote thousands of hours to business resilience. By contrast, most SMEs regard it as a ‘nice to have’, rather than a must-have.
In five years’ time, as the need to be agile increases, it’s likely that every SME will begin investing in business resilience. We’re choosing to do it now, in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Much of the rhetoric surrounding business resilience sounds complex and high-level. However, at the heart of it lies something much more straightforward.
How can we keep to the programme on every project? How can we reduce the number of defects to zero? How can we ensure each project stays commercially viable?
With smoother processes in place, we can deliver projects more efficiently and to an even higher standard. Not so complicated, is it?
Business resilience certainly benefits the bottom line, but its benefits run deeper than that.
By maximising efficiency, our clients will know they’ll receive a top-notch facility, delivered without defects. Our supply chain will know that, when they agree to work on a John Perkins Construction site, it will be well run. The community can be assured they won’t suffer with out-of-hours noise or aggravating disruption. And our staff will know they have a stable, enjoyable place to work.
This type of virtuous circle might feel like a halcyon dream, but working on business resilience brings us closer to the dream.
“Why am I always under pressure? Why do I never have enough time?”
These are common laments, made by directors, managers and site operatives alike. How do you go about demolishing the problem of always-busy, overstressed people?
We believe this is part of the business resilience puzzle. A key priority for us, as we work through the resilience process, is to find ways to make our staff members’ jobs less stressful, better planned, and more fulfilling.
It stands to reason that happier staff are less likely to leave the company, reducing the risk of staff turnover.
One of the biggest difficulties facing the construction industry is the skills shortage. Not only do we wish to retain the staff we have – and, often, train them to take on greater responsibility – but we want to be a company that new employees are keen to work with.
As Chairman, I feel a real sense of privilege that I get the chance to devote my time to finding ways to make John Perkins Construction sharper, savvier, and more innovative. I’ll be posting further updates in the next few months, as we continue on our journey towards true business resilience.