Business Resilience: Our journey

25th January 2024 |

In 2020, the world experienced COVID-19.  ‘Unprecedented’ became the word of the year, and we all experienced a very different way of living. Thankfully we have found our way back to, almost, the world we knew over the past three years, but lessons have been learned and valuable changes have been made.

During this time, our Chairman Rob Yeandle, has been diligently working on embedding business resilience into the core of our company in a meaningful and lasting way. Rob is clear when he talks about this project ‘business resilience is a journey, and we are learning that more and more as we go.’

Rob’s aim from the beginning has been to futureproof the company against potential difficulties and securing John Perkins Construction as a reliable company for its clients, people, and supply chain. For us as a business this was about us ensuring that we got better at how we worked as a business and didn’t just focus on increasing turnover or size.

So, three years on, where are we in our journey to embedded business resilience?

Rob has found that a large and essential part of building resilience at John Perkins Construction has been looking at how we work with our ISO Quality Systems and Processes and how these are interdependent and work together.

Why are these so important?

These systems and processes are the foundations of how our business runs, like any other, in a practical sense. By looking at them with a critical eye, it was our intention to work more strategically, improve efficiency and cut our waste. It has helped us focus on finding more effective, slicker systems and processes that work better to the benefit of the business.

By doing so we are going a long way in making the company more sustainable in the long term.

The reality is that we are all operating in a difficult macro-economic climate at the moment and demands on the construction industry in particular, are growing. However, by addressing and looking at these processes now with the full support of our team, we are confident that it will put the company in a much stronger position for the future.

Where are we now?

This work has truthfully had a longer timeline than we anticipated. It has taken 3 years from inception, but we have done it properly. The most important element has been team involvement and internal collaboration every step of the way, and this is how we will continue.

  • We began by looking at each process and department to see how we work now and what could potentially be improved, and always ensuring that all the processes are fully co-ordinated between departments thus ensuring that the business, as a whole, benefits.
  • We worked closely with the team to find the best system to minimise waste and improve efficiencies, ensuring that the really important parts of the process have been given the proper amount of importance.
  • Our mantra throughout has been ‘Clarity and User Friendly’. The proverbial man / woman from mars should be able to pick up the process chart and work with it from day one. Reducing words as much as possible, keeping everything simple is key. This ensured that the final process charts are clear, concise and attractive for the end user. Running alongside the charts is our ‘ISO Processes Guidance Booklet’ which gives further guidance and clarity to each process.

Where next…

Entering 2024 we feel confident in our processes as a good and strong starting point. However, this is just the starting point for them. The processes and charts will be constantly used, checked, and challenged to ensure that they remain robust and fit for purpose. A healthy system is one that is annually checked and updated as systems evolved, and businesses change.

For those that are looking to start their own business resilience journey, we can offer the following as key pieces of advice:

  1. This will only work successful if you have complete Team Buy-in.
  2. Leaders and staff need to be open minded, receptive to change and embrace new ideas.
  3. Keep it simple, clarity/user friendly documents are key– don’t over complicate anything.

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