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Introducing our Aftercare Manager: Mitch Duggan

1st May 2024 |

As I sat down to speak to Mitch, his phones buzzes. ‘Ah, sorry it’s a client, do you mind if I get this?’ Of course not! This is Mitch, our Aftercare Manager, always ready to take a call from our  clients, always ready to help.

This is a new role for John Perkins Construction, which we created in response to some feedback we received in our client completion interviews.

Overall, these interviews are very positive, bar one area where there was a pattern of some constructive criticism in regards to aftercare. We are not alone in knowing how challenging it can be to resource and close out defects efficiently, and if this is not done it can do damage to how a client remembers you, even if the original completion was a big success.

So, we acted and created a role to ensure that there was a dedicated person to manage any issues post completion, ensuring continuity of service throughout our client’s experience.

There was really only one person that we felt could fill this role for John Perkins Construction. Our MD, Rupert Perkins puts it best, “Mitch is completely dedicated to our business, careful, endlessly considerate and a fine tradesman. All of these attributes together made him the ideal candidate for our new role”.

As Aftercare Manager Mitch is introduced to a project approximately six weeks prior to completion to ensure that he has time to get to know the project, site and client team. He is there to ensure a smooth transition for the client through, handover, reoccupation and the defects liability period.  If our clients have any issues with any of our work in that time, Mitch is there to respond. Ensuring that any work is done promptly and with as little disruption as possible.

 Get to know Mitch!

Mitch originally comes from Leicester but has lived in Bristol for the last 43 years. He has three kids in total, two grown up with their own children and one 16-year-old still in the nest. With a total five grandchildren, Mitch has plenty to keep him occupied out of working hours too!

So, Mitch, how long have you worked in construction?

From the age of 18.

I was working on farms before that, which I started at 15. It was beef, sheep and arable, it was a good job. I was working on a dairy farm after that. The money as a dairy herdsman was a lot better, but the hours were pretty terrible, getting up at four in the morning and then a full shift. I was working 100 hours a week a one stage, and getting a little fed up, so at 18 I found myself a job in construction.

My first job in construction was on a job building retirement flats in Long Ashton. I was working on the civils; groundwork, plant operating, machine operator and pipe laying to start with, and it progressed from there. Eventually I got into partition systems and there came a day when they wanted us to hang all the doors and there was no one on the team that was a bonafide carpenter. So, I went out and bought the kit and said I would do it. In the end I started working for a joiner and locksmith, and he taught me what I know about carpentry. It was my apprenticeship if you like. After working for him for a few years I went out and worked on my own.

When did you join John Perkins Construction?

In 1996 I started working for John Perkins Construction as a sub-contractor and then in 1998 they offered me a job on the books, and I’ve been working for them ever since!

How are you finding your new role?

Officially I have been in the role since last October and am finding my feet now. It definitely keeps me busy, as there’s a lot of juggling different jobs, clients and sub-contractors. It’s not always an easy job but it is an important one. I do my best to manage any issues our clients have as quickly as possible. Where I can, I will do the work myself to avoid the delays that can come with wrangling sub-contractors.

What do you enjoy about your role?

When you get something signed off and happy clients it’s a buzz.

I am a bit of a diplomat, and I don’t get angry, clients can be a little stressed and I think having someone calm to speak to can help defuse the situation.

You have to be as prompt you can in your communication though, delays definitely add to the stress of a situation. So, anything I can do myself, carpentry, partitions, decoration, as I said, I will just do it.

Why do you think this role is important?

Look, there is without a doubt a need for it. I have been doing it since October and I can see that clearly. It’s interesting as it is a new role to the construction industry, it doesn’t seem like anyone else is doing anything like it.

If you go on LinkedIn and put in Aftercare Manager, you will not find anything. This is an almost non-existent role. We are doing the right thing in creating it for our clients.

We will always stay true to our core values of honesty, openness, integrity and flexibility and we felt like we were struggling to live up to these during the defect period. The creation of this role has proven to us that following these principles works. We are thrilled with the work that Mitch is doing, and we have received positive reinforcement of that from our clients, which is what really matters!

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