UCS Civils
UCS Civils Case Study

UCS Civils

How can a small regional subcontractor transform itself to compete with national contractors? With the right people and approach, that’s how.

When Steve Barker joined UCS Civils as a director in 2003, the business had a turnover of £13 million with an average job size of £150,000 working mostly on roads and sewer works for housebuilders and on subcontract packages for building contractors. When he left in 2009 the business had a turnover approaching £30 million, an average job size of £1.5 million and operated as a main contractor competing against national companies.

Along with the Managing Director of UCS Civils, Steve developed a business plan for the structured growth of the business. This clearly identified the target markets and type of work to be secured. The Managing Director focused on recruiting key staff from a main contractor background and ensuring that the right business processes were in place to deliver the work in the manner expected. Steve developed and implemented a marketing plan drawing upon the past experience and ability of the staff rather than the company’s track record.

Within 18 months two major frameworks had been secured with Anglian Water Services along with work from other key public sector customers. A framework was also secured from the Environment Agency and the customer base transformed to a predominantly blue chip one. A customer care system was also developed and implemented in order to retain these key customers. This included independent customer satisfaction measurement and staff training.

The lesson from this example is that most businesses have the ability to punch above their weight and to achieve extraordinary success. They just need a fundamentally sound business, the right people and a belief in the service they can deliver.