A Personal Approach

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-By Aleisha Parr

In 2001, when Wes Maas was just entering his twenties – typically a time of youthful revelry and wild dreams for most – he was instead starting a solid business which incorporated the strengths and passions of his two brothers alongside of his own. This business, strengthened by years of dedication and hard work, has since grown to become a multi-million dollar company, competing with major plant hire companies across eastern Australia. Though MAAS Group Pty Ltd initially began as a small family operated Bobcat and Tipper business, it now employs nearly one hundred workers, and has under its command a fleet of heavy vehicles and machinery well in excess of that same number.

While the company specialises in Articulated Dump trucks – with a massive selection which accounts for nearly half of the entire MAAS Group equipment fleet – it also offers a wide variety of Excavators,

Bulldozers, Graders, Compaction Equipment and Water Trucks, and is constantly expanding its selection to meet ever increasing market demands. All MAAS’ equipment is available fitted with Trimble GPS machine control guidance systems.

Additionally, MAAS Group provides its clients with a vast selection of associated services to increase project efficiency and enhance client satisfaction. Says Wes, “On a project basis, we try to put together a package of plant so we can really service the project with maintenance and management so there’s minimal downtime.”
Some of the company’s more popular service offerings include both wet and dry term plant hire, bulk earthworks and load and haul as well as civil contracting and machinery sales. MAAS Group also assists in supplying plant to Infrastructure projects and Quarry projects, including roadbase, DGB and aggregates.

Wes believes that every project should be carefully considered prior to commencement to ensure that it is the right match for the company and that the plans are well laid out to ensure the highest quality outcome for everyone involved. He says, “We just continue to try and build our relationships and really focus on them and concentrate on certain projects. We don’t just go on to every which job, we try to focus on projects and then give them a real good service . . . We do what we say, so if we can’t do it, we don’t say it and if we can do it, we then say it.”

Wes Maas hadn’t always been involved in the construction industry; he spent five years playing football in Sydney before he made the decision to move back home. One of Wes’ brothers is a plumber and the other a builder, so Wes was keen to partner together with them and find his own unique means of contributing to the family business. He explains the process of building up the business in its early days, saying it was “through hard work, long hours and making relationships with different people, and then the people talk. We built most of our business on our word of mouth and our reputation, so if we did a good job, for every one job we do we might get three opportunities next time and the next job we might get five opportunities and then seven opportunities.”

This personal approach guides Wes in all of his management decisions, and is what he credits as his “secret to success.” Integral to every aspect of the business, the development of meaningful relationships accomplishes more than simply winning new clients – it also builds the strong foundation necessary for MAAS Group to maintain its distinction as a reliable, top-quality supplier in the marketplace.

All of the staff members at MAAS Group have been hand selected from within, with Wes and his team personally interviewing and following up on each candidate. Explains Wes, “We take it personal, who the staff is and what they’re doing; we want it done right,” Most of the key staff have been with the company since very early on; many have been involved in operations right from the start. “We like to treat everyone with respect so they then pass that on to the client.”

This approach to personalising the business has certainly paid off for the privately owned company, which has nurtured relationships with a variety of ‘blue chip’ companies including Abi Group Contractors, Leighton Contractors, MacMahon Contractors and Theiss.

The MAAS Group is currently hard at work on the Enlarged Cotter Dam project in Canberra, a major project for the Bulk Water Alliance (BWA) and its two Contractor Alliance Partners, John Holland and AbiGroup. The $145 million project aims to boost Canberra’s water storage capacity by one third, and will be the centrepiece of the Government’s new water plan. As a replacement for the old dam, which was built nearly a century ago, the new dam will involve the construction of a 76 metre high roller compacted concrete wall with 50 metre wide crest and associated works, which will take the capacity of the dam from 4 to 78 billion litres.

MAAS Group has supplied the project with fifteen Articulated Trucks for bulk overburden, quarry materials and concrete cartage. Nine Ejector style trucks were added to the MAAS Group fleet for the project and will be running continuously on-site. Reports Wes, “It’s a very big job; we currently have all the dump trucks onsite and it’s a really good project, a really good alliance, they have a really strong management team from their side and they’ve also got us involved with the manager onsite full time working with them on safety and production and it’s working really well for us and for them because they’re getting better production and we’re getting better efficiency with our plant.”

MAAS Group was also the major plant hire on site for the Burrendong Dam Upgrade for MacMahon Contractors, a recent project located near Wellington – just a forty five minute drive from the company’s base in Dubbo. The project involved raising the existing dam walls and saddle dams structures, for which MAAS Group provided all earthmoving equipment. The $28 million project was geared toward improving flood management and safety as well as creating a new fish passage downstream to enable increased migration and spawning for native fish. Adds Wes, “And it’s been again a very successful project and a successful relationship between us.”

Provided this already strong market continues to grow, Wes Maas is confident in the future of his company. He expects the next two to three years to offer a wealth of challenging and rewarding professional opportunities, and is excited to continue to develop MAAS Group into a dynamic and broad-reaching company.

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

August 19, 2018, 7:48 AM AEST