Committed to Its Clients

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-By Jaime McKee

When discussing HL Cuthbert & Sons Pty Ltd (HLC), one word comes up time and time again: commitment. As a third generation family owned company based in Croydon, Victoria, HLC has more than 70 years experience in the region’s construction industry. In that time, the company has forged a winning formula for success; based on passion, a strong work ethic and a commitment to each and every project, this formula has resulted in over 80% of HLC’s business coming from repeat customers. In the time since its inception, the company has completed well over 500 projects ranging in value from $50K to $10M.

For any firm with this kind of longevity, reputation is key. At HLC, this knowledge underpins the way business is done, as the company focuses on integrity, trust, quality, and commitment. HLC believes that “you are only as good as your last project”, and considers every project and every client to be important. As a result, the firm has built its reputation on delivering projects on time and on budget with “no hidden surprises”. HLC brings together industry knowledge and experience, up to date skills and training, and strong relationships and partnerships to guarantee every project is delivered in the most professional manner, with client needs top of mind.

HLC’s Services

The company attributes its long-standing success to its “unique combination of merging tradition with the contemporary”. While some firms with so much pedigree behind them might be content to rest on history, HLC takes a forward-thinking approach, emphasising skills and training and bringing a diverse skill set to every project. This approach allows the firm to “deliver a business methodology built on service, cost efficiency and creativity” in a number of areas.

With a focus on new construction, fit-out, refurbishment and maintenance, HLC provides services in: Design Development; Design and Construction; New Construction; Fit-out & Refurbishment; Construction Management; Project Management; Facilities Management; and Maintenance. Its project portfolio has grown to include sporting and community facilities, commercial offices, fast food outlets, industrial complexes, medical centres, restaurants, bars, schools, media centres and telecommunications sites, together with its more traditional retail and residential offerings.

The company takes a participatory approach to working with clients, communicating and adding value from a project’s inception by offering input on buildability, materials and items with long lead time. The firm excels at completing its work without disturbing client operations; by working round the clock and managing logistics effectively, HLC is able to save clients time and money by enabling them to continue to operate out of the premises. Having completed various projects in the retail, commercial, entertainment and institutional sectors, HLC has built an unblemished track record for itself over these past 70-odd years – no small feat in such a volatile industry.

Under the direction of Managing Director Neil Cuthbert, the company is now poised to enter its next period of growth. Neil himself commenced with HLC at the age of 16 and completed his carpentry apprenticeship in 1988. A qualified tradesman, Neil spent the next eight years working within the business in positions such as site labourer, carpenter, foreman / site manager, project manager, estimator, and construction manager. Managing Director since 2007, Neil takes a hands-on approach to overseeing and managing projects, tendering, client relations, financial control and staff management, ensuring that each and every project is completed to the client’s satisfaction.

HLC’s Partners

As the company emphasises, clients of HLC are viewed as much more than just business partners: “We don’t see a client as just a project, we see a client as a relationship, partnership and an ongoing business association, built on personal aspirations and sound business practices.” Indeed, the majority of HLC’s work has come from repeat and referred clients, and the firm has been appointed as a preferred contractor for a number of major chains.

One of HLC’s strongest partnerships has been with Woolworths / Safeway Stores. As a preferred contractor for Woolworths Limited, HLC has undertaken up to 12 store upgrades per year. The company has managed to complete these projects without disrupting store operations, organising its workforce across both day and night shifts and coordinating with store personnel and associated contractors. Under strict Occupational Health and Safety parameters, HLC has successfully completed dozens of projects for Woolworths, and is currently working with the company on a number of projects in both the Melbourne metro area and Country Victoria.

HLC has also forged a strong relationship with Bunning’s Warehouse. Currently undertaking multiple Bunning’s projects throughout Victoria, NSW & South Australia, HLC has partnered with the home improvement giant on a number of works, including major Design and Construct projects, multiple store roll-out works and minor store alterations. HLC describes Bunning’s as a company with “exemplary” safety protocols which holds partners and contractors to a very high standard, and HLC remains proud of its ongoing work in meeting those standards.

HLC has also been appointed as a preferred contractor to other major retail chains such as Coles Group, Officeworks, Dan Murphy, and Big W, and is a Certified Contractor for the Department of Infrastructure. The company thrives on delivering the kind of top quality work that such blue chip clients have come to expect, and prides itself on meeting and exceeding client expectations.

Looking Ahead

In the wake of the GFC, the company has re-structured to better meet future challenges, appointing some key personnel in senior roles. The firm’s reputation for integrity and quality remains as solid as ever, and has given HLC the footing to undertake a recent period of strategic growth. With plans to work with clients through their own high-pressure times – and the fortitude to see those plans through – HLC continues to illustrate its commitment to its clients.

Managing Director Neil Cuthbert emphasises that his company is looking to the future with both feet planted firmly on the ground. He likens the firm’s plans to “build[ing] a platform to expand our business and opportunities”. He calls his team “quietly cautious and optimistically confident” that its forward projections will be met, and shares some exciting projects in the works – Sargeants’ Distribution facilities and a number of Bunnings projects ranging from new build to extension to refit, to name just a few.

With a track record as exemplary as they come, and a strong network of partners in the industry, it is clear that HL Cuthbert & Sons Pty Ltd has indeed struck upon a winning formula: treat your clients as your number one priority and deliver a quality product, every time.

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?

June 21, 2018, 1:17 AM AEST