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Contractor of the Year: Winner

Winner: Speller Metcalfe

The winning finalist in the Contractor of the Year category was described as “industry-leading” in fields such as employee engagement and innovation, helping it to “punch above its weight” in its 20th year.

Through a focused strategy based on core strengths such as its presence in the West Midlands, Speller Metcalfe has enjoyed more than 50 per cent revenue growth and boasted a staff retention rate of 97 per cent last year.

With staffing levels also up 30 per cent, this contractor celebrated many highlights in 2014, including expansion to open a fourth office in Wolverhampton, where the firm expects to achieve growth in turnover of around £20m this year.

Speller Metcalfe has broken into different sectors and secured work with new clients, including the automotive sector where it won schemes for Colliers Motor Group and Audi Stratford.

As well as targeting revenue growth through new fields, the contractor has increased the average size of its target contracts from between £2m and £4m to more than £5m, as well as doubling the size of its biggest win, the £22m redevelopment of Stratford Hospital a new high in 2014, up from the £10.5m deal for Bromsgrove School in 2013.

Judges praised its approach to training, including through the firm’s Innovation & Excellence Board, where new and young staff work alongside directors to bring new ideas to the fore in the business.

Speller Metcalfe is also the founder of the Worcestershire Construction Apprentice Academy: a charity providing funding and bringing together employers and apprentices in Worcestershire while running training for clients and supply chain members.

In one of its outstanding achievements during the year, the firm achieved what was recognised as a world-leading 101.9 per cent post-completion BREEAM score for its Spilsby depot for client Western Power Distribution, where it achieved all 15 innovation credits.

“A very forward-thinking company, with high staff retention and excellent employee engagement which provided a compelling narrative and showcased a company that was industry-leading in ways that showed it was punching above its weight”

Judges’ comment

The contractor was involved from design stage advising on buildability issues, value engineering and delivery of 3D BIM to inform accurate, high-quality construction with 2D MEP design schematics developed and integrated to create a Level 2 integrated model.

In selecting the firm as the winner, judges highlighted its approach to sharing best practice across the group, the embedding of a culture of learning, an excellent approach to people management and its understanding of clients’ needs.

The contractor demonstrated a commitment to resolve differences with its supply chain in a non-adversarial manner – reflected in it having never been involved in a legal dispute in its history – as well as its attitude to fair payment.

There is also a clear willingness to tackle projects using innovative practices such as integrated project insurance.

Highly Commended: Sovini Property Services

Judges described this company’s model as “unique”, as well as providing a “caring” approach that made them worthy of being highly commended.

Sovini Property Services was formed in October 2010, solely to provide in-house repairs and maintenance service to One Vision Housing in Merseyside.

It has since grown its turnover to £25m and channels profits back to both One Vision Housing and Pine Court Housing Association to reinvest in its stock.

The firm employs 240 staff, expects to add more than 30 next year and provides around 2.5 training days annually to each employee.

Its one-stop shop approach meant 97 per cent client satisfaction in 2014/15 as well as payment within three days to external suppliers, while judges identified a strong workforce culture.

Finalists

Dragon Infrastructure Solutions

Elliott Thomas Group

Interserve Construction

Kier Group

Lagan Construction Group

Mace

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