CDL Partitions is a well-established family run company, incorporated by Bob Chamberlain in 2000. The business’ main revenue stream lies within ‘Internal’ systems such as dry lining & board, SFS and Fire Stopping, spray-plastering and suspended ceilings. Additional activities include external render and specialist cladding projects.
Based on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park at Penrhyndeudraeth, the business currently employs 15 members of staff and is looking to take on another Site Manager, due to a recent steady period of contract growth.
This positive evolution is largely attributed to the company’s proven track record with some of the area’s largest clients, working as part of the North Wales Construction Framework – introduced through Construction Futures Wales. This has led to repeat business across a number of projects in North Wales and the West Midlands and to date, CDL have secured work to the value £2,400,000 as a direct result of this initial contact.
Carla Kinnibrugh, Office & Accounts Manager, started working with the company in 2014 and was asked to take on the responsibility of Quality Management alongside her other roles of HR and general office management.
In 2015, Carla responded to an email regarding Construction Future Wales support and made contact to find out how the programme could further benefit the business.
A Company Health Check was completed by Construction Futures Wales Advisor Jeff Davies and the report recommended support in developing the company’s Quality Management Systems. Through the programme’s specialist consultants, help has been given to develop ISO compliant 9001:2015 and 14001 systems.
“We have made huge progress with the introduction of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001 and most systems are now in place, however it has been a struggle to implement changes in some areas of the business. Part of the issue is that our current clients have not expressed a need to have the accreditation in place, which has made it a lower priority under our current workload.”
“However, we are keen to see it through and with the introduction of more staff in this area of the business it will certainly help to see it through, we have signed off the systems internally, so we are ready for audit when the opportunity arises – hopefully at some point next year.”
Commercial Director Benn Hughes has been with the company for 9 years and reflects on how much the business has developed – especially over the last 5 years.
“As a result of redefining our processes and winning repeat business with clients, our infrastructure has changed completely. Now, we tend to mimic the facilities and resources of the main contractors to make it easier to do business – everything from our offices to our practices are so much more appropriate and we can now accommodate a much bigger team.”
“We have migrated away from our more traditional QS roles and more towards new products and opportunities, which has allowed for greater growth. We now have 3 dedicated Site Managers and 2 Trainee Managers – we’ve invested in training to ensure the future growth of the business, including basic requirements such as Site Cards and certificates. ”
“We have also made big investments in Information Technology and upskilling the staff with new tools, in-line with the requirements of our major clients. It’s taken time, but we are now really reaping the benefits of our decisions and have become well known as a specialist trade contractor.”
Like all developing businesses, CDL Partitions have to constantly re-evaluate their requirements in order to move the business forward and grow their share of the market. Benn and his team have found that sourcing training for ‘specialisms’ is serious issue and it’s been difficult to get the support they need.
“It’s been hard to find source the right courses and get the help we need but we are now making progress – staffing still remains an issue as its difficult to find the right skills in this particular area.”
“Going through the ISO process has been really good practice and identified a number of gaps, which we are now in the process of filling. In some cases we are introducing new systems – such as the Hilti On-Track Fleet Management system – put in place as a result of needed to keep a better handle on stock, vehicles, tools and certificates.”
“ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001 have highlighted several areas for improvement and the development of our staff and infrastructure has enabled us to massively increase our profitability.”
Looking towards the future, Benn is keen to consider additional roles within the business, dedicated to supporting the development of Quality Systems and look at ways to diversify the business further.