Personal Responsibility, Professional Results

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-By Aleisha Parr

When it commenced operations in 1999 as a commercial maintenance company, Central Systems (then Central Waterproofing Systems) was laying the foundation for its rise to success in the years to come. Not five years later, it was skyrocketing, after its slight change in name and drastic change in focus to offer its clients a complete, integrated solution, from construction through to repair and maintenance.

In the first year alone, the company expanded three hundred percent, with steady growth of approximately twenty to fifty percent in each subsequent year. This last year was all the more impressive, coming out of the GFC with another expansion of one hundred percent.

“It comes down to delivering a flawless, reliable service,” explains Ivan Ruefli, Director of Services and Board Member. “That and our clients have become accustomed to larger scopes of work when they do business with us because we have this integrated business. They might start doing business with us in one aspect and then develop a good relationship [with us] and sample our ability to deliver, and our quality. They’ll then quite happily offer us the opportunity to grow our service for them.”

That dedication to growth has been the driving factor behind Central Systems’ wild success. Even after its 2004 renewal, the company has continued to expand its capabilities, now providing not only specialty trades and remedial services, but also integrating those services with full new construction offerings.

This came as a result of a recent change in the shareholder group when Central Systems welcomed on new appointments to its Board of Directors. Says Mr Ruefli of the new partnership: “The reason that eighteen months ago, we decided to do this is that we’re all like-minded leaders. We all have that from-the-front leadership philosophy about doing business.”

The leadership Mr Ruefli speaks of is carried out through the business, and is at the root of the Central Systems’ philosophy. “Our business is really leadership focused, so from that point of view, we tend to give people a lot of autonomy and responsibility in the delivery of our service to clients,” Mr Ruefli explains. “The way that we deal with our clients starts at the top of the business and travels all the way through down to our site supervisors and our employees on staff. We tend to focus on that level of responsibility for not only ourselves, but also for delivering what we’ve agreed to deliver to our clients. So, our business is about personal responsibility to the client.”

“We also have a very strong safety culture here,” boasts Mr Ruefli. In fact, the safety standards and procedures developed by Central Systems years ago when it was yet a fledgling company were far more advanced than most of the systems in place at much larger firms. “We’ve always fostered in our company that philosophy of zero-harm, taking care of our clients as if they were our own employees, and making sure that everyone goes home safe at the end of the day. It comes down to that personal responsibility that I spoke about, in terms of leadership.”

With this strong focus on personal responsibility comes an astounding safety record: “We’ve had zero loss-time injuries – zero, none – for the time that we’ve been in business. I can’t see any reason that won’t continue.”

In connection with its zero-harm philosophy, Central Systems fosters strong views on environmental concerns and takes great efforts toward minimising its ecological footprint. Having recently achieved ISO 4000 Environmental accreditation, Business Development Manager Jason Dagg reports that the company also aims to improve the general attitude toward environmental consideration within the resources industry.

“We select our clients carefully. We choose clients who have the same concern for the environment and safety as we do. That’s one of the reasons why we have such a marquis group of clients – it’s because we’re aligned in our thinking and in our practices.”

Central Systems is frequently faced with environmental challenges on its projects, especially when workers must handle certain chemicals and products, or in the resources sector, where mining techniques threaten to contaminate ground water supplies. Frequently, Central Systems is tasked with installing systems which help ensure that its clients do not contaminate the environment. This could include the installation of containment linings, or the application of new processes which are less harmful to the environment than traditional ones.

“We do a lot of trial work. We are always looking for new ways to apply products that are environmentally friendly, that perform better. There’s a lot of research that goes into that and there’s a lot of cooperation with suppliers so that we can reduce waste.”

Many of these processes involve the application of automation to common procedures, thus providing a controlled environment, which in turn reduces waste and increases the accuracy and quality of the job at hand. One example of this is the use of robotic concrete demolition techniques utilising pressurised water. An additional benefit of automation processes is the decrease in health and safety risks which would be high using traditional methods.

Another new technology currently under consideration by Central Systems is a form-working system which allows for complete modularity. This new system is incredibly lightweight, and can be reused up to one thousand times. Compare that to the traditional method of using timbre (and its associated chemicals and glues), which can only be realistically used up to one hundred times, and it’s easy to see the environmental and safety benefits of employing this new system.

So what’s in store for this dynamic construction company?

“We’d like to transfer our expertise in doing critical oil and gas projects that were done here in Western Australia into new projects in Queensland, and expanding into the Northern Territory to cater to a real need for labour.”

Admirable goals for an admirable company; may its success continue to improve the standards of construction across Australia.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

July 14, 2020, 1:37 AM AEST