A Family Affair

Beech Constructions

The company has been a successful family-run operation in Queensland with a stellar reputation for delivery quality projects since 1958, when it began offering its construction services as well as Beech wood-fired pizza ovens. The company decided to sell its successful wood-fired division eight months ago and it still operates under the name Beech Ovens through new owners.

Current Directors, Chris, Bob, and Brett Beech have focused their energies on the company’s construction business, with clients including major oil companies as well as Caltex and Shell service stations. Beech also works regularly in the retail and education sectors.

One of Beech’s major points of difference in the marketplace is its family-based operation and focus on building strong personal and supportive relationships with clients. “People see it as a very personal family company. The boys have all grown up here involved with the business,” says John Death, Site Manager at Beech with over twenty years of experience in the industry.

“I think that’s very important. The personalised service is the main thing our clients like about us. We have a very strong support service for any of our clients if they have issues; we can look at projects for them.”

In its many years of providing construction services for clients, Beech has built quite a name for itself in the Queensland community and beyond, with happy clients spreading good word of mouth accounting for a great deal of new business each year. Indeed, building strong relationships with clients is key to the company’s business model, as well as maintaining relationships developed with those within the industry, such as architects and suppliers.

This team-oriented approach has enabled Beech Constructions to complete a number of recent projects to a very high standard of workmanship. Recently completed work includes the 2.5 million dollar Raceway retail development. The project, completed for Parmac Property, includes over 3094 square metres of commercial space, a petrol station and 540 square metres of specialty outlets. The unique construction, utilising concrete tilt up panels and architecturally designed recesses, provides a unique and visually arresting appearance.

The recently completed Regency Plaza Redevelopment at Regents Park was a six million dollar project, which included the construction of an extra 800 square metres of commercial space amidst the existing property, and a complete renovation and upgrade of all existing services. Beech also recently completed a major project for Caltex which the team was able to bring to conclusion five weeks ahead of schedule, allowing the site to open for Christmas.

Major current projects include a 1.8 million dollar development at Parklands Christian College, for whom Beech is building a brand new, two storey GLA building. As well, “Our project at Nundah is quite a big project, which is just finishing up now,” says John of the 3.3 million dollar project at Mary MacKillop College at Nundah, which includes a brand new three storey administrative and home economics block as well as a complete refurbishing of the existing Maryvale building.

Other current projects include the new Year One Centre at Rivermount College, a 1.4 million dollar contract which incorporates the development of a new single storey year one building and additional covered areas. Also underway is work at Our Lady’s College at Annerley, comprising the demolition of five existing buildings and the construction of several new structures, such as a new resource centre, two new car parks, and an extension of the existing sciences building. The project includes refurbishment of all existing structures and the addition of new covered walkways.

John suggests that the group’s long history of projects in the fuel industry has allowed working with those companies to become second nature, with a depth of understanding of industry standards that few other companies can boast. “For other projects, such as retail or anything that needs budgeting, we can put budgets together to see how a project will stack up to say whether it is a viable proposition.”

Competition in the industry is steep at the moment, and John explains that there is less work is available for companies tendering jobs in Queensland. “There’s not a lot of work to tender, and we’re tendering against a lot of companies that are looking to keep their men employed for small margins.” Beech Constructions, however, continues to win major projects and has remained busy in this challenging marketplace.

For the past two years or so, John says that profit margins have been slim for many companies who tender competitively, while wages and cost of materials continue to rise; yet he remains optimistic for the future of the industry. Beech’s strong focus on saving money for its clients, and the company’s top reputation and long history of quality work has enabled the firm to navigate this tricky landscape, faring better than many other businesses.

“I think our reputation helps us because our overheads are smaller than the bigger companies. We have staff that are very capable of doing diverse things – whether it’s estimating or project management – and we can utilise our skilled staff in that respect by multitasking.”

Beech has also developed a unique “family” atmosphere, quite literally as the founding family of the company still directs daily operations, and this atmosphere has fostered open communication and respect amongst employees and clients alike. “Because you’re in the construction industry, the big thing is to keep a good balance between your site and admin staff and have them working together,” emphasises John. “It’s very important that everyone knows the processes in place that we’ve set up so everyone knows how it all works.” This is facilitated by encouraging a strong team of employees that work together to understand all aspects of the company’s operations and show clients the respect that they deserve.

Part of developing this culture are the company’s regular staff meetings, where all team members come together to discuss their various projects and the general direction of the company. Social outings, including staff and their families, are also held every three months to encourage camaraderie amongst staff.

Future plans for the company include steady measured growth in the industry and the development of new employees to take leadership roles in the future. “We’ve got some cadets working in the company and we want to bring these guys up to become site managers,” says John, as some long-time team members reach retirement age. These young team members are learning the ins and outs of the whole business from the ground up, and show great enthusiasm to get out onto the job sites and learn the ropes. “They are the future of the company,” says John.

Beech forecasts continued gradual growth but is looking to remain a business based around personalised service and the building of real relationships with clients. “The biggest thing,” John says, “is that we’re a personal company, we’re a family company, and we really are there to help people in any way we can to bring in their projects on time and on budget.”

The company’s long and successful history allows it to tackle unique projects with confidence and to consistently deliver on time, on budget, and to the highest quality. Passionate about producing great projects, Beech passes its wealth of experience onto its clients, ensuring that every result is a ‘win-win for all. As the company continues to grow into the future, the Beech family will guide the group with a clear focus on the principles and philosophy upon which it was founded.

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’?

February 23, 2020, 6:16 PM AEDT