Superior Service Delivery

The Cunneen Group

The company got its start in 1990 when Greg Cunneen found that his building inspection position at Sydney Water had been made redundant. Armed with a strong background in the building industry, the entrepreneur was unfazed. “I decided I would make a go of it myself,” he says.

The risk paid off. Within a year, the small startup grew from a three man operation in Mr Cunneen’s Castle Hill garage to a well-known business with ten employees. “It all happened so quickly,” Mr Cunneen recalls.

Today, the company employs around forty staff and has added a joinery shop to the group. Throughout the growth and success, The Cunneen Group has remained family owned and operated. “My father, my brother in law, my sister, we all work in the business,” Mr Cunneen reports.

The team provides a comprehensive building and maintenance service including building condition reports, facility management, 24 hour emergency call-outs / repairs, programmed preventative maintenance, and a long list of skilled trades. The company’s client roster is as diverse as its solutions, and includes both public and private sector entities such as hospitals, fire departments, Public Works departments, local councils, banks and multiplexes.

The Cunneen Group’s goal is to provide a hassle free service that takes the stress of building works and emergency repairs off of clients, and this is achieved through several key strategies. A strong focus on service delivery is critical. The team strives to complete every job on time, to the highest stands, and with minimal disruption to the client’s business. “We pride ourselves on quality and quick turnaround and service,” Mr Cunneen explains.

The team also offers ongoing support. “Whenever the client needs something done we are always there for them,” Facilities Manager Joshua Knight says. Because the company is committed to quality, on the job mishaps rarely happen; but when a problem does occur, the team makes it a priority to rectify it. “If something happens on the job that is wrong, we all go back straight away and fix it all,” Mr Knight explains. He says that this high level of integrity and accountability is extremely appreciated by clients. “A lot of clients who have been through our doors have a lot of trouble with trying to get other builders back to fix defects, whereas if we have an issue we are always back straight on top of it.”

The Cunneen Group also makes it a point to build relationships with clients in order to provide a personalised service. “Typically, clients deal with a lot of different people within one company whereas, if I have a client, I do everything with that client,” Mr Knight explains. “It is one on one; they are not getting put aside.” The approach has worked extremely well. “We have a good history with our clients,” Mr Cunneen reports. “I don’t think we have ever lost a client over any issues at all.”

Another key to the Cunneen Group’s success is that the company maintains its own staff of skilled tradesmen. Everything is provided in-house, from plumbing and electrical to carpentry and bricklaying. “We don’t rely on subcontractors, therefore we can manage the job more efficiently,” Mr Cunneen points out.

“Having your own waged staff is a big plus,” Mr Knight adds. “We’ve got our own staff rather than contractors that always have to be managed.” Indeed, managing contractors adds an extra layer of unnecessary complication, he insists, while the direct benefits of hiring staff include “a better, faster service. You are in control more. Being in control of our work [means that] the client doesn’t need to worry about the day to day issues on jobs. We are always there controlling the jobs.” There are also, of course, benefits for the local economy. “We are creating jobs within the industry.”

Finding skilled tradesmen isn’t always easy these days, however. The team solves this problem by investing in and maintaining the staff that it already has. “We are able to hold onto the tradesmen we’ve got,” Mr Cunneen reports. “We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice with a high staff retention rate,” Mr Knight adds. “This has allowed us to build up a highly skilled and motivated workforce that is able to cover a broad range of trades and services.”

The company can also count on its skilled workforce to maintain the highest health and safety standards. In fact, the Cunneen Group’s policies are carefully geared toward protecting its employees. “People are our most important asset and their health and safety is our greatest responsibility,” the company website points out. “To achieve this goal it is in our interest that we ensure that our WHS policy complies with AS/NZ 4801:2001.”

The team is also committed to protecting the environment, and environmental considerations are always at the forefront during all planning and construction activities and through the prudent use of resources and technology. Compliance with ISO 14001:2004 is an ongoing goal.

The team also maintains a Management System in accordance with ISO 9001:2008 in order to ensure that all of its goals and standards are met. “Cunneen Group is committed to Quality Assurance and the implementation of a Management System, which will allow us to maximise our efficiency and productivity to meet the company’s goal and objectives of client’s satisfaction, and employee satisfaction and profitability.”

The Cunneen Group’s focus on service delivery, client relationships, skilled in-house trades, and internal quality assurance systems has helped the company stay ahead in a tough market. “It is very competitive,” Mr Cunneen points out. “These days, the way the building industry is, it is still tough out there. We’ve got to make sure we give the clients what they want and be competitive in what we do.”

The company’s stellar reputation also ensures that work will continue to pour in. “I think our reputation gives us an advantage above the others,” Mr Cunneen says. The company’s strategies have been so successful that planning for the future is a no brainer. The team will just “keep doing what we do best.”

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October 23, 2021, 12:43 PM AEDT