Top Construction Services in Western Australia

Reilly Contractors

Originally from the United Kingdom, Mike Reilly started Reilly Contractors with his wife Liz after working for years in project management in Australia. “Three years ago, I decided I’d give it a go on my own,” he explains. Liz Reilly worked in marketing in the United Kingdom and used her expertise in establishing the branding of the company, including the logo that is used on all company gear as well as using the web to market the company’s services.

Reilly Contractors’ expertise is in providing high quality services for Perth’s civil works industry. Most of the company’s focus is on installing infrastructure for subdivisions where it undertakes the groundworks, sewerage, stormwater drainage and utilities installations in neighbourhoods under construction.

Sewerage services include installing gravity sewers, chambers, pump stations and vacuum sewers. Stormwater drainage services include the installation of concrete or PVC pipework, subsoil, swale (a low area of land designed to slow and capture water runoff) construction, basin construction, gross pollutant traps (devises used to prevent items such as rubbish or leaves from clogging waterways), interceptors (large sewer lines that are fed by trunk lines), box culverts and soakwells (underground storage tanks that allow for the slow release of rainwater into the ground, preventing erosion).

Groundwork services include foundations, car parks, slab construction, retaining walls, driveways, basement construction and holding dams. Reilly Contractors also installs water mains, valve installation, lot connections, gas mains, power cable installation and street lights.

One recent project included the installation of a deep sewer with dewatering for the master planned community of Whiteman Edge outside Perth which also involved the installation of stormwater drainage system and water, gas, power and communications utilities.

Besides subdivision work, the company has invested in purchasing quality machinery for excavator and loader hire in the Perth area.

The company recently purchased Western Australia’s first hybrid excavator from Hitachi. The twenty-one ton excavator does use fuel, but energy is stored in the capacitor during swing deceleration which is then used for power assistance during swing acceleration. When compared to a standard model excavator of the same capacity, this model can produce a twenty per cent reduction in fuel consumption and energy savings of fifteen to eighteen per cent. The excavator also has an automatic idling stop for reducing wasteful fuel consumption and reducing exhaust gas and noise.

“We want to leave this earth without damaging it, so finding equipment that reflects that value is important to us,” Mr Reilly says, adding that the company plans on purchasing more hybrid excavators.

The business has also adopted ‘green’ practices by reducing the output of paper it uses in-house. The company is working on implementing tablets (iPads) to store information such as timesheets to cut down on printing. “It’s not a big thing, and I have more to learn, but these little steps will help,” Mr Reilly shares. “We always want to know what are the next steps to keep ahead of the game and not reinvent the wheel.”

In its short history, the company has accomplished a lot and has amassed a portfolio of prominent clients throughout Western Australia. Companies such as RJ Vincent, Georgiou Group, Wormall Civil & Environmental Engineering and Croker Construction are just some of the clients that have worked with Reilly Contractors. “What was effectively done in my five-year plan was achieved in three years,” Mr Reilly says. “I’m pleased with that. I’m proud that we have been able to do the work we’ve done with the new gear that we bought when we started. Many new businesses don’t have the credit to finance the equipment we’ve been able to buy.”

The company has also built a series of strong relationships with companies such as Hitachi, Kobelco, and Vinidex that help with its business operations. The company is also a member of the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF). These connections have helped the company cultivate strong relationships with clients, vendors and associates.

“It’s all about who you know,” Mr Reilly says. “You’re never given a free hand, but it is important to build up who you are as a person. I’ve left each business I’ve worked for on good terms because I believe in doing the right thing; if I say I’m going to do something, I do it, and that’s the end of it. A building has to be built on budget and on time.”

Originally starting out with his wife and a few crews, the company has now expanded to fifty-two employees. “I did a lot of door knocking, selling the idea of what we could offer as a business to clients I previously worked with.”

Indeed, Mr Reilly credits his hands-on approach and his employees for the success of the company. “I do a lot of the pricing and oversee the operations,” he explains. “We have a core group of good people; we spend a lot of time to recruit good people and we’re fortunate to have the right guys on the ground.”

Indeed, many of the people Mr Reilly initially hired are still with him, a rarity in the industry. “Some leave, but some have come back. But I’ve had a solid core group of people that I’m proud of. All said and done, there is merit in how I communicate with people.” His phone number is even visible on all company vehicles. “If people have a question, they can call me – and they have.”

Of course, he stresses the importance of having a good team with employees who, even if they disagree with him, will stand up for what they believe is right based on their experience. “I always look to hire the person who is more experienced because that will help you grow the business,” he says. To be sure, hiring the right people remains a constant challenge in this industry. “Managing the labour and workers and retaining them is very important. We put a lot of investment into the training and the accreditations required for the job. We train our guys.”

The principles of safety and production are driving factors in how the company conducts his business and Mr Reilly believes following these principles contributes to the success of his company. “Safety is number one. Projects have to be done safely; it has always been that way for me.”

“All our supervisors and project managers understand the culture of our business, so we make sure everyone understands what is going on from the top down. Fortunately, we work for good main contractors, so it makes it easier to police quality and safety on site because their standards are the same or higher.”

This dedication to quality is evident throughout the company’s processes. Its integrated management system supports the delivery of quality in all of its operations with processes and plans that are clear and easy to understand, ensuring key performance indicators are monitored and acted upon to allow for continuous operational improvements.

Reilly Contractors is actively seeking out new projects, and is busy including installing pump stations, civil projects and contracting services for smaller subdivisions. “We’re exploring different ideas and where we’ll be in the future,” says Mr Reilly. The company also constantly looks for opportunities to expand its business beyond Western Australia and takes the approach that embracing new ideas and finding industry experts is crucial to future success.

“Always explore new ideas,” emphasises Mr Reilly. “I have every intention of growing this business for many years to come. This is not short term for us. Reilly Contractors believes in doing projects right the first time. If anything, I’ve learned it is genuinely all about people.”

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June 26, 2022, 12:03 AM AEST