Make a Pact

PACT Construction

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Perth-based PACT Construction offers a full range of design, construction and project management services for multi-level commercial and residential projects

This is not your typical construction company, however; it has a philosophy, one that begins with the very name. PACT is not an acronym for the founders, nor a pun on compactness, but instead the actual word “pact” – meaning bond, agreement, commitment, contract. The name was selected when the company was rebranded in 2007-2008 to reflect the strength of the company’s commitment to the business and its clients.

“It speaks of authenticity, of a solid, robust and genuine business,” explains Jason Kunkler, PACT’s General Manager, at his offices in Belmont on the southern side of the Swan river in Perth’s east. PACT Construction is wholly owned by ABN Group owners / directors, Dale Alcock and Garry Brown-Neaves. The Alcock Brown-Neaves Group is one of Australia’s leading construction, property and finance companies. This group was founded by Dale Alcock and Garry Brown-Neaves, who started their careers as apprentice bricklayers in Perth. Today, the group comprises 20 businesses, having built more than 55,000 new homes across WA and Victoria and financed more than 21,000. ABN is a leader in every segment from first homes to luxury residences and is the leading new home builder in every one of those markets.

The Group employs more than 1,400 people, 3,000 independent construction contractors across WA and Victoria, and more apprentices than any other new home builder in Australia. In spite of the group’s spectacular growth over the years, Managing Director, Dale Alcock is still very much at the helm.

“Founder Dale Alcock said, ‘I need you to build some buildings for us. Can you get on with that and we will see what happens?’ From that, we developed ABN Construction,” explains Jason. By 2004 it was decided to start up a commercial construction business – it was an opportunity the two founders saw to get Jason going. “It was a very humble beginning. From there, the company started with three projects (essentially internal projects for the group) to deliver over an 18-month period, plus one external project in the form of the HIA’s state office.”

Initial demand was for office accommodation for ABN Group companies, but business spread to the Bunbury area to the south and soon PACT was servicing a variety of important external clients, tendering successfully, growing the team and developing systems and processes “to enable us to become a successful and growing commercial construction business over the first six years or so of operation. However, in the last three to four years we have been a very strong player in the commercial construction market, very active in the hard-dollar space.”

PACT has the highest level of pre-qualification with the state government and has constructed numerous school projects. Beyond that, “we have some really good work in and around apartments and office construction; the latter has been exceptionally good core business for us.” Jason estimates at the time of speaking the company has more than 15 projects, worth in the region of $220 million – indeed, it seems there is hardly anything in or near Perth under construction that is not on PACT’s books!

Diversification was a priority, says Jason, in order to survive and prosper. “If you throw all your eggs in one basket in our space, eventually the basket is empty. Today we do apartment work, medium-density construction, large offices, shopping centres, we have a number of civil projects, and a lot of educational work from both the state and private sectors, so we are competing across a wide variety of sectors.” This enables the company to ride the up-and-down waves of each sector. As Jason says, “I hate the notion of letting people go because there is no work on. We have a great team; they are the greatest asset the company has, and we need to ensure we keep them gainfully employed.”

Indeed, the model PACT has adopted has seen it withstand the rigours of the market. “In the very tight and constrained market we are in at the moment it is holding us in really good stead.”

In such a tricky market, PACT stands out because its tenders are so well thought through, with its team continually working to add value and to find better, more efficient, time-saving or less expensive ways to achieve the results the client and architect wants. “We have the ability to cost-engineer and value-engineer and come up with pricing solutions to obstacles that would otherwise prevent jobs from coming on line,” Jason explains. “We pride ourselves on this value-add process that we offer all our clients.”

To be seen as merely offering the lowest price is not what PACT wants. Instead, “We partner with people and make the effort to understand just what everyone wants to achieve with a project. Then we do our utmost to ensure that everyone gets a win out of any particular project.” The process works through from client and architect, across PACT itself, and involves all of its subcontractors too. “If it’s all about us, or all about the developer, that imbalance will cause a project to come unstuck. But if everyone is prepared to enable everyone else to be successful in a project’s delivery, that’s when it works very well.”

For more information about PACT Construction, please visit http://www.pactconstruction.com.au.

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October 22, 2018, 11:01 PM AEDT