Building Relationships

Formacon Building

Formacon was formed in 2011 in response to a large missing piece the founders saw in Australia’s building industry. Its mandate has always been to provide the highest level of quality and service for the nation’s small and medium sized investors.

Formacon, tailoring services to meet the unique needs of each client, works to create appropriate solutions to meet the budgets of clients ranging from small private investors to those looking to develop projects in the five million dollar range.

Justin Palasty, Formacon’s Managing Director, says that the company was born to make sure clients could achieve the same level of service that they would on a $10 million to $20 million project. With no other provider appropriately looking after clients in this budget range, Formacon created new solutions to be able to provide this level of service. “We came up with what we called value engineered solutions that were designed to maximise the value that they were able to get out of their building projects,” he explains.

The Global Financial Crisis was strongly felt by many in the building industry. Formed during this time, the company was shaped in part by the ongoing changes in the industry and designed to meet the changing needs of the market place. Identifying an over-development of projects, as well as over-capitalisation across the board, Formacon realised the company could do something radically different to provide clients with the best value for their money.

“Formacon works to create appropriate solutions to meet the budgets of clients ranging from small private investors to those looking to develop projects in the five million dollar range.”

Today, the company continues to experience tremendous growth, with a reported forty per cent growth yearly. Justin attributes the company’s amazing success to a number of variables, including returning confidence in the market, as well as clients’ desire for new, efficient and effective solutions for building projects.

Justin recognises that, for many, traditional methods just don’t seem to be working anymore. “It’s about doing things differently to maximise efficiency and make sure things are built properly in a way that is cost effective for the client.”

In order to design and create innovative solutions for clients, the people of Formacon are encouraged to discover new solutions to long-standing problems. Everyone with the company is encouraged to find new and better ways of doing things. “It’s about each project being individual, and we treat the staff the same way.”

Formacon has crafted a suite of services to meet the unique needs of each client across a range of project types, including value engineering, construction and risk allocation, feasibility analysis, commercial needs analysis and site analysis and selection. “Value engineering is probably the core of our business,” Justin explains.

When a client approaches Formacon with an idea for a project, the team works with the client to flesh out those ideas and create an effective and efficient plan to realise them. Through this process, the company is able to guide each client through the design and construction process creating a quicker build window with reduced costs, shaving a great deal of money off the original costs.

“Our clients will approach us one of two ways, They’ve got an idea, and at that stage we will create a feasibility study and we’ll also give them base construction budget, or a client will approach us at a tender stage, after going to other builders, looking for a different point of view to maximise a project and get more value out of a job.”

Risk allocation services are particular to construction management contracts in which a company, such as Formacon, can subcontract or engage the appropriate consultants and tradespeople so that clients don’t have to take on any unnecessary risk throughout the process of development and construction.

Formacon has been so successful in supporting clients through the construction and refurbishment process that Justin decided to create a book designed to unravel the process for those who are considering investing in a project.

Constructive Ways was inspired by the needs of the clients the company serves. The book answers questions and dispels many of the myths investors have about the process. “They generally have a lot of questions and don’t understand a builder’s objective and what we could do for them. So, the book has been designed to really hold their hands for them and covers things like different ways to save money on a project and introduces them to different management processes as well.”

As part of the company’s dedication to incredible service, Justin recognises the importance of building meaningful relationships not only with clients, but across the industry as a whole. In building, the level of the relationships built often dictates how successfully the outcome of a particular project will meet expectations.

By being a smaller service provider, Formacon is able to avoid the trap that many larger players fall into by thinking of each client as simply a number on a ledger. “We provide a more personalised service; we’re not a cookie cutter construction business,” Justin suggests. “Right up to managing director, we are available and we try to keep things on a personal level in order to create these relationships.”

Part of this success is achieved by identifying the best subcontractors and then retaining them by acknowledging and rewarding those companies that go the extra mile to complete high quality projects efficiently.

Another driver of the company’s continued success has been its choice to embrace social media and generate a solid online presence. “We are very active online and it’s crucial for our business.” Today, social media plays an integral role in a business’s success as people become more accustomed to instant information at the press of a button.

Formacon is keenly aware of the importance of being connected. Technology allows staff at all levels of the company to stay connected with clients in order to quickly provide support during each stage of a project, as well as to reach new markets in need of innovative solutions.

Recently, Formacon has completed a major project that beautifully represents the company’s building and design philosophy. The Double Bay Bowling Club project, completed in September of last year, consisted of a complete refurbishment of the existing site, replacement of the main bar area and poker machine facilities.

Formacon created accessibility accommodations for patrons at the club and brought the site up to current building code. “We worked with the board of directors to keep the project within their budget and maximised the value they got from it.”

Moving forward, the company has a number of projects currently underway. Formacon has been awarded the construction of a new commercial project at Gilford, which includes a three storey commercial office block. Also on the horizon, is the construction of the new Buddhist meditation centre in Camden, with an expected project value of over three million dollars.

As for the future, Justin is excited to discuss the company’s five year plan including continued expected growth in Australia. Moving into the tier three level, Justin forecasts a turnover of about thirty million dollars annually within the next five years as well as growing engagement in the market place. “We are putting things in place at the moment and are actively marketing to the industry as we work toward becoming a major player,” says Justin.

But as it grows, Justin says the focus of the company will remain its greatest strength, which is the connection to people and the ability to do things differently, effectively and efficiently. “It’s about doing things differently so that our clients can maximise what they’ve got,” he says. “I can’t stress value for money enough.”

Formacon Construction is all about doing things differently – from the way the company encourages staff to create new and exciting solutions in design and construction, to the personalised, authentic relationships it builds with each client in order to most effectively save time and money while creating and executing projects.

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’?

January 17, 2019, 5:14 AM AEDT