Kevin Hardy

Procurement Engineer

BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying & Commercial Management

"With the company’s focus on career progression and on-going training and development I am confident that I will have a long & happy career in the company"

 

How did you first hear about the Clarke Facades Graduate Programme?

I first heard about Clarke Facades at Ulster University’s Engineering and Construction Graduate Recruitment Fair in Autumn 2015. As the company was local, I decided to conduct some more research about the company and their ideologies. I was thrilled when the company advertised a position on their website for a Graduate Procurement Engineer. To my delight, I was called for an interview and subsequently offered the role.


 

What is your typical working day like at Clarke Facades?

I have learnt that no two days are the same at Clarke Facades and each day presents a new problem that needs solved. Due to the number of on-going jobs we currently have on, I could be ordering materials for up to 6 or 7 jobs on the same day, so it can be quite hectic. Daily tasks include ordering and procuring materials for the jobs. This can range from, fixings to Metsec framing to cladding panels. When ordering cladding panels, I have to produce material lists and cutting schedules so as panels can be cut to the correct size. When a new job is handed over from the Estimating Department I then need to produce a procurement schedule. This includes materials that are needed for the job and how much of each material is required.


 

What sort of training do you receive at Clarke Facades?

In the first few weeks of my job, I firstly received induction training from my Manager. During the induction training my Manager introduced me to other members of the team and clearly outlined my job roles and responsibilities and the projects that I would be working on throughout the year.
As my job requires ordering materials for various jobs, I was shown by my Manager how to complete orders and how to use the purchase order template. This was the easy part, as I also needed to know what suppliers provide what materials/fixings. This is still an ongoing process and will continue to be, as new suppliers are being used more often due to them having more competitive rates or a better quality of product.

As a result of on-going training, I have learnt how to deal with suppliers and how to bargain with them in order to get the best price. Alongside my Manager I got the opportunity to attend a negotiation training skills course which provided me with skills and techniques on how to become a more efficient negotiator.


 

What is your favourite thing about working for Clarke Facades?

Clarke Facades is a very friendly and approachable company to work for. As the company place a great emphasis on team work and team bonding I have been able to attend team building days which are a fantastic way to get to know other colleagues outside of your team, relax and promote a healthy and happy workforce!


 

How has the Graduate programme benefited you?

Having now been part of the graduate programme, I can honestly say that there is no replacement for the experience that I have gained. I have seen first-hand how demanding the construction sector is and how much hard work and planning is needed to meet that demand. I have learned how to do things using a hands on approach and also learned from mistakes that have been made, and how they can be avoided in future.

It is quite daunting coming into a fully operative company as a graduate, but with help from my managers and colleagues, you can pick things up very quickly.


 

Final Thought

I would highly recommend Clarke Facades as a potential employer. I have been very fortunate to work on many prestigious projects throughout the Commercial, Education, Residential and Healthcare sector as; London Road, Premier Inn Archway and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. With the company’s focus on career progression and on-going training and development I am confident that I will have a long & happy career in the company.