As Business Development and Marketing Manager my working week can vary – I head up the sales and tender process with our Managing Director Eugene Clarke alongside managing the marketing activities in the company. I’ve been an employee at Clarke Facades for over 3 years, being involved with many brilliant projects across a wide range of sectors. I travel to the UK regularly meeting with clients, suppliers and various stakeholders.
How does Clarke Facades find the construction industry at present, are there any challenges the company faces?
The industry itself has always been tough and it continues to get tougher. Competition is fierce and project standards are increasing. In regard to Clarke Facades, we have found the industry an exciting and prosperous time, the overall company has grown rapidly in the past 3 years, allowing us to take on larger scale projects, invest in our business and operate across the whole of the UK and Ireland.
There are of course the obvious concerns over Brexit, however as a company we are taking a positive and proactive approach. As a Northern Irish based company, we could in an ideal world have access to both the UK and ROI market which I think is an exciting prospect. As a company, we are constantly looking to grow our business and diversify in line with our corporate strategy. As such, this has seen us move into higher value projects that are managed in-house and are more design lead.
I think in general, it is an exciting time to be working in the UK construction market with the constant development of offsite construction and new technologies being introduced to the industry.
There has been a lot happening at Clarke Facades recently, tell us more.
Yes- it’s been extremely busy recently! At the beginning of April, we completed our office move, relocating from the Clarke family homeplace of Portglenone to the Ecos Centre in Ballymena. Clarke Facades has experienced year on year growth, initiating this move. Our new office space has significantly improved the culture at Clarke Facades, there is a strong team ethos with an open, honest culture across all departments.
In addition to the relocation of our office, we heavily invested in our fabrication facility, Clarke Offsite to service the offsite and glazing markets. The fabrication facility includes a 5-Axis CNC machine enabling us to double the capacity of our fabrication process, leading to the employment of high skilled workers and sustained growth in this industry.
All in all, we have experienced steady growth in the last 12 months with key decisions clearly defining the growth and expansion of our company – employment figures almost doubling since 2016 and turnover significantly increasing year on year. In line with our Growth Strategy for 2018/19, Clarke Facades have a clear defined set of goals and objectives in place, continuous investment and expansion of the company will see employee figures, turnover and projects numbers increase. We plan to take on larger scale projects and grow our glazing company, locking down more locations of work. Personally, I think there is a prosperous and rewarding future for Clarke Facades.