Applying a Solutions Focus to Commercial Construction Projects
Sarah Constructions has a history in delivering complex commercial and social infrastructure. We thrive when managing projects that demand a high degree of strategic planning skills, open communication, and proactive problem solving.
This approach translates directly into one of our core values: “We don’t see problems; We see solutions.”
An integral part of my role as General Manager is driving this solution-focused approach for the benefit of our clients, and the continual development of our people across all aspects of the business. We recognise that solutions always start with people, and that we work better together.
Our culture strongly encourages collaboration; with our clients, our project partners and with each other, and time and time again we see the enhanced outcomes of collective problem solving.
We recognise that everyone within the company brings different abilities and strengths, and these complimentary skill sets, combined with environments that encourage collaboration, further enhance the depth and quality of solutions we can deliver.
It is important to support people through processes, and we understand the importance of investing in the right technology and innovation systems to encourage complex problem solving.
With more than 250 personnel now working across the business, I believe that Sarah’s ability to invest, implement and integrate innovation, and willingness to empower our teams to expand their thinking, makes Sarah an employer of choice, and a construction partner of great value to clients.
Operations Manager Richard Hough and General Manager Terry Tsapaliaris
The Sarah Solutions Centre: Driving Industry Best Practice
Our commitment to collective problem solving is manifested in the Sarah Solution Centre.
A purpose-built innovation hub and training centre housed in our Regency Park warehouse, the Solutions Centre is home to more than 15 interactive models and displays, each a ‘mini project’ reflecting best approach and complex construction challenges.
When training graduate engineers, supervisors, and project managers, experienced Sarah staff work alongside our subcontractors and suppliers to guide teams through complex challenges, using QR codes to provide standards, recommendations and supporting documentation.
Outcomes are rigorously assessed for compliance, and participants are asked to present their collective solution to a wider group; detailing not just what they learned, but how they learned it, and how their solution contributes to industry best practice.
Training is delivered several times a year, and as required in response to new contemporary challenges.
We are currently working with the technology industry’s best problem solvers to scan and integrate these tools into an app, allowing our site-based teams to develop real-time solutions.
“I was lucky enough to be a part of the initial project/prototype building group for the Sarah Solution Centre. To be able to go through the initial concept, to having a complete building prototype, is a great learning initiative and is definitely a great way to learn for all involved in the process but also the people who attend the Sarah Solutions Centre.”
– Joe Raymond, Sarah Site Supervisor
Finding Solutions Together
Sarah’s clients are investing in long-term assets to build their business success, and each project brings a bespoke set of challenges to be solved. Even in the most challenging environments, compromise to quality is unacceptable, and drives our teams to look beyond what might seem initially impossible.
We find that the best solutions are created when our teams work collaboratively with clients and project partners in the early stages of a project.
The Solution Centre is home to alternative, sustainable and innovative material selection displays, BIM and digital engineering displays, and several commercial prototype rooms.
Sarah’s clients and their consultants are welcome and frequent visitors, able to virtually tour proposed facilities, make early modifications to enhance functionality and quality, and mitigate potential clashes of services and fixtures; avoiding impacts to project program and budget.
The alternative material displays enable our clients to be proactive problem solvers and sustainability leaders as we all work towards a carbon neutral future.
Our portfolio of repeat clients reflects Sarah’s relationship approach, where each project is an opportunity for innovation to thrive.
“Through the power of early collective problem solving, Cancer Council SA and Sarah Constructions were able to pool our diverse perspectives, knowledge and skills to innovatively tackle complex problems and overcome them for greater project outcomes.”
– Kerry Rowlands, Chief Executive, Cancer Council SA
Sarah Constructions CEO, Adrian Esplin and Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Kerry Rowlands
Investing in Solutions
Sarah’s leadership team understands that technology is continually changing construction methodologies and that remaining an industry leader and employer of choice requires a substantial investment of capital.
Importantly, we must also create the time and space for our people to embrace innovation and empower them to focus on solutions not problems.
Recently, I issued an invitation across the business to participate in an Innovation Forum; a structured, facilitated event, with guest speakers and interactive sessions, designed to guide our next steps. I was hoping to get up to ten participants in this inaugural forum but was pleased to have more than 25 enthusiastic responses, representing all aspects of the business.
This response is reflective of how Sarah’s values are much more than words; they are an ecosystem of behaviours that we present to each other and our clients daily.
With the current resource and time pressures, I personally believe that there has not been a more critical time to embrace our solutions value and maintain the high-quality outcomes that Sarah is recognised for.