Derek Marsden, Operations Manager – Q&A

Over the last 18 months, BillSaveUK’s scaffolding division is fast-becoming one of the most talked about companies on the midlands housebuilding circuit. Here’s what National Operations Manager Derek Marsden had to say about experience, success and future aspirations:

Explain the background to BillSaveUK scaffolding:

“Scaffolding has been part of the BillSaveUK business right from the beginning. We started with four small new build sites and an experienced team of eight scaffolders who have over 30 years’ experience. This set the foundations for our growth.

“We now employ dozens of full time staff, with our own administration and estimating teams based at our head office in Leicester. Our scaffolders are fully qualified, CISRS card holders and directly employed, delivering our services alongside a dedicated logistics team who are based at our depot in rural Leicestershire.”

What’s the typical size of site you’re working on and how many sites do you have operational now?

“We’re currently working on a number of live sites across the midlands with the plots on each site ranging from 50 to 200. I should also say these sites include traditional build and timber frame new homes, demonstrating how we can tailor our service to suit the requirements of these two completely different construction methods.”

 

What’s different about the service you’re providing, compared to others?

“In terms of our people, we employ dedicated teams of direct labour, so there’s no subcontracting involved. We allocate a team to each job and give site agents one main point of contact as well as a lead person, to ensure the smooth running of each programme.

“And in terms of our materials, we use prefabricated structural transoms and extendable transoms as part of our standard equipment. These create clear, safe areas for builders to work in and have a simplified erection and dismantling process compared to more traditional scaffold structures, reducing the impact of our works programme on overall build plans.”

 

What level of growth has BillSaveUK’s scaffold division experienced over the past 12 months?

“The scaffold business has more than doubled in size since the start of 2017. It all comes down to reputation and relationships in this industry and as that grows, we’re winning more and more work.”

 

Have any strategic business decisions made a significant contribution to that growth?

Our growth has been fuelled by a sharp focus on delivering a high quality, dependable and safe service. We’ve done this by employing and developing some of the best talent in the industry.” 

 

What are your aspirations for the business over the next 12 to 24 months?

“Building on the success we’ve achieved this year, our focus going forward will be to expand our regions, while protecting our core values and service delivery.”

 

What challenges do you think you’ll face in trying to achieve your goals?

“The biggest challenge we face is how we attract the right labour. People with the right attitude to quality, health and safety and team work. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail, our commitment to safety and quality, and our ability to meet our clients’ needs. These are attributes we hold right across our team.

“To ensure we retain this level of integrity moving forward, we’ve introduced a new trainee programme.  Aiming to attract new talent into the business and the industry, the programme will ensure we can provide the necessary skills training, while instilling our values in new team members to ultimately continue our growth.”