Construction firms may often overlook the valuable assets they have in their people and their skills. Not so over at EllisDon, Inc. The company is creating new and unique opportunities that leverage its people and skills investments. Geoff Smith, president and CEO of EllisDon agreed to answer some questions about this new venture.
Q: After years of being successful at building, and at construction management, why are you now offering your expertise on a consulting basis?
There are several reasons why EllisDon is doing this. Firstly, we believe there is a very large and unserved global market for precisely these kinds of services. (And where people are providing these services, they aren’t builders. When we say something will work, we KNOW it will work, and are prepared to participate and guarantee.) I won’t go through the specific services and target markets – you can see that from
our website – but we believe there may well be keen buyers. Secondly, these services offer new ways to build new revenue and brand new relationships and partnerships, based on expertise which we already have and infrastructure which is already in place. Thirdly, it is a great way for EllisDon to expand into new global markets without taking huge risks – the profit margins will of course be lower, but so will the
Q: Is this similar to outsourcing, that is do you take over various operations if a client wants you to do that?
I have been thinking of it as insourcing (our clients will outsource to us) – and the answer is yes, we are prepared to take over various operations and activities if a client wants. For example, we believe we can do construction accounting for firms both more effectively and more efficiently than many can do for themselves – so they would be costing themselves money not to use us. The same goes for project management systems, HR, and many of the other services we are offering.
Q: Are these services for everyone, or are they designed for very large companies?
In the North American market, we believe these services will be most attractive to mid-sized companies rather than the larger ones. Companies that want to move themselves to the next level quickly, inexpensively and with the least risk. Or a company that has a specific project or opportunity that is somewhat beyond their current expertise and wants some help in order to ensure success. Or a client (or lender) that has a builder in those circumstances, and wants to ensure success through helpful oversight and assistance.
In the global market, especially in ‘emerging markets’, we believe that these services may well be attractive to both mid sized and large companies in the same circumstances.
Q: When will these services be available? Where?
These services are available right now, and can be made available to anyone anywhere. EllisDon has experience in many countries and a permanent presence in North America, Europe and the Mid East. Many of the services, or elements of each service can be delivered electronically, and we are prepared to travel anywhere for mutual advantageous opportunities.
Q: Can you take me through the steps involved to illustrate how this might work for a client who wants to take advantage of your project
If one goes through the website, I believe we have set out how the services will work for various clients. Most importantly, we are very flexible – every client, every project and every set of circumstances is different, and we are ready to adapt (in terms of the service provided and the remuneration) to individual needs. We have experts ready to immediately address each of the services offered, and to tailor a solution to anyone’s situation, and we have set up the offerings so that all you have to do is pick up the phone and you will be speaking very promptly to the most appropriate expert for your situation.