Reflections on 2018 and looking ahead to 2019

Reflections on 2018 and looking ahead to 2019 | We sat down with Managing Director, Andy Dalrymple, to ask about Mackenzie Construction’s achievements and successes in the last 12 months and an overview of what’s to come this year.

What achievements were you most proud of at Mackenzie Construction in 2018?

“Safety remains paramount in everything we do as a business and I was delighted that this commitment was recognised in 2018 with the ROSPA Presidents Award, which is presented on achieving 10 consecutive Gold Medals.

2018 also saw our commitment to first aid training recognised with the St Andrew’s award for Large Organisation of the Year for First Aid Excellence 2018. Wellbeing has always been important to us as business and we are particularly proud of the work we have done to enhance the health and wellbeing of our people which culminating with the launch of sixteen trained internal Mental Health First Aiders from varying teams within the company and mental health training for all employees at our annual Christmas Training Day.

We also focused on a clear reinforcement of our social and corporate responsibilities as part of our commitment to “Building our Community Legacy” with a renewed focus on supporting local charities and community based organisations.

Finally, our site teams have achieved much during 2018, reflected in a Performance Beyond Compliance award by the Considerate Constructors Scheme for our work on behalf of Scottish Water Horizons in Newton Mearns.

Additionally, our Ness Weir project delivered on behalf of Scottish Canals, having being shortlisted for a Saltire Infrastructure Award too.”

How has the business grown in the last 12 months

“The business has maintained consistent and sustainable growth over the last five years and, through consistently safe and efficient self-delivery, we have remained a contractor of choice for our key clients.

In the last 12 months, Mackenzie Construction has managed to develop further work streams, with both current and new clients utilising fully the wide range of skills and ability of our delivery teams. The combination of internal promotions and the introduction of new staff members have allowed us to strengthen our capacity for clean water works on behalf of a key client in Scottish Water.

Our Inverness office continues to grow with the addition of new staff and the award of several prestigious contracts for new clients including works at Inverness Airport for Highlands and Islands Airports and works at Urquhart Castle for Historic Environment Scotland.

Our partnership with Glasgow Warriors has developed over the last 12 months. A key feature of this is the alignment between our own culture and that of Glasgow Warriors is doing “whatever it takes”. This has been reflected in the success of our “Mackenzie Warrior” recognition scheme, celebrating those that have gone that “extra mile” with a Glasgow Warriors shirt, presented by a Glasgow Warriors player at key team events.

Looking ahead to 2019, what are your key strategic aims for Mackenzie Construction this year?


“Safety will always be priority number one for Mackenzie Construction and will remain central to all of our decision-making. Zero accidents, or incidents, will therefore stay at the forefront of all of our plans for this year. Whilst we have robust systems, procedures and controls in place to manage safety, it is the adoption of the correct behaviours by our team that ultimately ensures that we deliver safety across our portfolio of clients and projects.

2019 will therefore see an increased focus on ensuring that those within the project cycle both understand and exhibit the correct behaviours. We will aim to achieve this through enhanced behavioural-based safety training and initiatives both internally and within our supply chain.

The last five years have seen consistent growth, in both the capacity and capabilities of Mackenzie Construction, which we look forward to continuing in 2019.

As we closely monitor client requirements, we have identified an opportunity for increased focus on both document and data security in 2019. We attained the ‘Cyber Essentials’ security certification in 2018 and are now driving towards attainment of certification to ISO 27001, which is the internationally recognised standard for an effective Information Security Management System.”


How do you maintain the Mackenzie Construction ethos of ‘Safe in the knowledge’?

The training and development of our team, to ensure all staff achieve their full potential, is key to ensuring that the ethos of “Safe in the knowledge” is maintained.

The “safe in the knowledge” ethos is embedded within our company culture and we have an increasing emphasis on developing coaching and mentoring processes to address the challenges of an ageing workforce. Our long-standing commitment to promotion from within contributes to ensuring this ethos is maintained at all levels and within all teams in the business.

We never underestimate, and are fortunate to enjoy, the benefits of having a diverse and long-serving workforce. The knowledge and experience our workforce hold, with particular reference to our Foremen, is something we aim to utilise more. Currently, all Mackenzie Construction Foreman are attending a bespoke internal course focused on stimulating fresh thinking and providing tools to enhance the effectiveness of their vital role as front-line managers as the on-site interface with clients, delivery teams and members of our supply chain.

We aim in 2019 to further share this ethos with our supply chain, with the aim of early engagement bringing improved efficiency through shared good practice and key learning which increases the opportunity for innovation.”

As sustainability becomes increasingly important, how does Mackenzie Construction ensure it keeps ahead of the environmental curve?

“We have a dedicated Environmental Advisor as part of our Health Safety Environment and Quality team, and are fortunate to work with key clients who are committed to improving environmental performance at all levels. In 2019, we will seek to further engage with our clients to share lessons learnt and opportunities for improvement.

2018 saw a focus on data capture, allowing us to measure our environmental performance effectively and set targets to ensure continuous improvement in 2019. Our recent launch, and growth, of our new offering in Smart Surface as an environmentally friendly service for ground improvement and stabilisation has served to reinforce our clients’ commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our works. We anticipate further growth of our Smart Surface division this year.”

Mackenzie Construction has a diverse and loyal workforce, how do you keep your team engaged?

For us, communication is key to ensuring we keep all of our teams engaged and focused. Working on multiple locations across Scotland brings challenges in ensuring effective communication. While recent enhancements to our IT systems go some way to meet this challenge, there can be no substitute for face to face meetings which can range from ‘Workforce Engagement Meetings’ held in our head office, to less structured one to one discussions on site.

Our recent ‘Stop-Shift-Audit’ format, which Directors and Senior Managers use for site visits, has been revised with a focus on using the format as a means of generating a conversation and creating an important forum for consultation and engagement.

Each year-end sees the launch of a new Business Plan for the next 12-month period and this is shared internally across all teams to ensure complete clarity around our aims and objectives for the coming year. It also confirms the importance of every member of our team having a role to ensure our collective achievement of these aims.

How do you ensure strong, collaborative working relationships with your clients?

The strong, collaborative working relationships we enjoy with our key clients are based on our commitment to ensure we safely and efficiently deliver projects on time and to budget.

Our experience of successful collaborative working has highlighted the importance of co-location on key projects, for which our dedicated ‘Client Hub’ has proved invaluable for all involved. The Client Hub is a self-contained office with adjoining meeting room used by our clients for remote working but predominantly allowing project teams both internally and from our client the space to work together as one team.

Our recently enhanced digital infrastructure has brought opportunities to further develop collaborative working with the use of SharePoint to ensure greater information security and increased provisions for enhanced remote access to information for our teams on site.

Early engagement with our clients ensures that our delivery teams are fully aware of client’s requirements, establishing clarity on shared aims and goals for individual projects and programmes of work. These shared aims at the start of the delivery cycle are the best catalyst for collaborative working with the ultimate outcome being shared success and celebration on completion of projects as one team, working together”