TUMUT REGION “Excellence in Business Award” extracts from our winning submission.
On 26th March 2019 A Murray & Sons were recognised as the winners of the 2019 Tumut Region Chamber of Commerce—”Excellence in Business Award” (over 20 employees).
We accepted the award on behalf of the management, staff, families and clients that made it all possible.
Below are extracts of our 11 page submission for the 2019 “Excellence in Business Award”. You can read how much had actually been achieved by the business since 2015. A massive…”Well done all”.
The transition from second generation to third generation in A Murray and Sons came quite abruptly, due to illness. The third generation were still working in the day-to-day operations of the business when each of the three cousins were required to make the transition into management.
In 2015 the business contracted a business consultant to assist with the transition after a large project blew out with significant cost to the business. The Murray’s management team agreed to a 360 degree research of customers, staff and employees. The result created a specific business plan for the next three years that addressed each area of the business the research flagged. The business had issues with process, IT, brand, staff retention, morale, management, quality control and systems.
From 2015 to 2018 we reinvested heavily into the business to overcome the shortfalls highlighted in the report.
- We restructured and centralised our administration and this created additional employment in our local office.
- Regular management and staff meetings were instituted to improve communication.
- In line with our goal we began implementing and improving systems across the organisation.
- Because of the feedback on the appearance of the business the company invested in a new brand, office makeover and a new fleet. We also created an online presence with our website and Facebook profile.
- To improve our profitability we hired a purchasing manager who created a purchasing system that improved our buying power.
- We engaged a systems specialist in to work with Management and staff on a project management system that would allow large project works to be broken down to daily accountable sections. We currently are developing this into our own software.
- We also instituted a staff reward scheme to reward the commitment of our middle management teams.
These systems innovations resulted in dramatically improving company performance across the board.
In 2015 our staff approval rating was 63%. Last year our staff rated us at 96% showing a complete turnaround in morale and commitment. We really want to recognise the efforts of the staff and management throughout this period of change and sincerely appreciate the recognition of being nominated for both awards by one of our clients. We know how far we have come!
We are committed to maintaining our Head Office in Tumut and growing with the Community. Our business plan and investment strategies reflect that commitment.
Our businesses product and/or service offerings.
A Murray & Sons is a third-generation plumbing company, supplying water, waste and gas solutions to Commercial, Domestic and Government clients. Since our beginnings in regional New South Wales our business has expanded into surrounding capital cities. We have maintained Tumut as Head Quarters for our operations as we continue to remain under contract to service the major industrial timber mills in the area. Our licensed plumbers are experienced in all forms of plumbing, gas fitting, roofing, drainage, heating, cooling, water and sewerage systems as well as tanks and irrigation systems. We are also the service agents and stockists for Rinnai, Coolair, Coonara, Seeley International and Australian Gas Networks.
The company is compliant in all health, safety and environmental policies and we test staff and contractors regularly for alcohol and drugs. Our policy is to maintain a safe and trusted workplace for workers, co-workers and our clients.
We have been servicing local domestic markets in regional New South Wales since 1952. We are the largest family owned plumbing company in the region with a retail showroom and extensive parts warehouse. Our domestic teams are responsible for new installations of equipment and plumbing, emergency callouts, roofing, renovations and preventative maintenance. We offer a 24 hour call out service. Our reputation in maintenance is that you can always count on A Murray and Sons to be there within the hour.
Our Commercial teams deliver complete plumbing and roofing services for commercial ventures. We offer a range of options from design and construct, design finalisation, or completely hydraulic designed projects. The company’s experience is extensive from large hospital projects, multi-story and single story aged care projects, secure government installations to refurbishments of TAFEs and schools and minor works. Our reputation is in being competitive, compliant and co-operative and we consistently work with tier-one and tier-two builders.
Our company motto is “Water, waste, gas—we make it happen”.
What makes us unique?
A Murray & Sons is a local family business of plumbers that has spanned three generations. Our business started in Tumut in 1952. We have grown with the community and have supported the community in service, employment, spending and sponsorships for three generations. Being a family business makes us accountable to our reputation. Staff appreciate that they are dealing with a family business that has been going for 66 years. Clients also trust the name and the experience behind the business. As a business we are committed to continuously improving and delivering on our services to sustain that reputation. Also, it isn’t very often that a company from the country is able to earn the respect and the business, working with big companies in the major cities.
We believe under the contract management of Dwayne Murray who has studied accounting and the plumbing experience and expertise of Mathew and Scott that we have been able to create a formidable plumbing company with good values and high work ethic. Builders and clients outside of Tumut often comment about the commitment and consideration of our onsite staff—country values speak loudly. As well, the experience we get working with tier one builders, means that the business benefits all round. We find better ways to do plumbing, better materials and processes. This filters into the local environment where we can improve plumbing solutions for the shire and its people.
The three Murray cousins respect each other enormously and work together well. Dwayne is in charge of contracts, finance and the administration, Scott is an expert and looks after the local domestic and maintenance teams and Mathew handles the large commercial project teams. We are a family of plumbers who know their business and care about the family reputation and the local community.
Recent Key Milestones and Business goals.
In 2018 we commissioned a further 360 degree survey to be redone on our corporate division. Issues raised in the 2015 research had been overcome.
Client approval of the business had risen to 83%,
Staff approval of the company now sat at 96% from low fifties…
The 2018 business plan focussed on continuous improvement of our systems and resolving highlighted issues. 2018 became a year of change!
- Each quarter management staff met to receive training and improve efficiency. Innovative ideas were tested by one team and then rolled out across the organisation the next quarter once they proved successful. This staff training lifted the skills of the management team.
- KPI’s were introduced to improve communication between site personnel and project managers. On site workers were issued with a radio communication devices. This reduced down time considerably.
- Implementing software for timesheets and packing slips improved administration and reduced our payables cycle by 4 weeks.
- A Job Management tool was developed in-house. This is a massive milestone for a business that relies on projects coming in on time and budget.Essentially the tool provides site management with a daily snapshot of the job’s progress against the planned budget for each stage. In effect the tool creates an end-to-end project accountability from estimation through site management to project handover. There is currently nothing like this system in the market. The tool has been tested and rolled out over the past 12 months and is proving to be a highly effective tool in managing business profitability and timeliness. The team have responded well to the Job Management tool as they know what has to be done daily to keep on time and in budget. Its been a big commitment and achievement for our commercial team. Software developers have been commissioned to further develop this tool for the next phase of our business. It will increase efficiencies and give our business an end-to-end system.
What were the strategies and plans you initiated to achieve your business growth over the previous financial year?
- Create and implement a project accountability system
- Implemented staff reviews and training programs
- Introduced communication devices on work sites
- Introduce vehicle monitoring for accuracy in charging maintenance
- Remodelled our retail area and showroom
- Increased our stock range and levels to service our business and community
- Implement exit interviews with client to provide feedback and improve our systems
- Implemented the reward system and increased people involved
- Using social media and online applications to source staff
- Target quality assurance processes to reduce defects
- Installed a continuous improvement model for testing and implementing ideas
- Introduced internal newsletters to keep personnel abreast of developments
- Expanded the territory to the borders of Queensland and South Australia
- Employed two new estimators to fulfil our growth strategy taking our team three
- Apply SEO to our website to increase more traffic
- Increased our social media presence in regard to the local market
- Continue to sponsor the majority sporting organisation in town
- Partnered with the Tumut Golf club to increase our presence in the local business community.
- Source apprentices from local schools to train local people
- Actively searched for new clients in the region which as seen a increase in our client base
- Promote and train younger people in our commercial team to increase their experience and enabled us to complete more projects…
How does your business contribute to the local economy in your region.
- All the money we turnover gets reinvested in Tumut.
- Our company commitment is to buy local.
- Currently we employ 18 people that live in our local region.
- We procure staff clothing and all of our stationery requirements locally.
- There are eight full time staff in our local admin office who support local businesses for lunches and petrol etc.
- We support the local Toyota dealership with the purchase of our fleet vehicles.
- Sign-writing of our new brand, on our vehicle fleet and building signage was carried out by local suppliers.
- Consultants and outside staff regularly visit our head office and stay in local accommodation and eat at our local restaurants.
- Custom builds for our commercial projects are done locally through prefabricators in Tumut.
- At the moment we run 20-30 local supplier accounts that we purchase from daily and weekly.
- Local trades are sourced in completing local renovations and constructions.
- We sponsor all the local sports teams and community groups. For example last year our sponsorship of the local community was $15,000.
- We encourage work experience from our local schools.
- We also advertise in the local papers and with our local radio station.