Concepcion adds value beyond selling cooling, mobility technologies
Concepcion Building and Industrial Solutions’ (BIS) value added consulting and after-sales services have set the group apart in the booming construction industry. As Concepcion Industrial Corp’s (CIC) commercial arm, Concepcion BIS caters to the needs of high-rise residential buildings, malls, office towers, industrial buildings, and even hospitals or airports, with its lineup of international brands Carrier, Midea, Toshiba, and Otis.
In an effort to maintain its position in the market, CIC announced last year a strategy to boost sales to Php 50 billion by 2020, with the ultimate mission of “building better lives and businesses by delivering solutions that provide comfort and convenience”.
For Concepcion BIS, this mission means contributing to the construction industry’s development so it can meet the growing demands of the market.
The construction industry is one of the biggest contributors to the Philippines’ unprecedented growth over the past years, driven by demand for private residential and office buildings, and infrastructure spending by the government. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the total area of floor space approved for construction in Q4 2015 in the non-residential segment, including commercial buildings, rose by 5.6% compared to the same quarter of 2014.
“The construction industry needs to adapt more quality management measures to keep up with this demand,” notes Teddy Barredo, Senior Manager of Concepcion BIS’ Project Management Team. “A quality management system will help ensure quality and efficiency by reducing project delays and guaranteeing precision of work in the construction site.”
“Poor site management is one of the major causes of delays in construction projects, and these can result in unnecessary cost overruns for developers,” adds Barredo. Composed mostly of young engineers, Barredo’s team helps put a system in place in the construction site to minimize construction mistakes that cause these delays. “These measures can encourage innovation in the way that the country’s present and future engineers and subcontractors work.”
Innovating the Local Construction Industry
As project managers, Barredo and his team ensure that time overruns are avoided and operations are conducted safely in the construction site, thus, avoiding unnecessary mistakes and additional expenses.
“Our Project Management Team works with the design proposal by the building’s consultant,” shares Alex Sagum, Key Accounts Manager with Concepcion BIS. “For example, the original proposal says that a one-horsepower air-conditioner (AC) is needed. However, upon examination by our team, we find out that a two-horsepower AC is needed based on the room’s size, and we advise the developer, so the consultant can revise his design. If we did not offer such advice, after the building is completed and the tenant has moved in, he would complain because it’s hot in his unit. This is how our expertise applies in the earliest stages of the construction project.”
Barredo admits that it can be a challenge for his team when they would first implement these systems in construction sites. “Some subcontractors were not used to our quality management systems. Some of them were simply used to how they have always done their work that they even hesitated at first to change something. Others did not see the need for a calibration of the measuring instruments on site, or why it was necessary to wear a helmet, eyeglasses, and other equipment for safety measures.”
While fatal accidents are not common, a Labor Statistics Survey in 2007 found that for construction workers, the most common injuries and accidents were caused by stepping on or striking against objects and being struck by falling objects. “Opening up to these new systems of quality management can protect our workers from work-related injuries, and in the process, improve the quality of our outputs,” Barredo emphasizes.
Nurturing Filipino Engineering Talent
Barredo’s team has worked with some of the country’s biggest developers, and he shares his successes on two of the biggest projects that he has handled so far: a five-star hotel in Bonifacio Global City and a prime residential complex in Makati’s Central Business District. He shares proudly how, in a short span of time, he has witnessed the development of the young engineers under his watch.
“More than delivering well on these large projects, what made me proudest is seeing how my team has improved,” Barredo enthuses. “About 90% of my team is comprised of millennials, and having the opportunity to develop them both professionally and personally as the future engineering leaders of our country is a huge honor.”
Barredo acknowledges that the local construction industry continues to experience a shortage of highly skilled engineers because of the lure of overseas work experience and higher salaries abroad. To retain the talents in his team as well as in the whole local industry, he shares that it is important to adapt one’s management style to suit the behaviors of younger professionals.
“The young engineers in my team want something new every time. They are very inquisitive and aggressive, so we use these attitudes to the team’s advantage by letting them take calculated risks in their work, while making sure that they learn if they ever make mistakes,” Barredo shares. “It is also a bonus that Concepcion BIS offers one of the most competitive salaries in the industry and rewards its talent with a good bonus scheme.”
United Towards One Goal
On the path towards the goals for 2020, aside from strengthening its project management team, Concepcion BIS also developed a more customer-centric way of approaching their clients. According to Rajan Komarasu, Concepcion BIS’ Group Director, “One of our biggest endeavors in 2015 was aligning the organization to develop a more customer-centric culture. We modified our processes and approach to make it easier for customers to do business with us.”
Customers nowadays are very particular with the after-sales services, shares Sagum. “However, more than providing them with what they want, we make sure that we give what is best for them. I believe that this is what differentiates us in the industry, and we only need to let our customers know that we have these capabilities.”
For a company with close to 1,000 employees, one of Concepcion BIS’ top priorities is getting all of its people contributing towards the target sales of Php 50 billion, and to everyone’s advantage. “The company saw to it that each of us is aligned with the 2020 Vision, including the rank and file employees and not just the leaders. I believe that it is very important to know where we are headed and how our individual efforts are crucial. This is also what inspires me in every work that I do every day,” Sagum enthuses.
“The company’s goals are clearly communicated to everyone up to the last levels of the organization,” echoes Barredo. “We know that we all have a role in fulfilling the vision, what’s in it for us, and I believe that this is what helps me and my team perform at our best.”
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