I attended a local business breakfast event on Thursday and was particularly impressed with the presentations from Mark Potter and Rachel Johns of national construction company Morgan Sindall.

Rachel is the Framework Manager and she began by giving some information about the company. She explained the concept of “Perfect Delivery” and of “delighting” customers. She also spoke about the company’s philosophy and the importance of supporting and building relationships with the local communities where they are completing projects. And she stressed the importance of sustainability in their projects. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is clearly high on the company’s agenda.

Mark spoke about the supply chain and how they work very differently to most other organisations. It was clearly important to Morgan Sindall that the companies they want to deal with not only have the right skills capability but also have the right attitude and approach. Sustainability is a key element of their purchasing and this is something they look to instil right down there supply chain. But Mark was quick to emphasise that sustainability is much more than just environmental issues.

When I challenged Mark and Rachel, they confirmed emphatically that awarding contracts to SMEs “isn’t just about price.”

It really is a pleasure to hear the change in language: a new emphasis on people and the environment.

Small construction companies need to take heed: national construction companies like Morgan Sindall will increasingly be looking to work with companies that replicate their ethos – as well as deliver the right goods and services at the right price.  Value and values must go hand in hand!