We have all witnessed at first hand the demise of one of the biggest construction companies in the UK “Carillion” which caused a degree of disbelief despite the warnings. This was followed in a matter of weeks by one of Ireland’s top companies “Lagan” placing 4 parts of its business into administration. The industry may well be reeling from this news, but it is the people of both organisations and their supply chain which are the real causalities. The industry will no doubt recruit the operational teams, as the industry is desperately short on skills, if our clients develop the work that is promised. However, the back office staff may take much longer to secure new positions and the ripple or tidal effect with the supply chain may see more critical outcomes.

The industry will have its own inquest into the demise of Carillion I am sure, and we will all hold our personal views, however we all know the huge risks we take in the construction industry as we operate at very low margins. The industry should take serious stock and ask itself are we really operating in self-interest or in the collective interest of the industry? Then we really could deliver on “Making Tomorrow A Better Place”.

On a personal note it was a very sad day when the news broke of the demise of Carillion and although it was not a real surprise it brought the rumours into reality. I am an ex Alfred McAlpine employee, who to this day will state to anyone that these were the best years of my working career and by far the best company on my CV. The Culture and Values, along with the Leadership still stands out to me today some 10 years later. My time between 1997-2008 were light years ahead of any other time in my career, building up Alfred McAlpine Temporary Traffic Management from a concept in someone’s head to one of the top 3 in 10 years.

I was given the empowerment to build a business, with a team of equally committed people, and together we achieved great success investing in our clients, people and our supply chain. We were instrumental in creating the Culture of the CMF Community, winning the Long Term Partnering award in the process long before collaboration was fashionable. We pioneered many things with our Culture such as supply chain engagement, designing new sign frames and 80% of the specification you see on TM Vehicles today.

Many people have said we were the best; we created something special, great memories, great people, a great company. My brief time working in the Civil Engineering business maintained this Culture and opened my eyes to a great business philosophy that has never been matched. The opportunity was to build a business and operate with the interests of others in equal importance to those of myself, learning every day from great people how business should be done.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support during those wonderful years, you all have a very special place in my heart. You were part of something quite unique and should be very proud of all you achieved. I wish you all continued success in your careers, we were so much more than colleagues, we were a family, friendships were created and I’m so proud of you all.