Our first spotlight feature of 2019 will focus on John Jack, our Contracts Manager here at The JR Group.
With over 28 years experience in the construction industry, John will provide some key insights in to his roles as well as his experiences within the industry. Experiences that have shaped the Manager he is today.
Q.1: John, please can you tell us the role of a Contracts Manager within a major firm like The JR Group?
As Contracts Manager here I am responsible for the day to day management of our scaffold contracts, ensuring all our projects are completed on time, within budget and to the highest safety standards. The JR Group and myself expect the highest of standards across the board and I work hard to ensure we maintain great working relationships with our clients, surveyors and our team to exceed expectations where possible.
Q.2: Tell us a little bit about your background.
I started as a labourer within a scaffold company when I was only 16.
When I reached the age of 19 I achieved my Part 2 Scaffolding Qualification.
One year later I sat my Advanced Scaffolding Course which resulted in me taking more of a managerial role.
After 10 years in the Scaffolding Industry I was further promoted to the role of Supervisor, then Contracts Manager. During these early years I learned the management skills and knowledge required in order to be a decent Manager in this industry.
I joined the JR Group in 2010 and have been here since. As a highly ambitious Contracts Manager, I was aware of the work The JR Group carried out and their clear strategy for growth excited me.
Q.3. As Contracts Manager you work across many large scale projects. Considering all of the major projects you have worked on at The JR Group, what stands out amongst your biggest accomplishments to date?
There have been a large number of jobs which I have worked on over the years. One of the most memorable was erecting internal scaffolding at the Coca Cola factory bottling plant while the factory remained operational. We were there the best part of 17 weeks to allow access for the removal of asbestos within the building.
Another project that comes to mind is the three month period our operatives worked within the Dounreay Nuclear plan which was fascinating. Again, we worked alongside an Asbestos removal company to provide Scaffolding within specific areas of the building containing asbestos.
Lastly, an accomplishment well worth mentioning would be when the team and I worked at BAE in Scotstoun as part of a major overhaul of large sheds within their yard on the famous River Clyde.
Q.4: What major projects are you currently working on?
We are providing a range of exciting scaffolding contracts at present.
For our Construction Division we are on site at Olympia Street in Glasgow, a development of 68 homes for social rent and Hillhouse Road in Hamilton. This is a development of 29 retirement living flats and one common room for the elderly.
We also work in partnership with Cala Homes and are on site in Jordanhill, Bothwell, and Bearsden to name a few areas.
We are also working alongside Procast on a number of jobs in Coatbridge, East Renfrewshire, Wishaw and Airdrie.
Q.5: What skills do you need to possess in order to become a Contracts Manager and what advice would you give anyone looking to become a Contracts Manager?
First and foremost you need to be a good communicator.
Ensuring that all parties understand what is expected of them throughout the contract lifecycle is essential. You must also ensure that everyone communicates effectively with one another.
My approach is to always be approachable. This may sound clichéd, but it has helped me create a high level of trust and mutual respect within our team and with our customers.
You asked what my advice would be to others that are aspiring to the position of a Contracts Manager. I’d say that if you are responsible, have the right qualifications and experience then I encourage you to take this next step in your career. As a Contracts Manager within The JR Group I have found this role extremely rewarding.
Q.6: You consistently deliver projects within budget and on time. What is the secret that makes a great team and allows you to deliver these ongoing results?
Good communication and working together as a team.
The old adage ‘you are only as good as the team around you’ could not be more true when it comes to delivering successful projects within budget and on time.
We also attend a series of project team meetings which are scheduled throughout the contract. During these meetings we monitor both budget and programme, communicating this with relevant personnel in order to maximise performance and delivery times.
Q.7: What do you enjoy most about working with The JR Group?
Everyday and every job is different.
I could be erecting scaffolding on housing one day and then working on an iconic building such as Glasgow University the next.
Working across multiple jobs in my managerial role makes this an exciting environment in which to work.
We also have a good team here. Having worked together for years there is a great synergy throughout the departments and a real close family feel.
I am proud to be part of this growing organisation and I am excited for what the future holds for The JR Group as we continue to expand.