Industry changes and the importance of your people
PENSAR managing director Karl Yunker knows how to best manage changes to any construction cycle – focus on having the best people on board.
As managing director of one of Australia’s best-regarded infrastructure solutions companies, Mr Yunker knows from experience that no matter how the market turns, making the most of it comes down to having the best people on board and keeping them motivated. It is a strategy that continues to pay off for Pensar nation-wide.
“As does any managing director, I closely observe industry trends and predictions to ensure our organisation is always positioned to manage what the market may present,” Mr Yunker said.
Right now, he was observing a trend similar to that which followed the residential housing boom of the early 2000s.
“Across the infrastructure sector there is currently much rhetoric around imminent government spending on infrastructure and a potential boom period similar to that experienced in the late 2000s,” Mr Yunker said.
“This boom was preceded by a significant growth period in sub-division led residential housing. As this growth slowed, the government invested to stimulate the infrastructure and construction sector.”
Mr Yunker recalled that as a telling period for Australia’s construction and infrastructure sector, with skills challenges, funding risks and rising construction prices a result.
“Periods of big government spending in any industry hold the promise of opportunity and substantial work, however we know from the previous investment cycles that it can also create many challenges,” he said.
“As costs escalate and people resources become scarce, contractors and sub-contractors can quickly find themselves in trouble. Projects overrun their timeframes, costs continue to escalate above budget throughout the project life cycle as resources become more scarce, quality can be compromised due to inexperienced people and cost-saving efforts, and finally – and devastatingly – safety can be compromised.”
The signs are there, Mr Yunker said, for an upcoming infrastructure construction boost – and Pensar was preparing as it always has, by focusing on staff development and astute recruitment.
“As we observe the slowing of the recent apartment construction boom in Queensland, we need to be ready for the possibility of a new government infrastructure boom, and ensure strategies are in place to mitigate the possible risks,” Mr Yunker said.
“I believe the keystone of this strategy is quality people – and it’s a keystone for Pensar regardless of market cycles.
“Effectively managing your people resources is fundamental to success across any industry. The ability to recruit and retain quality people has far reaching implications for managing project timeframes, costs, quality, and safety,” Mr Yunker said.
“As industry leaders it’s important to remember that our organisations are more than simply what we make, produce or deliver – they are about the people who make it possible.”
Pensar is a current Executive Leaders member of Queensland Leaders.