Voltcom Construction (Llantrisant)

Origins

The business was formed to address a growing skills gap that was identified by the current directors. The vision was to identify and train resource then they would form an essential part of the supply chain in the transmission and distribution of energy in the UK. The first three years saw significant challenges primarily in identifying suitable resource that could be trained appropriately, several attempts failed for a variety of reasons but primarily work ethic and diligence. It wasn’t until the second year that the directors identified a pool of resource in the Philippines that shared a similar work ethic, were highly capable and keen to look further afield to secure employment and income. Working with the UK Border Agency, Voltcom Construction brought teams of workers to the UK to conduct High Voltage Power Line maintenance to tier one contractors such as Balfour Beatty. With a 100% health and safety record, good time keeping and project delivery the business soon grew and broke through the million pound turnover threshold. Growth was achieved quickly thereafter and the business grew to £4 million. That growth was to prove costly as the business struggled to establish itself organisationally and structurally and in 2008, the business was at a junction and if it carried on in the same direction, the directors recognised the business was not sustainable. Being a small provider in the construction sector places pressure on the business brought to bear by the supply chain. At this stage, some strong advice from the bank gave much needed direction and principles to enable the business to grow once more to a turnover of £13million.

Success Factor

Voltcom’s growth has been due an ability to innovate in its service offering and delivery that brings a level of innovation required under the RIIO programme. There is also a level of adaptability in its business strategy that has helped shape the business to the regulatory changes in the industry. Finally, the firm’s health and safety record is second to none in its industry at a time when safe working practices are demanded in high-risk environment.

The Future

To grow its business over the next five years, Voltcom aims to increase its share of the £21bn market that exists in the UK by continuing to offer safe working environments, innovative solutions and timely project delivery to the Distribution Network Operators directly and independent private network operators. It will enter new geographical markets that are undertaking significant infrastructure investment within the next ten years, starting with Ireland in 2015. It will continue to compliment its core business activity with products and service offering that bring innovation to improve working practices and methods, and establish a National Training Academy that will start to address the growing skills gap in the UK marketplace.