A south Wales-based carpentry business has increased productivity, won significant contracts and moved to new, larger premises in the last 12 months after implementing a digital strategy that has revolutionised the way it manages and delivers its services.
Hazelwood Carpentry, which employs 29 staff and works for some of the biggest building contractors operating across Wales and the south west of England, also launched a new joinery division in 2018 and moved to new premises in Taff’s Well, complete with Superfast broadband connection.
Hazelwood attended a digital technology workshop, organised by Superfast Business Wales, which was tailored to businesses in the construction sector. The experience inspired the company to introduce new contract management software that has increased productivity by 20% and ‘future-proofed’ the business against the changing demands of the industry.
“The decision to invest in a bespoke software system has allowed us to manage projects more efficiently by giving the team full transparency of costs and schedules across all live jobs in real-time,” explained Hazelwood’s supply chain manager Sharon Smith. “On-site supervisors now login remotely via an app on their phones and monitor exactly what is being done in real-time in the office. It has removed duplication of tasks and streamlined the way we work, which has allowed us to cope with the increasing demands of new projects that are coming in.”
The new electronic system replaced around 15 different spreadsheets that were completed by people in various parts of the business, as part of a paper-based system. The ability to log everything on one system that is easily accessible remotely has also allowed the company to meet changing requirements of its contractor clients.
In addition to the digital workshop, the company was also able to access one-to-one consultancy support via the Superfast Business Wales programme, which led the company to review and redesign its website. The new site, which goes live in early 2019, reflects the company’s new digitally-focused approach.
“We’ve simplified our site map, cut down on the number of pages and been far more selective about the content we display. The new site is mobile-responsive, much more customer-friendly and we’ve made a concerted effort to profile the type of projects we’d like to do more of in the future.”
Hazelwood Carpentry is one of a growing number of Welsh companies in the construction sector that is embracing digital technology. Figures from the latest Digital Maturity Survey, commissioned by the Welsh Government suggest, that 70% of businesses in the sector have now adopted cloud-based technology to streamline their processes. Hazelwood, meanwhile, is eyeing its next digital project – the rollout of an electronic auditing system, designed to drive efficiency across all of its projects and promote continuous improvement in quality standards.