With more opportunities for construction companies in Western Australia than perhaps ever before, it's those with the skilled people able to capitalise on these opportunities that are reaping the rewards.

One shining example is ECM, a WA-based multidisciplinary company. Established in 1986, the company has never waivered from its people-focused philosophy.

"Quite simply, our business is people," states Michael Hender, Executive Chairman and Founder. "In 2008/09, we employed 110 people. Today, we employ close to 500, most of which are direct employees."

This rapid expansion certainly hasn't occurred in an ad-hoc manner, with ECM placing a strong emphasis on sourcing, developing and maintaining staff.

"We made, and continue to make a concerted effort to identify people very early on that have the potential to fill big roles and we put a lot of effort into them," explains Simon Higgins, ECM CEO & Managing Director. "For example, our General Manager of Operations and General Manager of Business Strategy both started as apprentices with ECM. Creating these growth opportunities builds strong belief internally."

Mr Hender agrees. "You go nowhere without people. If you can get their support, get behind them and put that little bit extra in, it makes all the difference."

It's clear that the calibre of people at ECM translates to a superior level of passion, accountability and communication; three traits which extend right up to the executive level of the company.

"The executive level isn't faceless; we aren't removed from the shop floor," says Mr Higgins. "Our clients have direct access to the decision makers."

ECM are proud of their ability to maintain their strong culture despite the company's rapid growth; growth which saw the company recently acquire the Kwinana-based Press Construction Group, adding structural, mechanical and piping site installations along with specialist workshop fabrication services to ECM's capabilities.

"We identified that we needed to be more diverse," said Mr Higgins. "We've now gone from a specialist electrical contracting company to a multi disciplined group, which lets us service the same clients in much more diverse ways, not just the electrical component of their project."

"Repeat business is one of our strongest points, with many major clients continuing to seek our services," states Mr Hender. "We can provide the complete turnkey solution, not just here in Australia but across South East Asia, the South Pacific, even Africa."

"This is just the thin edge of the wedge. We've created the vehicle, the people, needed to carry out the work and now we're set to deliver," explains Mr Higgins. "Our clients want us to grow, and we're expecting a further 200% in organic growth over the next three to four years. That said, we know we're only as good as our last performance and we won't make commitments we can't deliver on."

Judging by the calibre of people at ECM, it's clear that the company will continue to outperform for a long while to come.

WA Business News