For Premier Cranes, company culture governs every aspect of the organisation. Progressive thinking and empowering the team with #TeamLifing at the core of everything they do, are designed to deliver the right results for clients
Premier Cranes is focused on a company culture designed to deliver high levels of client fulfilment. It’s not a marketing strategy, #TeamLifting is at the heart of the business, it governs how every member of the Premier Cranes’ team views their role and the importance their contribution makes to the continual quest for this client fulfilment.
Steve Warton and Matt Clark started Premier Cranes 11 years ago. Today, it is a progressive thinking organisation with a decentralised management structure that empowers employees. Every day at every level of the business team members make decisions, and with each decision the first question they ask is, “Are we putting the Client first? How will this benefit them?”
“Together we are continually evolving our approach to client satisfaction, by examining the way we do things. It’s an old cliché, but Matt and I know that our team is only as strong as our weakest player, and this is the reason we place so much emphasis on #TeamLifting. We need to have a strong and cohesive team that continually delivers high levels of service which in turn consistently exceeds client requirements,” said Warton.
‘Cracking the Code for Premier Cranes’ is an example of how Warton and Clark see #TeamLifting benefitting the client.
“ ’Cracking the Code’ takes a deep look at our organisation and examines the ways we can deliver on the client’s expectations and the value they are looking for. We’re not just talking about price. It’s about consistently delivering on critical systems like lift planning and engineering. We are always looking to value-add and looking to provide the client with the consistency they might not be able to find with other providers.
“We work hard to encourage a can-do attitude with our team members which contributes to our ‘blue ocean’ strategy. Creating a value proposition that helps create markets that might not even exist at the moment.
“Within the construction sector, we recognise that oftentimes we are dealing with a traditional industry, and while there are elements of the industry which appear reluctant to embrace new ideas and approaches our clients do respond positively to the way we approach business. They can feel that our approach to #TeamLifting equally applies to them as it does to our team.
“We see a growing awareness from clients that our teams are there to work together with them – lifting them up so to speak. We are there to collaborate together to come up with solutions for the task at hand and solve any problems that might arise.” said Warton.
As the Federal and State Governments continue to announce increased funding for Victoria’s massive infrastructure build across road and rail, Premier Cranes is fostering the #TeamLifting notion to specifically cater for the demanding expectations of Tier One builders, Project Managers and the specialist Project & Lift Engineers working these projects says Warton.
“We understand that the Tier Ones’ working on the major infrastructure projects, employ or contract highly experienced crane specialists to manage their crane and safety systems. These individuals and the teams they have a responsibility to manage, understand that our focus is on consistently delivering to a high standard.
“Delivering to the highest level with our lift planning and engineering solutions, these experienced individuals get the results they need with us.”
“The last thing we want is them shaking their heads and finding issues with what we are delivering. In our experience, this level of planner is a tune to finding errors in plans and shaking their heads at mistakes,” said Warton.
“We are constantly evolving our strategy to make the jobs of senior lift planning managers and also onsite safety managers as easy as possible. There’s a big difference between this approach and having clients standing with a checklist putting crosses next to issues. We aspire for Premier to be in a position where the senior lift planners and senior safety managers on major projects ask for Premier Cranes because we work hard to make their working lives easier.
“We don’t want to send a plan to senior personnel only for them to pick up on simple errors. We have some younger lifting engineers working under the #TeamLifting banner and they are working and training with more senior engineers to ensure the consistency and Quality Assurance in this element of the process. We’ve also bought on board a ex Tier One Lift Planner, he throws his critical eye across our lift plans ensuring that our solutions represent the level of compliance and expectation required, and if anything needs to be tidied up, it is done so before it gets to the client,” said Warton.
According to Matt Clark, Premier Cranes has continued to work hard on decentralising its structure and team members are accepting more responsibility within the business.
“With #TeamLifting there is an expectation that individuals evolve with the job and accept the responsibility by representing Premier every minute of every day.
“When our team turn up to site, when prompted they can explain what #TeamLifting means using a 30 second ‘elevator pitch’ to describe what it stands for and the standards it sets for all stakeholders.“
“We have nominated field leaders, they were selected from our crews that have been with us the longest, historically they might not have always been in leadership positions, but by bringing different skill sets, along with being good people they represent Premier its true light,” said Clark.
“Some of the team leaders have been our biggest supporters and others our biggest critics. We deliberately didn’t hand pick the most agreeable leaders, we don’t want ‘yes’ men. The individuals we have selected understand and can articulate ‘this is how we do it here at Premier Cranes’.”
“That’s where our people start to feel #TeamLifitng and with that leadership they are working with their crews week in and week out to help each individual genuinely understand what it means for them personally. They then project this approach to everything they do externally so that our client experiences and feels what #TeamLifitng really is. This is important for the consistency mentioned earlier, we want everything Premier delivers to be of a consistently high standard,” said Clark.
Warton recently read a book called ‘The Infinite Game’ by Simon Sinek which examines the difference between a finite game and an infinite game. He enjoys taking the overarching concepts and adopting them within the Premier Cranes business.
“The Infinite Game is an interesting read. A finite game such as AFL has a winner and a loser. The rules of the game are known to both sides, the boundaries of the playing field are well-defined, the scoreboard keeps track of the game’s activity, and at the end of a prescribed period of time, a winner is declared. It’s neat. It’s clean. Someone wins, someone loses.”
“However, Infinite games have no winners or losers. Rules often don’t exist, and if they do, they are fuzzy and open to interpretation. The playing field is undefined and progress is hard to measure. Opponents change frequently, as does the game itself. There are no clear winners or losers in the infinite game. Competitors drop out of the infinite game when they lose the will or resources to stop playing. The goal is to outlast your competition.”
“The world in which we live, the most successful leaders and organisations are learning to play the infinite game, not the finite one. The “game” of leadership and business is an infinite game where the rules change frequently, competitors come and go, and there is no end point to the game. You are either ahead or behind. There is no ultimate winner or loser. The infinite game continues indefinitely until someone loses the will or resources to keep playing.” Warton said.
“We encourage everyone within our team to think about the long game. Historically, tradespeople can be a slave to themselves, they are slaves to the clock, their hours and how much they can get in their pocket per week.”
“We want our team members to be developing themselves and helping to develop each other. Naturally at first, they will have a focus on their pay packet but by encouraging them to think about the long game and with us focusing on their training, their personal wellbeing and their general wellbeing within the business.”
We encourage the team not to think about today, tomorrow, last week. We want them to look at their role over a period of time and to look at how much they have grown over this time. If they still think something isn’t being fulfilled, they discuss this with their leader and plan a way forward.
Warton has a strong focus on the role IT plays within Premier and uses IT experts to explore innovative ways of realising efficiencies and increasing levels of client satisfaction.
“They are experienced programmers and they’ve been collaborating with Matusch using the E.P.O.S. operations and scheduling software. We use the system quite creatively and extract a lot of important data from E.P.O.S.
“The E.P.O.S system is quite unique in the way it works, and we’ve always managed to make it work for what we have wanted and needed. Now we have the IT experts onboard. They have been extracting the data captured and they are using this in very creative ways.
“With fatigue management for example. We have extracted the relevant data from the system and by pushing pre-set algorithms across this data we have been able assess the activities of our team members. This has enabled us to eliminate the human decisions that might lead to fatigue or wrong decision making and when our work schedules are being set, we can tell team members that they need to take a break and we can immediately show them the hours and days they’ve worked without a break and calculate the likely effect this is having on their ability to function at the levels we require of them,” said Warton.
“Using this type of information makes the decision-making process less subjective and it’s hard to argue against. In the end we are putting in place systems for the wellbeing of our people. We also use the data generated by E.P.O.S for our utilisation, statistics and quantification within Premier.
“Understanding the data enables us to focus further on the client experience, and understand their needs and requirements and the crane sizes and capacities they require. We also discuss the post purchase experience, this is where we loop back around and discuss the experience from the clients perspective, understand the lessons learned and, and wherever possible, compare what we promised at the front end to what we delivered operationally.
“We are working creatively within Premier with the client’s experience being the key focus. Doing so helps Premier contribute positively to our lives, bringing quality and fulfilment to all.” said Warton.