Lifting the lid on the regional contracts director

Chris Beech, regional contracts director at Bracknell Roofing
Chris Beech, regional contracts director at Bracknell Roofing

I oversee the running of our branches in Ringmer, East Sussex and Southampton. Given the amount of building work in the region, it’s one of Bracknell Roofing’s busiest areas.

I’m in the office around 6.30am each morning because there’s just so much to get done! Broadly, my role falls into the following: paperwork, quotes, overseeing project management and managing customer care.

Quoting for projects

Within Bracknell Roofing, we have an experienced team of estimators who respond to all tenders, and they get me involved at the point where ‘local knowledge’ is required. That’s because I can help to refine quotes based on factors such as the cost of materials, other projects on the go and the level of skilled workmanship required on the project (e.g. we recently completed a refurbishment project where there were conservation requirements for bats and nesting birds).

Overseeing contract management

Between the two branches in my region, I have five contracts managers, so, between them, Bracknell Roofing is managing upwards of 50 projects at any one time on the south coast. As a result, it’s vitally important that we as a business are on top of everything. I support the teams through negotiating pricing at the local level with suppliers and authorising purchase orders for materials.

The paperwork

As well as authorising purchase orders, invoicing and dealing with paying our roofers every Friday, there’s a fair amount of paperwork involved in the running of the business, such as the monthly reports and forecasts that go to the directors to give us an accurate picture of work in progress and work in the pipeline. I’m judged on the region making money, the cash flow of the business and ensuring that there are no account issues and no customer care issues.

Dealing with ‘leaks’

Roofing contractors are usually the first port of call for all developers when there’s any kind of leak. Nine times out of 10, the leak in a property is nothing to do with the roof – but it’s important that we as a business investigate all such reports diligently and thoroughly. Most of the time, leaks are internal and the result of work done by other trades!

Pre-starts and health and safety

Pre-start meetings with housebuilders are always something I look forward to because it’s another contract we have secured and it’s another opportunity to add a project to our portfolio, which demonstrates our skills and capabilities on newbuilds, refurbishments and renovations. These meetings also help to lay the groundwork for a good working relationship through the duration of a contract and ensure that we deliver quality roofing installations to the right specification and that all our teams on site work in a safe environment. This emphasis on health and safety is crucial because it’s of paramount importance at all times on every Bracknell Roofing project.

Favourite part of the job

Because there is a lot of paperwork, I do enjoy getting out of the office and calling into sites as often as possible, as it’s a great reminder of what this job is all about: putting the roofs on buildings that people will call their homes.