Incorporated in 2002, CPD Group was established with the goal of providing a better quality of service to the building industry in Western Australia. Noticing a large gap in the delivery of projects within the market, the company has prioritised the complete understanding of client expectations and project requirements, in turn supporting and driving CPD Group’s day-to-day commitment to ensure certainty of delivery. “There was a lot of inconsistency amongst our competitors,” says General Manager Tony Mercer. “Trades turned over very fast, so projects were being put together poorly at the front end. There was a clear demand for a company like ours, with a commitment to construction excellence.” While small enough to provide a personal level of customer service, the company is still capable of taking on large-scale projects with a high level of expertise and an award-winning attention to detail. Growing from strength to strength, CPD Group has not missed a delivery date in 2 years; a testament to the determination of its staff. “Our business is underpinned by the calibre of people we have here, and that we recruit,” continues Mr Mercer, “and I frankly believe that they’re the best in the business, which is why they’re working here with us.”
CPD Group operates within 4 key service areas: major construction, taking on projects from $500000 to $25 million, minor works service provision, covering projects ranging from $500000 to $20000, an interiors team for office fit-out and upgrades, and a building services team, managing all trades, and providing planned preventative maintenance, repair works, and emergency call out services. One of the company’s key points of difference is that it maintains a large number trades within the business, rather than drawing from subcontractors. “They’re all in house, which allows us to respond in times that are expected, and provide consistent and personal service to our clients, rather than have a different face show up every time,” Tony says. “Many of our contracts run for years at a time, so we always put together the right team to ensure the client knows who they’re working with.”
In its thorough commitment to operating under a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle model, CPD Group has been recognised by Master Builders Association through awards such as Excellence in Energy Efficiency for its work on the Perth Zoo’s eco-toilet facility. “The ‘three-r’ approach is being noticed,” says Tony, “and we’re being awarded at the highest level for it as well.” Mr Mercer also mentions that many sustainability measures are actually implemented in the early stages of a project. “We’ve always aimed to work as closely as possible with the design team to ensure a complete understanding of the expectations, and that we meet all sustainable building practices,” he says. “The closer we can get to the front end of the construction life cycle, the more influence we can have on the outcome.”
The spectrum and geographic span of CPD Group’s project catalogue is broad and varied. Regional project delivery is a key strength of the company, due to its meticulous attention to detail in regards to the project’s construction life cycle and phase planning requirements. “Regional projects demand greater focus on logistics and procurement, as well as contingency plans,” explains Mr Mercer. “There’s nothing worse than having missing materials in remote parts of Western Australia.” The company is currently engaged in a range of different projects throughout the state, including a 20-bedroom facility in Merredin. On time and on budget, the $1.7 million project is predicted to reach completion by the end of the month. CPD Group is also carrying out the refurbishment and alteration of Lake Grace Hospital, where phased planning was critical on account of the facility remaining in full use over the course of the project. As well, the business is in the 3rd phase of an 8-phase, $30 million design and construct contract, consisting of 167 residential units in Rockingham. A project of particular interest to CPD Group is the Technical Training Centre in Coodunup, where a wide variety of construction methods have been used. “It’s great for CPD Group to build a facility that will be used to train the future trades and professionals of the industry,” says Tony. “I’d like to think that some of the students working through that facility will one day work for us.”
CPD Group’s commitment to excellence has earned them widespread recognition within the industry, in addition to a vast array of prestigious awards for its practices and works, including the MBA Best Commercial Building Award for under $10 million for the ABC Broome Radio Station, and Best Commercial Industrial Building Award from $2.5 million to $6.5 million for the Carnarvon Dual Purpose Centre. The company has also received the Civil Engineering Works Open Category Award for its Augusta Boat Harbour project, the Bank West Best Overall Commercial Building Award for Geraldton in the Midwest region for the Carnarvon Dual Purpose Centre, the Waste Authority Excellence in Recycling Award for both the Augusta Boat Harbour and the Dual Purpose Centre in Carnarvon, and the WA safety award for Best Contribution to Safety and Health. CPD Group is also in the process of carrying out a gap analysis for external certification for ISO 14001, which it aims to achieve in the next financial quarter.
“We pride ourselves on our excellent relationships with every major industry association,” says Tony, who views CPD Group’s ongoing contribution to the overall knowledge and professionalism of the construction and building services in Western Australia as a core aspect of the business. “Our goal is always to improve our internal standards first, but also to help lift standards across the board within the industry. We believe we can do that with focused and professional performance and innovation.” Of even greater importance to the company are its relationships with key suppliers, which directly impact how CPD Group plans, coordinates, and delivers its projects. “We have pre-established relationships that ensure that we have the quality of material, plans, and labour, that translates to the end product that we build,” says Mr Mercer. “The better our relationships across the supply chain, and the stronger our own personnel, the more value we deliver to our clients.”
Tony foresees significant changes to the industry within Western Australia on account of the government’s retreat from infrastructure projects while tightening their use of the building maintenance works. Identifying this trend in its early stages, CPD Group has been able to diversify its client base and service delivery in order to ensure such changes would not limit its growth. Many competitors, however, are now finding themselves struggling due to their inability to diversify in advance.
With a background in engineering, Tony Mercer was working for a major UK airline when he decided to take on property development as a hobby profession. Quickly developing a passion for construction, and construction management in particular, Tony made the decision to retrain for professional qualifications in construction. Over the last 12 years, he has held positions ranging from construction site supervisor to site manager, construction manager and project manager, eventually leading to his present position as CPD Group’s General Manager. In 2014, shortly after arriving in Australia, one of the first full project deliveries that Tony was accountable for won the MBA Best Commercial Builder Award. Looking to the future, Mr Mercer intends to ensure that the business and its staff are always adaptable and prepared for the ever-changing conditions of the market, while continuing to attract the highest calibre employees. “We’re going to focus on the quality of the service we provide our customers,” he says. “CPD Group is a company that can ensure a complete understanding of our customer expectations and project needs, and, more importantly, it provides confidence and certainty of delivery.”