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WORKPLACE FIT OUTS - A Quick Look into What’s trending in 2017?
Date Posted: 13-04-2017.

Workplace Fit Outs - A Quick Look into What’s trending in 2017?
We always get excited about delivering work of high quality here at DG. What we work on from a design perspective can often really inspire us. We know that well-crafted commercial environments can provide excellent places of works. Our refurbishment projects can deliver just that. At DG, we provide many fit-out and commercial projects, and we wanted to delve into what we could be seeing by way of trends in the space through this year.


Make spaces like home
Some have written about the so-referred rebellion against open plan spacing. We have still seen a slight trend favouring the design intent from clients, but more and more designers themselves are pushing the idea of creating spaces that feel and operate more like a home. This means a departure from large, open plan, one colour palette spaces, and a move toward more group-think type spaces that use furniture and materials in innovative ways to create pods and family-type spaces that house teams and collaboration. Colour – in a wide range and type – will no doubt play a big part in this.


Welcoming to all
For a while now, fit out trends have seen more and more spaces created that provide for exercise and enjoyment within the workplace. This has been identified over time as having a positive impact on the productivity and well-being of people – something which most companies look to develop regularly in today’s world. However, American trends (which are starting to move over to the UK and Europe) are showing that staff are encouraged by certain companies – like Kurgo in Boston, America – to bring their pets into the workplace. Positive impacts on morale, moods and general all round happiness have been recorded as outputs of this. With the evidence on the increase, don't bet against pet-friendly-by-design catching on through 2017!


Demanding tech
Technology is huge. Never more so than right now, and it is only going to keep on gaining significance given what companies like Google, Apple and Tesla are looking to put into the hands of consumers. The number of active devices in the office and personal to individuals – all of which are competing for attention – are going to need greater and greater levels of integration throughout our office and workspace. Wireless charging, multi-media platforms and plug-and-play abilities all require consideration in design and provisioning for when it comes to space planning. Big data will become more prominent as companies grow and their pull on data increases as a result. Future proofing and space protecting could be a key contingency measure – the building fabric will need to accommodate and provide for this.


Work, rest, enjoy
Companies are learning from the best and starting to listen to analytics more and more – and not just the largest companies who have been doing this for years. As the numbers continue to show the relevance of the enjoyment factor at work, companies are looking into novel ways to shape their spaces into less intense places of work where people can come into and deliver to a high standard without feeling anxious. Break out pods and rest spaces have been coming for a while – slowly at first – but they are likely to make a big impression on office and fit out design through the year.


DG Contracts – Take a Look
We love what we do and we take pride in the quality of our work. Take a look across our site for more details. If you have any questions we would be pleased to answer them – just get in touch. We hope you have enjoyed this chapter article on Quality Management – check back for more upcoming content.


If you have a fit out or refurbishment need, we would be delighted to hear from you. Or if you have any questions about this article, please feel free to get in touch with the team at DG using our contacts page.
(click here)

Dale Greenhalgh - Managing Director
DG Contracts
07969 740086
dale@dgcontracts.co.uk

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DG Contracts - Managing Quality
Date Posted: 22-02-2017.

Managing Quality Standards – Some Key Themes
Here at DG, managing quality levels is a major part of our day-to-day work. We set off on tasks with the aim to deliver a final product to our clients that they can enjoy immediately following handover – with no ongoing issues. This breeds confidence in our process and our ethos and is managed by referring to our own code of practice from tender through to handover. There are many aspects which must be acknowledged as part of this, and this article can cover just a few of these as follows below. We will also cover further detail in future chapter articles on Quality Management. Enjoy the read, DG…


Partnering
Partnering promotes a collaborative relationship. This helps to manage the client’s expectations and – as we have found through our experience - provides a more rewarding experience for both parties. Partnering offers value for money for the client and improved work which has been based on a mutually agreed set of objectives. Right from the point of tendering, we work in a way that takes quality and places it at the forefront of our approach. Of course, we intend that a quality-first focus meets with a partnership-type arrangement through the delivery phase, which we always believe achieves a fantastic end product that is free of defects.


Barriers
We identify key barriers to achieving quality very early in the process, so that we can overcome them as quick as possible. Planning is central to this process. As an industry specialist, we recognise recurring barriers often include:

• Poorly defined specifications and a lack of definition in drawings
• Programme dictating ‘delivery-first’ as a marker
• Lack of multi-trade collaboration
• Invasive, destructive testing requirements which are not programmed early enough
• Material specs that miss best-in-class quality options

At DG, we always approach potential problem areas in the right mindset – focused on overcoming issues for our clients at all times and the above barriers are no different.


Approach
In the construction industry, standards and procedures are fundamental to our ability as a contractor to achieve outputs which are acceptable to clients. We take note of this theme every day. DG’s clients are foremost to our business. The approach we take to delivering quality for them reflects this, with the below considerations key to our thought process:

• What is the purpose of the procedure, i.e. the output?
• What are the key assessment points for our supervisors?
• What order and sequence of testing is appropriate?
• How can we deliver beyond just the client’s acceptance criteria?

We log the answers to such questions to make sure we are focused on delivering value for our clients. This is extremely important at DG.


Quality assurance and quality control
Quality assurance is ingrained in our projects, whilst quality control is the steps we take to ensure it. Both of these processes must be running alongside each other to guarantee the success of the project.

Our own quality control supervisors monitor progress throughout DG projects. If issues are identified, they are immediately rectified to ensure that defects are picked up and remedied throughout the delivery process. We track issues and produce status reports, protecting finished work from harm once it does meet our high standards.

Producing a high quality final product comes down to using best practice quality control methods throughout construction – overseen by our Directors and managed by our on-site supervision. This includes many aspects, including the below:

• Work in partnership with the client
• Identify any barriers to success early and plan to rectify
• Adhere to standards and processes at all times
• Employ quality assurance and control supervisors to oversee work from start to finish

We log the answers to such questions to make sure we are focused on delivering value for our clients. This is extremely important at DG.


DG Contracts – Take a Look
We love what we do and we take pride in the quality of our work. Take a look across our site for more details. If you have any questions we would be pleased to answer them – just get in touch. We hope you have enjoyed this chapter article on Quality Management – check back for more upcoming content.

If you have any questions, we would be pleased to hear from you.
(click here)

Dale Greenhalgh - Managing Director
DG Contracts
07969 740086
dale@dgcontracts.co.uk

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DG Contracts - How to beat the deadline with a best practice approach to project management
Date Posted: 09-01-2017.

How to beat the deadline with a best practice approach to project management
Meeting the client's objectives for a retail refurb or store fit out takes careful planning and monitoring throughout the project. We recognise the need to plan the work and then work the plan using a best practice approach throughout the major phases of the critical path.


Collaborative work practice gets the job done
Modern procurement procedures look beyond lowest price tendering towards more collaborative ways of working. Companies often work well in partnership and we have experience of working with our clients in this manner – this is something we feel adept at and our recent delivery of shop fit-out works has reinforced this. Partnering returns best value for money to the client, higher profits for contractors, improved quality and higher predictability for project completion – a clear Return on Investment (ROI) some would say. For example, DG have experience of collaborative working with other site contractors to establish a new programme of works that ensured we completed a pre-Christmas retail fit out one week ahead of schedule; this is something we are very proud of given the complexity of the scheme and the environment.


Managing expectation
The risk register is a key planning tool from inception to completion. We use the risk register to identify, assess and manage risk and to review it regularly throughout projects. At DG, the Risk Register is also used to manage client's expectations - for example, to warn of the risks of discovering asbestos in older buildings - by being proactive and having a contingency plan.


Planning the work schedule with the critical path
The critical path method of time and resource management gives us a clear visual depiction of the way the various elements of projects are held in balance, and how the impact of a delay at any stage in the path will impact our ability to meet completion dates. There are 6 key steps in the critical path which come into our thinking and planning:

1. Use of the work breakdown structure to identify each activity in the path
2. Establish the activity sequence: what activities are sequential? What activities are running in parallel?
3. Draw the critical path analysis chart or network diagram
4. Estimate completion time including a best, most likely and worst-case estimate
5. Identify the critical path - the one that will take the longest amount of time to complete
6. Update to show progress.



Crash and burn?
In order to intentionally compress project duration to meet deadline you can fast track sequential activities to be performed in parallel, or crash the critical path by adding more resources to complete an activity faster. Both approaches can sacrifice quality of work for speed and the deadline focus or can help to tighten deadlines and deliver a more efficient and cost-effective project.

The use of a properly resourced work schedule can bring clarity and focus to projects and clearly maps out the goals and milestone that teams need to reach and by what date. For example, for a refurbishment project we may need to schedule night works to minimise disruption, or phase the work across the whole building – working out from areas most sensitive and key to client. A constantly updated critical path is a useful communication tool to update management and the client team on completion schedules, helping to highlight and minimise disruptions and delays.


Tips for success

• Open lines of communication to all stakeholders and keep them open through a range of channels including email and mobile
• Use software tools to monitor and review costs, budgets, resource allocations and deadlines
• Plan and use the critical path to schedule work and create critical milestones
• Retain the right workforce to deliver service and quality across the critical path
• Fast track and crash with care to navigate the optimum route through the work schedule.

We are pleased with our performance in project and programme management and we are very pleased to have delivered to challenging programmes for our clients very recently.


DG Contracts - Connect with Us
If you have any project requirements which we could support you with, we would be delighted to hear from you. (click here)

Dale Greenhalgh - Managing Director
DG Contracts
07969 740086
dale@dgcontracts.co.uk

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DG Contracts - Attention to Retail
Date Posted: 30-11-2016.

Refurb and Refresh
We are passionate about delivering high quality works for our clients. Our experiences have taken us into some interesting buildings and places - each time working for client groups who approach capital investment in different ways, with different objectives and ways of working. Securing the desired output - in a manner which resonates with client’s expectations - is always at the forefront of our minds at DG Contracts. This is a large part of what makes us a trusted, repeat delivery partner for a range of clients seeking to invest in refurbishments and refreshments of all scales.


Invest in Change
Creating high end environments is something that we’re good at. Client’s goals often revolve around this. Crucial too is the financial overlay of seeking to maximise sales for the leanest capital outlay: an ethos which underpins commercial business; which we embrace in order to better understand our client’s drivers. Investment can be made in many ways and for a variety of reasons which flex in line with brand values. However, the top motivating reasons why businesses invest in their built assets as defined in research are as follows:

We must therefore we will… seeking to attract more footfall and greater levels of engagement with customers to drive up in-store spend or to enhance the working environment for staff.

The competition will if we don’t... being reactive to what happens in the market in terms of investment in assets by the competition which could draw existing sales away or impede the recruitment and retention of staff.

We seek a return on investment… spending in order to increase custom and generate more sales revenue. Investing on this basis demands a direct and measurable contribution to the bottom line of the investing business within a defined period of return.

DG Contracts understands that our clients have their own drivers for change, and we are well versed in working collaboratively to deliver what our clients need from us in order to derive the most from the investment.


Investment Decision
We know that our clients often have both ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’ drivers, and we want to do all we can to ensure the most applicable scheme is delivered. Broadly, two main fit-out types are considered by clients as follows:

Refurb - significant works to all elements ‘front of house’ for a complete overhaul of key areas of built assets, without significant modification to the ‘back of house’.

Refresh - works to the areas known to have the greatest impact on sales revenue, taking account of subtle, design-led improvements to eye catching areas of woodwork, flooring and signage for example.

Capital works in the commercial space can also form a combination of both refurb and refresh, which can present a viable delivery model as it enables client to utilise the leverage of volume and to achieve significant change quicker.


DG Contracts - Connect with Us
We work to deliver unique solutions for our clients, and we must be appreciative of individual drivers to be able to achieve this. Why not engage with us to understand how we can assist your business with portfolio investments in refurbs, refresh or other service area that we offer. You can review our suite of commercial sector services on our website. (click here)

Dale Greenhalgh - Managing Director
DG Contracts
07969 740086
dale@dgcontracts.co.uk

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DG Contracts - Attention to Retail
Date Posted: 24-10-2016.

Attention to Retail
DG Contracts’ origins are founded in the Retail Sector. Our Managing Director and Senior Management team formed the company whilst working on some of the UK High-street’s most notable stores. We believe this foundation is ingrained through everything we do - our deep understanding of the sector and attention to detail is what puts DG Contracts in front of our competitors and causes our clients to return, time-after-time.


A Sector Reinvented
The onset of the online shopping revolution over the past 10-15 years has seen consumer habits change and adapt to new technologies. As a result, the forward-thinking retail industry has had to quickly adapt to these changes to ensure they are capturing the attention and imagination of both new and existing consumers. Whilst online consumption has continued to soar, the lines between the online & off-line world have become blurred, with innovative retailers integrating mobile use into the brick-and-mortar store experience in a bid to regain footfall. The creation of these unique experiences is now key to gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace - with brands using technology to not only reduce in-store inconvenience but enhance personalised engagement.


How DG Contracts work with our clients
DG Contracts understands that the design and ‘feel’ of a store is key to the consumer experience. Our knowledge and expertise has been demonstrated consistently when working with High-street brands such as Holland & Barrett and Costa Coffee. We’re generally asked to work with the design team to assist in the schemes development, providing valuable insight into the practicalities of the build and the benefits of using certain materials to create the desired effect. Due to our cross-brand experience we’re able to bring the most up-to-date and innovative ideas to influence and compliment the design of the store - something which has proven invaluable to our development.

You can take a look at our Commercial Projects to see the calibre of schemes we have delivered for our clients.
(click here)


The DG Contracts Experience - Why choose us?
DG Contracts work with both local and National businesses to create these unique consumer experiences. We can provide a full turnkey service from design assistance at the outset through to the manufacture of custom built ‘points-of-purchase’ (POP’s). DG Contracts will deliver all elements of the scheme, engaging all the necessary trades, which removes the clients’ need to personally project manage the build and engage with numerous points of contact.

Our team ensure that we place as much energy and quality into the customer experience throughout the project as we do into the finished product. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations through an open and collaborative ethos which extends throughout our Company at each and every level.

Why not contact DG Contracts today to see how we can assist your business in creating a unique customer experience which communicates the essence of your brand. You can read about the DG Contracts client engagement process on our website.
(click here)

Dale Greenhalgh - Managing Director
DG Contracts
07969 740086
dale@dgcontracts.co.uk

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Telephone: 01704 229 125 - Mobile: 07969 740086

For more information, please contact us at:

DG Joinery & Building Contractors Limited.
1st Floor, 8-12 London Street,
Southport,
Merseyside,
PR9 0UE.

Company Number: 07904677