Business feature: The Best of the Best

Todd Bacon and Andrew Fisher stand in front of the new CORA nearing completion at the University of Newcastle Ourimbah campus.
Todd Bacon and Andrew Fisher stand in front of the new CORA nearing completion at the University of Newcastle Ourimbah campus.

As the name suggests inclusion is second nature to Collaborative. The commercial building company is just three years old and has experienced over 200 per cent year on year growth since it began. Commercial Manager, Andrew Fisher says much of their early success is the focus on inclusion, both within the firm and to clients.

“The industry has shifted to a new paradigm and we have in essence, built our business around that. No longer is the process about separating a project with the client on one side of the table and the builder on the other, it’s about integrating skill sets and inviting feedback from all involved to achieve the best solution,” Andrew begins.

“I think our approach enables us to deliver more complex projects in a more efficient time frame. I believe that when people work together the process becomes far more fluid.” 

Andrew and Managing Director Todd Bacon have over 41years experience in project management between them, providing the foundations for the business when it first launched.

While best practice is undoubtedly their winning formula, Andrew also says working in Newcastle and the Hunter Region has also significantly contributed to their growth.

“Newcastle and its surrounds is a great place to be, there’s a lot happening and right now I feel like it’s solid, not bubbly growth. Newcastle has been described as always having great potential but perhaps a bit flat footed, that’s changing now. The Light Rail, Precinct Revitalisation and the numerous University projects are great examples of what’s driving Newcastle’s success,” 

Working with clients such as Stockland, the University of Newcastle, Westfield and a growing list of  projects in the education, retail and industrial markets, Collaborative has dominated in its field, earning itself a ninth position in the AFR Fast Starters this year and one of the fastest growing construction companies in Australia.

With a staff of 37, Andrew, Todd and the management team have built a culture of transparency that echoes their approach to business and has contributed to an impressive staff retention of over 90 per cent.

“There are 2 factors we think are key, first is hygiene - good working conditions and competitive packages, you have to get that bit right. The second is being an empathetic and motivating employer, providing progression in a flexible environment, encouraging people to run their own day as long as the work is done and delivered to the standard we expect.”

As they near their revenue target, the long term focus will be on improvement.

“We will always be looking at ways we can improve what we do, how we work and the value we can build  for our clients and staff - that will remain a constant.”