Geomarine is the largest civil engineering contractor in the Channel Islands. Its purpose is to provide world-class engineering locally. The organisation is comprised of 80 staff members, which includes engineers, geologists, quantity surveyors and other support functions.
Phil Horsley joined Geomarine as Managing Director in 2010, when the business had around 30 employees. Following this period of significant and sustained growth, Phil wanted to ensure that Geomarine was running as efficiently as possible, and that all ways of working were appropriate for the growing business.
Phil enrolled himself and his office manager on Jersey Business’ Business Improvement Programme, hoping for the chance to gain a fresh perspective on his business.
‘As our organisation grew, our systems and processes developed iteratively, and I began to suspect that there were better and simpler ways to do things. I wanted to be able to look at Geomarine as the business is now, with a fresh pair of eyes and the opportunity to focus.’
Approaching the programme with an open mind, the first workshop helped Phil to determine where he should centre his attention.
‘We had one internal process, to do with purchasing materials, that appeared perfectly simple but just wasn’t being followed. Given the opportunity to analyse it using the tools from the course, it soon became apparent that it was over-complicated, so we set about changing it. This programme helped to get my blinkers off and challenge my assumptions.’
Throughout the programme, delegates are equipped with the tools they need to understand change management, helping them to create an environment for continuous improvement within their organisations. For Phil, this involved considering all stakeholders impacted by each process, gaining their feedback and insight as well as his own observations and experience.
‘Though during the course of the programme we focused on one area for improvement, I have also developed new skills and ways of thinking about change and productivity. It’s now easier to determine when something isn’t working in the way it should, and what we can do about it.’
Phil has since enrolled four other colleagues onto the Business Improvement Programme. This, he says, has helped them to develop a common language and shared ways of thinking.
‘I don’t think there is a single business that wouldn’t benefit from this course. My cohort included people from several different industries, and all of us were able to leave with something valuable. There is always something that can be improved upon.’
Find our more and express your interest in the Business Improvement Programme here.