Doron Construction: getting ahead of the industry curve...
Doron Construction is looking forward to enhancing the good reputation it has built up after just eight years in the industry, with a number of large projects on the horizon and in process.
These projects include being appointed the managing contractor for the construction of an extension of a tailings processing plant with Dikgosi Tailings Processing, the construction of two eight mega litre reservoirs, pump station and the associated infrastructure, as well as plenty of mining-related activities.
Christo Smit, Managing Director at Doron Construction, said: “We started the company in 2007 with the vision to distinguish ourselves in the construction industry through quality and integrity. We set our vision from the beginning to become one of the larger construction firms and we never allowed the difficult times to distract us from our vision.
“We have worked hard to grow to a company where clients invite us to participate in projects or to tender for projects. We have built a business profile of successful projects and we retained the human capital that was developed through this period.
“Looking forward, we are aiming to increase our involvement in the mining sector by increasing our client base and by becoming involved in contracts that has a longer duration than the normal construction contracts.”
Dikgosi Tailings Processing recently acquired 51 percent of the shares of the company, and it subsequently appointed three new directors. Smit believes their experience will make the management team even stronger in order to support the additional growth that is expected through their marketing and projects that will spawned through the group of companies they are involved with.
Focusing on the various stakeholders of the firm is one of the most important principles for Doron now and going forward. Frequent feedback sessions are scheduled with shareholders in order to set goals and re-establish the vision and medium-term goals. Good client relations are obviously crucial too, and the company has learned to effectively serve its client whilst simultaneously protecting its own business interests.
Smit said: “We see our employees as assets and they are the people who are turning the wheel. Enhanced performance assists the growth and profitability eventually. Therefore it is the responsibility of the directors to ensure that our employees are positive and that they undergo continuous improvement.
“We are viewing our suppliers as our partners and it is important for us to continuously improve our supplier base, as well as becoming increasingly better clients to our suppliers.
“Two years ago we invested in the use of an Integrated Cost Management Software including estimating, planning, project control, cost management and enterprise accounting, enabling us to control and record all aspects of the company from inception to completion on an integrated system. We are continuously implementing and improving the use of the software throughout the company through internal workshops, training and increasing the number of users on the system.
“To that end, our approach to project management and project execution is becoming leaner and we are continuously improving as we learn through each project. We have developed internal manuals with regards to all processes of construction from plant/fleet management to casting of concrete. We are now ready to take it further and to engage in Lean Six Sigma.”
Doron’s biggest income stream at the moment involves the civil construction projects at various mines across South Africa. The company has worked with major clients such as Platinum Group Metals at Maseve Mine, Rustenburg where the company were contracted to build the front end concrete structures, the plant buildings, high security fencing and all the plant infrastructure pipelines including three one mega litre reservoirs. This is well as working with Anglo Gold Ashanti, Northam Platinum and DRA South Africa. Despite this success, Doron likes to supplement these larger, more sporadic works with more frequent concrete and water projects.
“We have gained a lot of experience in water and concrete structures, reservoirs, sewage treatment on top of our pleasing mine activities and we are even moving focus to solar plants.” said Smit. “In terms of our work with local authorities in erecting water retaining structures, we adapted to the narrow tolerances whilst keeping to the program through planning, organising, leading and control of the construction projects.”
“Our construction at a platinum mine involve concrete structures of the plant, structural steel, plant buildings, high security fences, potable and fire water pipelines, reservoirs, sewage water pipelines and the communication sleeves. We also have a diverse plant and equipment hire range which is prospering and provides us with another revenue stream.”
Investments and development
There is a yearly budget for training which results to approximately 3 percent of Doron’s overall payroll, meaning there is tangible ongoing investment on employee skills. It has monthly internal training sessions and external training is focused on estimating, costs control, project management, procurement, fleet management, store control and technical knowledge.
Doron also utilise a minimum of 60 percent of local labour on all construction projects. The local labour undergoes daily inductions and are supervised with a team leader and skilled labour who give them on the job training.
Smit concluded: “Overall we are happy with the way our business is going. We have recently moved to new premises where the different departments will have space to establish themselves. The offices will have sufficient space for training and a conference facility. Not only that, but we will continue to invest in gaining and maintaining a skilled workforce and intend to continuously improve our plant and vehicles.”