Tue, 14/04/2015 - 12:35
Current Issue 41
Unwavering Commitment to World-Class Standards
With a long-term goal to become more involved in some of Singapore’s major infrastructure projects, Hwa Seng Builder strives to emerge as a leader in civil engineering
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Arron Rampling
Although a relatively young company, Singapore-based Hwa Seng Builder Pte Ltd (HSB) has already made a name for itself as a leading, award-winning provider of civil engineering and construction in Singapore; and is eager to become more competitive this year in order to win new projects.
According to Thomas Ng, HSB Managing Director, in the years since its founding in 1992, the Group has grown to become a force to be reckoned with in a number of fields across its three subsidiaries; Hwa Seng Builder Pte Ltd, Hwa Seng Investment Pte Ltd and CNH Investment Pte Ltd.
“We work on a wide range of infrastructure projects such as building expressways, runways, bridges, road and drainage systems; golf courses and all other works and general building construction. We also have subsidiaries which deal with property development, particularly private apartments,” Ng said.
HSB was originally established as a way of tapping into local technical know-how, expertise and resources. Now, the company has become a go-to provider for the region thanks to the consistent high level of quality it is able to provide.
“We have two decades of experience working in Singapore,” Ng said, demonstrating a clear understanding of the ingredients needed to see the company succeed. “We have wide ranging experience in the field and a team of expert professionals and management who are committed to their tasks and know the market well, so we’re able to retain a competitive position in the market.”
After celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012, HSB’s expertise is backed by an extensive project portfolio developed over the years, while carefully managing its health and safety regulations and other key internal policies. The firm’s sound track record and financial standing ensure it has the financial abilities to realise the most ambitious projects possible and has led to it completing numerous projects and winning major industry awards.
In line with this, HSB is now registered with the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore with an A1 class rating for civil engineering, and its world-class standards of service and quality are reflected in several awards and certifications including; ISO 9001, ISO 14001, Bs OHSAS 18001, BizSAFE STAR, LTA Certificate of Merit for Construction Environmental award, LTA Safety Excellence award, LTA safety award 2013 for Accident Free man-hours and BCA Green & Gracious award.
Raising the game
Although the Singapore construction industry has been experiencing a downturn of late, HSB is adapting its strategy accordingly in order to stay on top. “We’ve had to become more competitive,” added Ng. “The government has recently made a number of announcements regarding big projects for the transport system so there are a number of exciting opportunities available over the next few years.”
To make the most of these newly emerging opportunities, HSB is building on the excellent reputation it has with customers and suppliers alike, making the most of both its strong financial position and expert talent. “We have undertaken civil engineering projects that are worth millions for the government in the past, and have already worked with prestige developers on private projects,”
Perhaps most fundamental to the company’s strategy to become more competitive is the backing of an experienced, competent team. HSB uses its own in-house talent to provide an end-to-end service that ensures exacting high standards are met and its reputation maintained. Its workforce is not only talented but highly motivated, with a great sense of pride in their work. Their approach is personified by efficient project management using the latest techniques and technology, with quality workmanship completed on time and to budget.
HSB does this by ensuring the workforce feels empowered to come up with innovative solutions and lateral thinking, to deliver first-class results. “We invest in our staff by sending them for training and trying to create a career path for those with potential,” Ng proudly discussed. “We also have some company activities outside of work so they feel there’s a work-life balance.”
Sourcing only the best talent can be expensive and Ng admitted this has been one of the biggest challenges in maintaining HSB’s reputation for quality. “The increase in labour costs has been a big challenge for us. Most of our projects take three to five years, and during that time the cost of labour can increase by as much as 10 to 15 percent a year. So that makes things difficult during the tendering stage.
“To manage this issue we have to try to get jobs with short durations to reduce our exposure to rising costs. If we take longer duration contracts we have to be careful to take into account cost fluctuations.”
Setting the bar high
With Singapore’s government aiming to invest further funding into the country’s infrastructure, HSB is aiming to take on some substantial projects in the near future and even widen the Group’s reach to other parts of Asia.
“In the long-term we’re looking to become more involved in Singapore’s major projects, we’re trying to be the leading civil engineering contractor here. However, we will not rule out the possibility of expanding further afield,” Ng explained.
Wherever the location and whatever the size of the project, HSB will remain true its mission statement, to remain dedicated to every customer’s satisfaction, pledging themselves to a corporate policy of responding sensitively to their customers’ progressive needs.
The firm is absolutely dedicated to completing projects on time while continuously improving the quality and cost effectiveness of their processes. With the right attitude to work and a growing reputation, it will continue to build strong business relationships with customers and suppliers long into the future.
For further information, visit www.hwaseng.com.sg