Surpassing ceilings to success
CEILWALL’S 20-year success is due to its longstanding relationships with clients, staff and suppliers for which the company is grateful, according to managing director, Tim Norris.
Without dependable employees, satisfied customers and trustworthy suppliers Ceilwall would not be celebrating 20th Anniversary of being in business.
“The fact that we have longstanding relationships with most of our clients, staff and suppliers is the basis of our sustainability as a company,”
“Relationships are not only important to us, but are the foundation on which Ceilwall stands. Our relationships are built on the quality of our service to customers, loyalty to employees and integrity as installers of our suppliers’ products.
“We see all these relationships as integral to the success of Ceilwall, which is a specialist ceiling and partitioning company.”
Ceilwall is an innovative, service orientated company that operates from an office in Airport City, Cape Town with a labour force that has grown from around 20 in 1997 to 300 today.
“We provide a high level of service to contractors and clients. Dedication to getting the job done properly and on time is an essential element in the way we operate our business.
“We focus on doing the fundamentals well – providing quality workmanship, excellent service at a competitive price – those are the fundamentals of our business.
“We are able to execute both large contracts for hospitals, office blocks, hotels, shopping centres, schools, sports stadiums, universities and housing developments, and small jobs in private homes with the same dedication to completing the work in a professional and timeous manner.”
Norris says senior management are hands-on and spend much of the working day visiting sites making sure that the standards of workmanship is maintained, any problems are resolved, and that deadlines are met, which is an important aspect of the business.
“We have a company structure that ensures there is key management involved in every single job we do, so that there is always somebody on hand for the client to liaise with.
“We strive to make sure that our contracts are in line with our clients’ programming and that we meet our delivery dates. Working within the turnaround times of con- tracts is one of Ceilwall’s strengths.
“Our clients are able to depend on us, which is one of the main reasons that we receive work regularly from our client base.
“We like to think that the size of the job is not as important as the need for Ceilwall to maintain its relationships with clients.
“There is no job too small or too big for us to handle in a professional manner,” he adds.
Norris explains that timing and meeting deadlines is crucial, because Ceilwall works hand in hand with many other trades on a contract, from electrical to plumbing and shop-fitting, many of whom can only start their work after Ceilwall has completed its part of the contract.
A measure of Ceilwall’s reliability is the fact the company has completed more than 5 500 contracts over the last 20 years. These vary in size from a few-hour installation of a small geyser to a multi-million rand contract for the refurbishment of a hospital that takes a few years.
With the advance in materials and properties for dry walls and ceilings with regard to acoustics and fire-rated systems specifications have changed, as has the need to keep up to date with procedures for installation.
Ceilwall places an emphasis on making sure staff and sub-contractors are up-to-date with the latest techniques in accordance with the requirements of a particular job and the manufacturers’ specifications.
“It is a constant process of training personnel, especially site personnel, and trying to draw young tradesmen into the business to ensure we have the continuity of skills and qualified labour in the organisation to produce the quality required.
“As a preferred installer it is vital that our supplier trusts Ceilwall to install their product according to specification.
“Likewise, Ceilwall ensures that internal disciplines and systems are in place and up-to-date to meet the requirements of any of our clients on any size or type of contract.
“We are prepared to go the extra mile to meet the end objective of any particular project.” Ceilwall offers the following services:■ Suspended ceilings – all commercial applications; ■ Partitions – drywall and demountable; ■ Skimmed ceilings – suspended and brandered; ■ Sound proofing and acoustic applications; ■ Wall papering to partitions and walls; ■ Decorative moulding, for vaults, domes and columns; ■ Plastering and wall skimming – cement moulding; and ■ Painting.
“Although the bulk of Ceilwall’s work is in the Western Cape, the company ventures as far afield as Northern Cape, Gauteng, Namibia and Mozambique with the intension of expanding operations further into Africa.
While Ceilwall experienced a record year in 2016, Norris says this year conditions are more challenging with volumes down. However, there are some large contracts in the pipeline between 2018 and 2020.
The legislation and regulatory requirements have also tightened over the last few years with Building Industrial Bargaining Council compliancy, medicals and safety protocols critical on each site.
“We are also paying more attention to environmental issues such as recycling waste material and ensuring that waste materials are separated at source before going to the landfill,” says Norris.
While Ceilwall is extremely positive for the future, Norris contends that in a highly competitive market it is essential that quality, service and pricing is maintained going forward.