Unique Magazines Interview

Issue 103

Daniel Wade - Wade Construction Management Consultants

How did you end up building a construction management company?

I’d worked for a large Tier 1 company for 10 years. I’d been able to see and work on some incredible projects, shaping communities and learning different ways of working. However, I knew that I wanted to develop something different, taking what I had learned and combining it with what I wanted to achieve – I built Wade Construction Management Consultants.

The business operates on a collaborative delivery model – the same one that helped build the Empire State Building in New York, in record time. This model brings together the most effective ways of working, shortening project timelines, but most importantly – without compromising on quality, safety or putting businesses in the supply chain at risk too.

Anyone who knows me, knows I work on a basis of open communication – and that’s the way Wade operates too, providing significantly more transparency and trust between the partners, alleviating risk whilst delivering maximum efficiencies. I saw a gap in the market for something like this, started Wade and here we are, proving it works and that it works well.

Who or what inspires you?

Honestly, I am inspired by supporting change in the industry. I know that might sound pretty lofty, but ultimately, it needs to change. Time and time again, I am speaking with companies that report the same issues with project delivery, and the issues they are facing are breakdown in communications, being over-promised by contractors who then under-deliver and that impact is massive. Working collaboratively shouldn’t be novel, it should be the norm – and that’s what I and my team are trying to do. There have been casualties in the supply chain caused in part by Tier 1 companies ultimately facilitating their downfall through crushingly long payment terms, ambiguous project briefs and their expectations being hugely mismanaged. We don’t do that at Wade – it’s not fair or right, and can kill companies – why is that now an accepted way of working? It’s not right – and I want to change it.

Alongside my professional inspiration, I am hugely inspired by my relationships. I am lucky to be surrounded by incredible people both at home and at work that keep me focussed, and pretty humble too!

What advice would you give to anyone interested in getting into the construction business?

Don’t underestimate any challenges you face – construction is an ever-evolving industry so every day something new will land with you that you need to deal with immediately, and sometimes, it’s the unsuspecting queries that have the biggest, or longest impact. Always understand that cashflow is king and that you need great people in your roles – no matter what the position. We are built on communication and collaboration, and that is unstable when the wrong people are in the company. Hire right, you’ll be fine.

And one final one – find your own understanding of Cost and Value – they are two very separate concepts, and you should never underestimate the value of your own expertise, for example. Value is something much bigger than the pounds and pence at the bottom of a page. Knowing the difference is crucial to survival.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Such a hard question to pinpoint one answer for! Ultimately, for me, it comes down to knowing that we are making a difference as a business – accelerating the delivery of medicine or safeguarding companies in the supply chain etc – it all has real impact and that is incredible.

I also love the team, and actually seeing our projects coming to life; seeing different cultures as a global business now and understanding how we align values to deliver great projects is phenomenal. Basically, I love what I do.

What has been your most memorable business moment?

There have been multiple! Last year I won the Emerging Talent award with the Entrepreneurs’ Forum which was incredible – and it was fantastic to have my wife, Sophie, by my side on the night too. But also, the business was a shortlisted finalist in the Consultancy of the Year category Construction News Awards too. Even though we didn’t win, I was able to look around our table on the night and could see just how much the team wanted it. It shows we share the same vision, and THAT is a moment I’ll treasure.

What are your favourite magazines?

It’s quite rare I get to read any. It used to be Men’s Health when I was fitter(!). But I also like to look through some of the specialist publications for Construction, and regional interest ones too, such as Northern Insight.

What’s the future hold for Daniel Wade and Wade Construction Management Consultants?

We are a now global business, operating in 19 countries across the EMEA, Americas and AsiaPac. Our vision is to continue with our growth model, delivering high quality collaborative projects that are aligned to client goals. I want to see the Wade way of working help improve industry standards, raise aspirations and I want the team to be able to thrive doing it too.

We have also undertaken The Wade Academy too, which is designed to train entrants to the industry in more sustainable and collaborative practices, as well as upskill and develop our existing staff too. Over time I hope to be able to open this up to the industry as a not-for-profit organisation that will raise standards in its own way too. Last year we took our first learner into the Academy, Rees, and he is doing very well. And we are preparing another intake in September this year.

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