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Lex Henning, managing director of premier civil engineering firm Civcon, tells Jane Bordenave how his company has achieved 30 years of excellence in civil engineering construction future the Engineering 58 www. bus- ex. com February 10

Civcon in its work is very comprehensive, covering project management and client feedback, staff training, supply chain management and health and safety. Overseeing the quality of each job is a continual process for Civcon, starting before construction begins and carrying on after the project has been completed. " For each contract, we begin by establishing a quality plan, which we then oversee in- house. We also have this audited on a monthly basis to ensure that we are on top of everything and nothing slips," says Henning. While this process continues throughout the build, one of the most important parts of the quality control feedback is the customer satisfaction questionnaire delivered to the client on completion. " Our aim is always to get 100 per cent in this questionnaire. When a client is happy enough with our work to say there could be no improvements at all, that is when we know it is a job well done." However, questionnaires returned with suggested improvements are equally important to Civcon. " Communication is absolutely key to success and is of utmost importance in our company," explains Henning. " Responses we receive from our clients that highlight areas for improvement or things that we could have done differently are published on our internal computer network. This is accessible to all staff at all times so that we can all learn from mistakes that have been made in the past." future Engineering February 10 www. bus- ex. com 59 O ver the past 30 years, Civcon has established itself as the leading light in southern Africa's civil engineering industry. Established in 1980, the firm grew from a small operation in the South African gold mining town of Welkom to a company with a revenue of nearly $ 53 million, working all over southern Africa and as far north as Nigeria. " When the business was founded, Welkom was a gold mining boom town," says Henning. " Civil engineering for the mining industry is where we started out, and is still an important part of our business." Indeed, the company's 30th anniversary celebrations on 1 March this year will be recognition of its long- lasting client relationships, as well as the longevity of the enterprise itself- Civcon counts among its long- term customers companies such as Anglo American, Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum. This kind of customer fidelity, especially when dealing with such large, international entities, requires a company to work hard to maintain its leading edge. Henning makes no secret of how his company has made itself stand out as the leader in its field. " We are absolutely committed to 100 per cent customer satisfaction; that is what we want from every job. We have been ISO 9001: 2009 certified for five years now and we go out of our way to ensure that our work is not only compliant with this certification but that it exceeds these requirements." The company's strategy for maintaining excellence