Client Stories

Harrold Construction

Location

Harrold Construction is registered and based in Broome but services the wider Kimberley area. Over the last three years it has worked extensively in Fitzroy Crossing and the Dampier Peninsula.

As the name suggests, the business builds things, but also renovates, improves and enhances existing structures.

Background

The business was started by qualified carpenter, Tom Harrold and his partner Tiarna Pigram. Tiarna is a proud Yawuru woman.

Some 15 years ago Tom was working for a local Broome builder and decided to ‘have a go’ by himself. The journey from there, as a Sole Trader, to where he is today with Harrold Construction, is inspiring and the outcome of determination and lots of hard work.

Challenges

Just being a more than competent chippie does not automatically pave the way to business growth and success. Tom and Tiarna (who is the business manager for Harrold Construction) started to understand this as their business grew. Challenges arose, the majority unexpected.

Pricing to achieve market competitiveness but also profitability for their business was very important. Understanding and securing the necessary insurance covers was a new experience. Tendering for work and comprehending often complex contractual agreements created headaches and took up valuable time that the directors would have preferred to devote to working in the business.

Tom and Tiarna took the business to a position where it demanded the structure of a limited company, and they needed advice to achieve this and help with all the necessary commitments it brought with it.

The company grew and had to juggle increasing demands on everything from resources to cashflow and tendering/winning business. This was exciting but also a little scary. Just when they would sort out a new challenge another would ‘loom’. Finding the time to identify the issue and then create a successful solution was taxing and tiring.

And sometimes it even felt like it was getting too much. Was there someone to reach out to assist?

A friend referred them to Morrgul.

Where and how Morrgul assisted.

Tom and Tiarna initially contacted Morrgul which supported Harrold Construction through the DPIRD Aboriginal Procurement Advisory Service (APAS) contract.

Morrgul helped with:

  1. Advice to establish a company and transition from a sole trader.
  2. Referral to a new accountant
  3. Pricing/costing, OH&S and insurances
  4. A pricing model that took into account business overheads and also allowed for a fair profit margin
  5. Help in completing and winning tenders.
  6. Cash flow advice
  7. Referral and instruction regarding business decisions and support in reviewing and signing contracts
  8. Always only a phone call away from receiving sound and practical advice

What’s APAS?

APAS is dedicated to helping deliver the WA Government’s targets for its agencies to buy goods and services from registered Aboriginal businesses.

Over the next five years the advisory service is projected to help secure more than $50 million in Aboriginal procurement contracts. Morrgul was appointed by DPIRD to deliver APAS right across regional WA.

It is working and changing the lives of so many Aboriginal people for the better.

Results

Harrold Construction secured work during the Covid pandemic.  They worked for WA Country Health constructing ‘covid safe’ treatment spaces in hospitals and medical centres in west Kimberley.

Other work involved repairing and maintaining staff housing for health workers. Tom and Tiarna had to muster a range of skilled trades including plumbers, painters and electricians. This fast-tracked their learning on staff management, planning and logistics and the timely supply of materials (something always a challenge in remote areas).

Then the floods in Fitzroy Crossing created massive damage, ironically some of it to the dwellings Harrold Construction had already worked on.  They won contracts with the Department of Communities and Department of Finance to renovate, or in many cases, totally re-build flood impacted houses. There was also a big push on improving security in the housing and Harrold Construction worked from Broome to Derby and Fitzroy Crossing as well as the Dampier Peninsula.

The growth in the business has allowed Tom and Tiarna to invest in a truck. This created a competitive advantage as it removed so much reliance on external transport suppliers. They have also taken on a full-time employee. He is an electrician and Aboriginal. The business is also on the lookout for an apprentice.

The business has never been ‘busier’ and Tom decided against signage on the new truck as he simply does not want or need any new business enquires!

What differences have Morrgul and APAS made to your business?

Tom Harrold said:

“Morrgul has been a great support and so important in helping the growth and transition of the business from a small sole trader to a vibrant and very busy company. They have helped in many areas. I don’t think we’d be where we are today without Morrgul’s contributions.”

BEFORE

AFTER

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