OCS has had a strong 12 months in both New Zealand and Australia and its leader is confident about the future for the full-service facilities management company.
OCS Australia has experienced good growth in the year to date, with its full-year turnover and profit (EBITDA) expected to be significantly up from last year.
The New Zealand business has also grown, despite its already-strong market share. OCS (NZ) is forecasting profit to finish the year slightly up on 2018, despite higher labour costs.
OCS ANZ Managing Director, Gareth Marriott, says the results are very pleasing, with the Australian turnaround providing a strong endorsement for the company’s strategic direction.
Mr Marriott says the business has a focused leadership team, who are working hard to create opportunities and drive investment in improved capability, excellent service and culture, all of which are embedded in strong values.
He says this puts OCS ANZ on track for further growth and a sustainable and ethical business for the future.
“We’ve seen some major transformation on a number of fronts, and we are expanding both in terms of new customers and by increasing the range of services we provide.
“Business transformation can be costly, but we’ve managed it effectively and efficiently and Australia is now in a strong position and moving forward.”
In the past 18 months, OCS Australia has restructured the business, making a number of operational and back office changes which have significantly reduced the cost of doing business, without affecting service excellence. It has also increased its returns to its UK-based family-shareholders.
An example is the recent overhaul of OCS’ finance and administrative systems onto a single SAP platform, which won Financial Innovation Project of the Year at the 2019 CFO awards.
OCS has also gained significant new business in areas where it already has a strong track record, such as hard and soft services in the aviation sector.
Mr Marriott says the broader industry is facing a number of issues in Australia and New Zealand, especially in terms of price undercutting.
“High levels of service performance and accountability are at the heart of what we do at OCS.
“Fortunately, we have strong relationships with clients who recognise the value and expertise of a top-performing partner.
“Delivering on what we promise and maintaining standards of excellence are vital. We continue to do this despite the presence of less-committed operators who may undercut quotes to win contracts, but are not able to follow through with necessary expertise and service standards.
“This is a problem for our entire industry, because clients and quality operators all pay the price, while the impact can also be felt in wider communities.”
Mr Marriott says because people are at the heart of the business, retaining good team members and being able to showcase the industry as a long-term career choice are important priorities, especially in a competitive job market.
“Recruitment and retention are ongoing challenges in the current tight market, so we are focused on developing our people and providing a career path to create strong and productive teams. There’s real value in being an employer of choice.”
In addition, the ANZ business is looking to cement its position as an industry leader in sustainability.
OCS New Zealand is part of The Sustainable Business Council and the Climate Leaders Coalition and has implemented a number of initiatives which are improving both OCS’ own environmental footprint and those of its partners.
OCS Australia is making use of the insights gained in New Zealand and amongst the global business to roll out several major waste minimisation programmes, along with smaller site-specific initiatives such as the use of smart bins and chemical-free cleaning.
“The benefit of our Trans Tasman operation is that insights gained in either country can be leveraged across the business and we can make changes more efficiently and with less risk.”
The success and expansion of the subsidiary Midcity business is another area of focus and opportunity.
Midcity undertakes a variety of construction and building repair work. It has historically provided insurance repairs in Western Australia only, but under the OCS umbrella it is expanding both its geographic footprint and range of service offerings.
“Midcity is continuing to make exceptional progress and there are obvious benefits to our clients for OCS to have expertise in the building and repairs sector. Construction is an area where you need real trust, skilled expertise and top-quality outcomes, and that’s what Midcity is delivering.”
Midcity is now operating in NSW and plans to expand across Australia with its teams working under the same roof as OCS in suitable sites.
“This will provide even greater efficiency for OCS and its clients.”