Haden Building Products

Established in 1816, by two ex-employees of James Watt’s engineering works, as a building services engineering company, Haden is now the facilities management (FM) arm of Balfour Beatty, the multi-billion pound international engineering, construction and services group
Haden, building for the future

Haden’s goal is to become an increasingly significant part of Balfour Beatty’s group, explains Kevin Craven

Established in 1816, by two ex-employees of James Watt’s engineering works, as a building services engineering company, Haden is now the facilities management (FM) arm of Balfour Beatty, the multi-billion pound international engineering, construction and services group.

Haden Sept Oct 07 bEmploying more than 10,000 people, Haden Building Management provides facilities management and business support services to both public and private sectors, delivering an inclusive service covering single and multi-service contracts estates that range in size from individual buildings to multi-site, national
portfolios of several thousand sites. From its early days as a supplier of building services maintenance, Haden has grown into an expert provider of integrated support services.

Recent multi-million pound contract wins in central government, utilities, and police markets have demonstrated how the company has changed in recent years, whilst still maintaining its total focus on the customer.

“We understand that every customer is different, with unique needs,” explains Kevin Craven, the company’s managing director. “This understanding and our dynamic business approach enables us to offer the services customers want and has led to us to being recognised as a market leader in the provision of FM.”

Haden provides services as diverse as fabric maintenance, catering, cleaning, post opening and fleet management. Many customers still view the company as a building
services contractor. The facts indicate otherwise. For example, Haden answers and directs 50 million telephone calls, opens more than 70 million items of post, and serves three million meals each year.

The Haden offer is truly dynamic, focusing on providing what is needed, where it is needed. The company continually evolves to match changing business needs, anticipate any new ones and offers proactive, rather than reactive solutions to meet them.

“I believe that our strength lies, in our engineering heritage,” says Kevin. “Our engineering strength and technical competence has been the foundation on which we’ve built a business.”

He adds: “Quality is our way of life – it is what we are all about. We are caring, creative and committed to communicating. This philosophy is central to everything we do.”

Haden’s success shows that it truly does care. It strives to understand its customers’ businesses and supports what they need to do. It also creates value by continually looking for ways to make its service more effective and efficient and communicates actively by listening to customers and responding to their needs in the right manners keeping them informed and updated.

“Facilities management is about more than looking after our customer’s buildings,” explains Kevin. “We are there to facilitate their business. We enable the customer to do what they do best, and specifically, to facilitate the changes that organisations constantly need to make to their operations.”

He continues: “Our goal, as with any successful business, is to grow strongly because growth will provide not only opportunities as a business, but also opportunities for our people,” says Kevin. “In terms of our vision we are aiming to be one of the UK’s top three players in the FM market, and in doing so we want to continue to build our other service expertise in areas outside of our technical heritage. We want to be viewed as just as good in providing our other services as we are in the technical area.Haden Sept Oct 07 c

“It is an exciting time for us. The whole market place is growing as you would expect. But, what we call total FM, or integrated FM, where two or more of these services are bundled together, is growing at about double the rate of the economy. Equally, customers are consolidating their services and supply chains. So, there is significant opportunity for companies with the scale and complexity to be able to handle these very large-scale contracts and customer needs.”

Moving forward, Kevin believes that with the great opportunities within the FM market, Haden could double in size over the next few years: “The company will continue, as it has done in previous years, to invest in developing both capability and expertise in existing, new and emerging areas,” he states.

“Ultimately, my ambition is for Haden to become an increasingly significant part of Balfour Beatty’s group capability and profile. Balfour Beatty is primarily known for construction type activities, though increasingly the ability to deliver very large change projects is coming to the fore. We would like to add a third string to their bow in terms of the support services and become an integral part of the Balfour Beatty Service offering.

“We are in the fortunate position of being very successful with our organic growth. We grew by some 23 per cent last year and are looking to repeat that success next year. However, we have to make sure that our capability keeps pace with our growth, so we believe that it will be appropriate to make some small capability acquisitions.

He concludes: “Our mission has always been to be recognised as a creative business-to-business service provider. This has made us an undoubted success. The strength and depth of our technical resources and ability to address the needs of customers has also given us the credibility necessary to succeed. Additionally, being part of the Balfour Beatty group gives customers confidence in our ability to manage whatever they throw at us regardless of the size or complexity. I think ultimately though, we listen to the needs of our customers and act on them.”

With a number of possible acquisitions and large contracts on the horizon, the future looks bright for Haden. The company is currently moving forward with ambition and at a rapid pace, so keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks and months.