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Entry Criteria

  1. 1. Business summaryValue 5 points

    Please provide a brief history and summary of your business covering the questions below (please keep response to a maximum of 400 words or approximately one page).

    The information about your business will assist the judges to get a feel for the type of business you run. This will help them assess the answers you provide in the rest of the entry as it will put things into perspective and/or context.

    Please address the following:

    1. 1.1 How long has your business been operating under its current structure?
    2. 1.2 How many trade contractors do you have working for you?
    3. 1.3 Number of staff employed? Please provide the split between onsite staff and office staff
    4. 1.4 Does your business operate independently? If not, describe the operating relationship you have with third parties.
    5. 1.5 What geographic area(s) do you service?
    6. 1.6 List the range and type of housing products and/or services provided e.g. affordable homes, high end renovations, landscaping etc?
    7. 1.7 Who is your target market e.g. first home buyers, third home buyer, middle income families? Provide an explanation and any research on why this is your target market.
    8. 1.8 What do you regard as your point of difference? What sets you apart from your competitors and makes your business the success it is? Why would a customer purchase from you and not another builder?
    9. 1.9 What have been your proudest milestone achievements in your business, and why? What have you been most proud of in the past 12 months?
    10. 1.10 Please indicate any awards the business has received.
    11. 1.11 Have you entered the Probuilder awards previously? If yes, which year/s?
  2. 2. Business philosophy, principles & leadershipValue 15 points
    1. 2.1 Vision, Mission and Core Values – Outline your business’ vision, mission and core values and outline the principles and priorities that guide and assist you in achieving business success.
    2. 2.2 Leadership – How do you engage and empower your team to deliver your business philosophy on a day to day basis?
    3. 2.3 Social responsibility – How are you working with the community to increase their perception of your business as being an ethical and honest organisation?

    Business Philosophy

    A business philosophy is a set of beliefs, values and principles enshrined in a company’s way of doing business. This is often presented as a mission statement and/ or company vision and is essentially a company’s operational blueprint. The business philosophy underpins the company’s overall goals and its strategic purpose.

    What we need to know:

    Considerations for your entry may include (but are not limited to):
    • The business philosophy, core values and vision that drive the business.
    • How were the mission statement, core values and vision derived.
    • Application of these principles across the business on a day to day basis.
    • The level of acceptance of the business as a respected corporate citizen within the broader social context.

    Your mission is the everyday extension of your vision. What CAN you and what WILL you do today and everyday to make your vision a reality? 

    Leadership

    Leadership of course is a subjective construct but effective leadership, however defined is essential to business success. A good definition suggested by American entrepreneur Randy Stocklin goes like this: “Leadership is the ability to help people achieve things they don’t think are possible. Leaders are coaches with a passion for developing people, not players; they get satisfaction from achieving objectives through others. Leaders inspire people through a shared vision and create an environment where people feel valued and fulfilled”

    What we need to know:

    Considerations for your entry may include (but are not limited to):
    • How a supportive environment that inspires and motivates others to realise business and personal growth and success is created within your business.

    Social Responsibility

    Social responsibility is an increasingly important factor in determining which companies consumers choose to support. This may take the form of embracing responsibility for actions and, through its activities, positively affects the environment, society, consumers, employees, communities, and other stakeholders. It may also mean contributing to the betterment of the local community.

    Social responsibility encompasses what a business does internally and externally. Businesses can have a long term impact by specifying responsible products and selecting responsible supply chains, minimising environmental damage, using energy efficient designs, reducing waste during construction and maintaining the safety and welfare of their (and their supply chain's) employees.

    In order for social responsible efforts to be durable, they must align with the overall business and not seem like flavour-of-the-month efforts.

    What we need to know:

    • How is your company building relationships within the community?
    • Provide examples of your social responsibility commitment.

  3. 3. Business planning, marketing & growthValue 25 points
    1. 3.1 Business Planning
      1. Explain how goals and targets at all levels of the business are determined and measured?
      2. What issues and considerations are taken into account when developing your strategic and operational plans?
      3. Who amongst your team is involved in developing and implementing this plan?
    2. 3.2 Marketing – Please provide an overview of your current marketing strategy and how the strategy is applied on a day to day basis.
    3. 3.3 Continuous Improvement
      1. Give specific examples of your commitment to innovation and continuous improvement that have been implemented in your business in the past 3 years. Include areas such as product, customer service and organisational systems.
      2. What have been your biggest challenges, how have you overcome them and what have you learnt along the way?
    4. 3.4 Strategic growth – What strategies do you have in place to grow your business and maintain its relevance. Include timelines.

    Business Planning

    Planning is about encapsulating an organisation’s corporate strategy, values, operating model and overall vision. This may include how it competes and its point of difference in the market and competitive landscape that it operates. These fundamentals can be relatively stable over time and usually undergo a revision only when major changes occur internally such as mergers or acquisitions, or by externally imposed changes such as regulatory changes and other changes which the business has little or no control over e.g. the Global Financial Crisis, introduction of the NBN.

    An alarming number of Australian small to medium sized businesses however, continue to fail within the first 3 years of their existence for a range of reasons, not the least being the failure to develop a ‘roadmap’ to drive them toward success.

    What we need to know:

    Considerations for your entry may include (but are not limited to):
    • An understanding of the broad market dynamics that your business operates in.
    • The systems, processes and practices that are in place to develop and implement strategic and operational plans.
    • The kind of evaluative mechanisms that are applied to determine business strategic and operational performance.
    • Changes and improvements made as a result of feedback from performance evaluations.

    Market Planning

    A marketing plan is a comprehensive blueprint (that can form part of your business plan) that outlines a company’s advertising and marketing efforts for accomplishing specific marketing objectives within a set time frame. A marketing plan also includes a description of the current marketing position of a business, a discussion of the target market and a description of the marketing mix that a business will use to achieve its marketing goals.

    An effective marketing plan helps to:
    • identify customers;
    • identify competitors;
    • develop a marketing strategy to make a business stand out; and
    • provide a structured approach to develop products and services that satisfy customer needs.

    What we need to know:

    Considerations for your entry may include (but are not limited to):
    • The type of marketing strategies employed, digital and otherwise.
    • The processes and practices in place to develop and apply marketing strategies and plans.
    • The means by which the effectiveness of marketing strategies are measured.
    • Changes and improvements made as a result of performance evaluations of marketing policies and strategies.
    • Provide an understanding of your ‘customer journey’ and the touch points from a marketing perspective. How do you provide your customers with information at these touch points?

    Continuous Improvement

    Continuous improvement can be broadly defined as gradual never-ending change which is focused on increasing the effectiveness and/or efficiency of an organisation to fulfil its policy and objectives. Improvements in business strategy, business results, customer, employee and supplier relationships can be subject to continual improvement. Organisations which apply continuous improvement principles are often referred to as ‘learning organisations’. Put simply, it means ‘getting better all the time’.

    What we need to know:

    Considerations for your entry may include (but are not limited to):
    • The manner in which feedback from regular organisational performance evaluations is utilised to improve business systems, processes and outcomes.
    • The flexibility of the business in terms of its ability to continuously improve whilst adapting to change within a dynamic and often disruptive environment.
    • The practices (and incentives) in place that ensure that innovation and continuous improvement strategies are applied across all areas of the business.
    • Significant improvements in business performance as a result of active continuous improvement strategies.
    • The biggest challenge your company has had to overcome since inception.

    Strategic Growth

    Strategic business growth focuses on the long term growth of a business. For a business to survive and grow they need to be able to adapt and change to market conditions in response to feedback from customers, and market trends.

    What we need to know:
    • Briefly outline what broad strategies you have in place to grow your business and ensure that it remains relevant. Include timelines.

  4. 4. Customer service & satisfactionValue 25 points
    1. 4.1 Describe how your business interacts with its customers to achieve genuine customer satisfaction?
    2. 4.2 How do you measure the effectiveness of your customer service practices? Please provide current examples.
    3. 4.3 Explain how you ensure customer service is maintained. Please provide examples of feedback you have received – positive and constructive.

    Customer Service

    Business success (or failure) is directly linked to the quality of product or service that is provided to customers. With more ways to reach external customers – phone, websites, email, social media, personal approaches – customers expect businesses to firstly understand their needs and to be more and more responsive to those needs. This puts the onus back onto businesses to continuously evaluate their current levels of service and to have quality policies, systems standards and processes in place to support those fundamentals.

    It is important to understand that quality customer service is not only about servicing potential purchasers of your product or service (external) but it is also about how team members actively service their fellow team members (internal).

    What we need to know:

    Considerations for your entry may include (but are not limited to):
    • The approach to providing high quality customer service.
    • Provide information on how the business understands who their customers are.
    • Evaluation of the effectiveness of customer service policies, practices and procedures.
    • The stages of customer interaction including the means by which the business’ message is conveyed. Include information on the customer journey and the touch points experienced by the customer. How does the business enhance the customer experience?
    • The effectiveness of internal customer service practices in supporting overall quality customer service outcomes.
    • Recent significant improvements in product and service delivery resulting in improved customer service and satisfaction. How have these improvements changed the customer experience?
    • How customer satisfaction is measured. Include examples.

  5. 5. Managing the businessValue 30 points
    1. 5.1 Human Resource Management
      1. Recruitment – Describe how you recruit and induct (i) employees and (ii) trade contractors into your business.
      2. Employees – Provide practical examples of your commitment to recognising and rewarding your employees.
      3. Succession Planning – What strategies do you have for the future hiring and development of apprentices, cadets, trainees or other industry workforce entrants? What support is provided for trade contractors to hire apprentices?
      4. Performance Management – Detail what formal and informal system(s) of measuring employee and trade contractor work performance that you have in place.
      5. Professional Development – What professional development strategies and systems do you have in place to improve employee skill levels? Describe how you assist trade contractors to maintain and/or improve the level of skill required to effectively contribute to your business.
    2. 5.2 Business Systems
      1. Briefly detail any worksite safety systems that your business has in place, include areas such as:
        • Workplace Health and Safety
        • Environmental; and
        • Quality Assurance
      2. Describe (if any) the level of certification your business has achieved in the above systems (not applicable for small builder)
      3. How do you ensure all employees, contractors and suppliers are aware of their legal obligations including WHS?
      4. Explain your business systems including use of technology and how the business manages the pre-construction phase of the business.
    3. 5.3 Supply Chain Management
      1. Describe the business relationship you have established with suppliers and other providers to ensure a continuing level of quality service required for business success.

    There are many challenging aspects to the day to day management of a successful building business.

    Irrespective of the size of the business, managing finances, human resources, worksite health and safety, environmental control, regulatory constraints, training and professional development and the like can test even the hardiest of souls. Whilst the challenges are apparent, the solutions are not always quite so apparent. However, the introduction of sound, workable policies, systems and practices into the workplace that team members can understand and work with usually lead to acceptance, trust, improved motivation and superior business outcomes.

    Human Resource Management

    What we need to know:

    Considerations for your entry may include (but are not limited to):
    • Employee recruitment practices and procedures and how they link with the business philosophy and core values.
    • Succession planning including the recruitment of apprentices, cadets, trainees.
    • Performance management and reward systems (both individual and team).
    • Skill and qualification enhancement through training and professional development.

    Business Systems

    What we need to know:

    Considerations for your entry may include (but are not limited to):
    • Worksite health and safety policies, systems and practices including induction practices and performance monitoring practices.
    • Managing environmental regulatory requirements and meeting community standards of acceptance.
    • Quality systems implementation and management (and accreditation where applicable) including management of time, quality and extra costs.
    • Business Systems including use of technology and how the business manages the pre-construction phase of the business.
    • How your business deals with waste, theft and cost overruns.

    Please ensure supporting evidence (especially WHS) is kept to a manageable level. 

    Managing Suppliers and Third Parties

    What we need to know:

    Considerations for your entry may include (but are not limited to):
    • Establishing sound relationships with manufacturers, suppliers, regulators, banks etc.
    • Benefits to your business of fostering positive relationships with manufacturers, suppliers, regulators, banks etc.
    • Managing difficulties and disputes that may arise with third parties from time to time.

  6. 6. Financial management & ethical conduct
    1. 6.1 Have you or any of your senior management had any adverse findings made against them by a court, tribunal or regulatory authority/agency (e.g. the ACCC, ASIC, builders licencing authority, etc) in the last five years including misconduct, dishonesty, or any other similar matter that would contravene the HIA Code of Ethics?
    2. 6.2 Provide details of any disputed claims, threatened court actions and/or other litigation with home owners/suppliers/ subcontractors or other parties above $50,000.
    3. 6.3 Warranty Insurance
      Please provide details on your eligibility for Home Warranty insurance by addressing the following:
      a. Scope of cover;
      b. Turnover allowance;
      c. Contract value limits.
      This information is to be provided in the form of declaration from your warranty insurance provider or a certificate of eligibility.