Managing Director marks 10 years of service

Lisa 10 Year Award 1This May our Managing Director Lisa Kerford celebrated 10 years of service with Aptus Utilities.

Lisa became the company’s eighth employee when she joined as Construction Manager in 2011. Initially brought in to manage all site operations, Lisa’s success and contribution to the business was rewarded with a promotion to Operations Director in 2014.

Since her appointment as Managing Director in June 2017, Lisa has overseen the company’s ongoing expansion in the North and Midlands and steered the company through the Coronavirus pandemic – for which she was shortlisted for a Lockdown Leader Award.

On reaching her 10th anniversary Lisa shares some of her thoughts on the business, her role, and expectations for the future.

“There have been many highlights during my time with Aptus, and I’m proud that the responsive, customer-focused model we set out to achieve is more resilient than ever.

“This is down to the team behind the company’s success. The people we recruit are behind everything positive that we do as a business.”

People
Seeing people develop and grow within the business is an area Lisa has found particularly rewarding:

“The launch of the first construction apprentice scheme in 2015 was a major milestone for Aptus, marking the start of our journey to build our own workforce on the construction side.

“Five and a half years later, the first and second groups of construction apprentices have graduated, with two of the original apprentices progressing into roles as team leaders. With another group of craft apprentices due to qualify this year, and a new scheme starting in the autumn, this investment is making a tangible contribution to our success.

“On the business administration side, since our first apprentice joined in 2012, we have been committed to helping people develop beyond their initial apprenticeship and advance their careers with Aptus. The introduction of five-year development plans for administration apprentices and trainees is further supporting their progression, providing clarity on expectations, deliverables and rewards.

“The new approach is working well, and we now have more than 30 people on these plans, which shows our commitment to train and develop people from within our business.”

Meeting growth targets
Aptus has experienced sustained growth over the last decade and, in 2019, the company took a strategic decision to bring in an experienced private equity company to help realise its ambition to double in size by 2025.

The success of this process so far is an achievement Lisa singles out from her tenure as Managing Director: “My team has delivered the financial results forecasted for two consecutive years since the buyout. This includes a period which has seen the company successfully negotiate a pandemic, further demonstrating the strong position the business is in with the executive team in place.”

Changes, technology and the future
With construction and housebuilding constantly developing and adopting new technology and processes. Lisa says Aptus is prepared to respond proactively to whatever the future holds in this area:

“At Aptus we aim to keep on the front foot with technology or market changes so we can provide the service our clients expect. Electric vehicle charging and the NAVs water process of independent network ownership are two recent examples of these changes.”

“The government’s ‘green agenda’ is an area that we have been, and will continue to monitor closely to see how the utility market will be affected by the planned cessation of gas provision in 2025. New technologies will be introduced, and we will ensure we are capable and available to deliver the new utilities requirements for developments.”

“Modular house construction is also emerging as a rising trend that impacts the connection of utilities, and we are working to ensure we have specifications agreed with network owners as and when we are awarded these developments.”

Women in Construction and Utilities
With the construction industry at the forefront of the economy’s recovery from the pandemic, and a potential skills shortage looming, women could play a vital role in ensuring the sector delivers on targets. The Utilities and Construction Industries are historically male dominated but Lisa feels it is important to raise awareness of career opportunities for women within the sector:

“Aptus has a number of women in technical positions and, though the company will always look to employ the best candidate for the role, it is vital that diversity continues to be encouraged.

Reflections on a personal milestone
“It’s important to say that I didn’t set out in my career to become a Managing Director. When I started at Aptus, I didn’t imagine I would be sat in the hot seat ten years later, I just knew I would do my best for the company. I have enjoyed the work, the roles I’ve had, and the teams I’ve worked with, and that’s a big part of why I am still here.

“It’s important to enjoy what you do, and I am fortunate that my hard work has been recognised and rewarded as my career has progressed.”

Lisa 10 Years

 

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