Oakmore Builders

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Oakmore Builders's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Oakmore Builders is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.oakmorebuilders.com

25OAKMORE BUILDERS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Lee Summers, founder & CEO
Oakmore Builders was
established in 2015
Located in Bromley, Kent, Oakmore Builders is a leading
building services company, which specialises in home
extension projects, with a particular focus on large rear
kitchen extensions. Established just three years ago, the
company has achieved phenomenal success, growing to become
Bromley’s leading builder. One of the keys to its success has
been offering a fantastic service, both in terms of what they do
and how they do it. There are negative stereotypes surrounding
some parts of the construction industry, and this is something
that Oakmore has been committed to combating. At the helm
of this drive is its CEO, Lee Summers, who believes that trust and
high quality service is an absolute necessity in this environment.
To this end, he has engaged in extensive marketing, advertising
and PR to make sure there is a face behind the service; this
includes appearances on the BBC’s “Brexit – One Year to Go”
programme and Sky News, as well as numerous press releases
both locally and nationally.
The company’s DNA
One of the largest problems in my sector is the negative image that surrounds
construction workers. Whether correct or not, there is the perception that
construction workers are unprofessional and neglectful towards the public. I’ve
done my utmost to forge a better image in its stead. When employing my staff,
FACTS ABOUT
OAKMORE BUILDERS
»CEO: Lee Summers
»Established in 2015
»Based in Bromley, Greater
London
»Services: Specialist home
extension
»No. of employees: 10
»Bromley’s leading builder in
just three years of existence as
a company
»CEO Lee Summers has
appeared on BBC programmes
and Sky News
Oakmore Builders
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | OAKMORE BUILDERS
Iensure they have the right attitude,
and this is something that’s only
possible to discern by working with
people for a long time. It’s difficult
to articulate what exactly constitutes
the right person, but I know it when
I see it. This, in fact, is one of the
most difficult aspects of starting a
business like mine and where so many
go wrong. My team, therefore, are
exemplary: they arrive on time, they
do the necessary work, they are clean,
their vehicles are clean and there’s no
pestering the public or neighbours.
From A-Z, they are professionals – in
the truest sense of the term.
Of course, it’s difficult for clients to
know this until our service has been
delivered, so trust has to be established
from the get-go. In order to do this,
I’ve established myself as the face
of the company. There are many
types of CEOs: some sit distantly in
the background; some are deeply
technocratic; others, however, are
keen to be the personification of the
company, such as – for example –
Richard Branson. It is this latter role
that I have taken on; I am the face and
spirit of the company. For this reason,
I’ve made appearances on television
and have a huge list of TV, radio and
press bookings for 2018, and, in
doing so, have established trust with
customers and the public at large.
Commitment to best practice
Regarding service, one of the
things we focus on doing best is
communication. When someone
contacts us, we do not leave them on
the backburner for days or weeks, like
some companies might do; we respond
in an hour. And it doesn’t stop there.
We make sure any subsequent contact
is close and constant, leaving no
customer behind.
Naturally, our services also entail doing
a first class job of the extension build,
which is something that can only be
achieved by being in this industry for
a long time (as is the case for me). I’ve
been working in construction for 30
years, so I know every detail of the
job and know how to manage every
aspect of it, including maintaining a
clean and safe site and knowing how
The company prides
itself on delivering a
professional service to
clients
It’s difficult to
articulate
what exactly
constitutes the
right person,
but I know it
when I see it
27OAKMORE BUILDERS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
to deal with disputes of every nature.
Despite engaging heavily in PR, I am
still hands-on; I have to be involved in
every part of the business and control
all of my clients. It has to conform to
my vision.
In terms of growth, it’s vital that you
manage cash flow well. When you
believe in the company, you have to
invest. It can be daunting, but it’s a
necessary component of growth, and
not doing so will result in stagnancy.
This requires exceptional amounts
of ambition and foresight of where
you want the company to grow. This
boundless ambition has been the
driving force behind our stratospheric
growth since 2015.
Difficulties along the way
A source of irritation for me is the
grey area in which subcontractors are
situated. Laws relating to holiday pay
and pensions do not clearly pertain to
subcontractors, leading to confusion
as to what exactly is required by
subcontractors (of whom there
are many in our sector). Employers
therefore have to sometimes deal with
costly disputes; in some cases this can
take the form of court proceedings.
The solution, as far as I see it, should
be much clearer legal definitions,
such that no one is confused by these
greyareas.
Brexit is something I’m ambivalent
about. I feel it will definitely affect
the labour side of our business, since
some of our workers are of Eastern
European origin – the great majority of
whom are excellent and hard-working.
Luckily, we did not have to deal with
the red tape that larger construction
firms did, so regulatory issues did not
exercise us as much as they might have
for others. Nevertheless, I understand
the point of Brexit. For too long the
establishment was complacent and
untrustworthy. Brexit was a backlash
against this, and for that reason I
respect the vote and do not object to it
in principle. We are a great nation with
a proud history, and we should live up
to this image.
Ultimately, I’m excited for the future.
What’s been achieved in these three
years is extraordinary, and I can only
expect more of the same, because I will
be doing more of the same, namely
providing an excellent service and
being a vocal guardian of my brand.
I’m excited for
the future.
What’s been
achieved in
these three
years is
extraordinary,
and I can only
expect more
of the same
Oakmore Builders has grown to become Bromley’s leading building
services firm, in just three years
Lee possesses more than 30 years’
experience in the construction industry

www.oakmorebuilders.com

This article was sponsored by Oakmore Builders. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister