A Day in the Life of Jordan Moir, Quantity Surveyor

Our next ‘Day in the Life’ focuses on Jordan Moir, one of our Quantity Surveyors in our 10 strong commercial team. Jordan has been with Connolly’s since the early days of the business and has seen it grow ten fold in the last 9 years. Well known in the office for being our Tech wizard as well as having a ridiculously cute Cockerpoo, Bella, Jordan is a well respected and key member of the team!

Welcome to our next instalment of our ‘Day in the Life of’. A series of interviews with our people here at Connolly’s, providing insight into our day to day activities and our people. 

So, let’s go back – can you give us a brief insight into your career path which has led you to be in the position you are today?

I started off in the construction industry working alongside now Connolly’s colleague, Jonathan Mayoh for a previous building contractor. This is where I learnt the basics of the industry for the next 12 months.

An opportunity then came up at Connolly’s, who at the time were described to me as a ‘painting contractor who were growing’ which was a pretty accurate reflection to say the least! I had an informal chat with Chris Connolly around the experience I had picked up previously and the potential opportunity with Connolly’s, where we also discussed some potential development opportunities for me such as college, university, and further work experience.

I started shortly afterward in June 2012, working in a small office which had no windows and was stacked high with paint cans and paperwork & nearly ten years later, here I am! The office staff at the time consisted of just Tony & Chris Connolly alongside Julie in accounts. This is a phenomenal contrast from the office today which has around 45 members of staff!

In terms of academical progression, I started out at Wigan & Leigh college back in September 2012 where I studied both a BTEC & HNC in Construction before progressing onto university where I completed my BSC (Hons) in Quantity Surveying.

Are there any moments in your career, past or present, that stand out to you?

It would have to be winning our first ‘big’ job after I started at Connolly’s back in 2012.

At the time we had no Pre-Construction team or estimating function, so this was all done by the small team of three or four people we had. I helped with the project in sending out enquiries, collating the information we received back and adding my input, though very limited at the time.

The project value was around £1.25m and it was the first project valued at over £1m that Connolly’s had ever had, so we went out for lunch to celebrate the day we received the news. It was a great insight for me into the whole process of tendering and to see something we had worked so hard on for weeks turn out to be successful and come to fruition.

This turned out to be just the start in terms of success for the company, and we continued to go from strength to strength from there onwards.

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

Communication skills are key as my role involves liaising with numerous different individuals in varying positions such as clients, sub-contractors, operatives, and colleagues on a day-to-day basis.

Time management, organisation and attention to detail are also important to ensure necessary deadlines are met and that we maintain a high standard of information for our client as well as the ability to use your initiative where required.

I also by default seem to be a part time IT consultant for the rest of the company, which involves setting up printers and iPhones!

Can you tell us about a typical working day for you?

This usually depends on the time of the month. The weeks around month end usually consist of lots of time spent in the office as this is a particular busy time for the commercial team.

At month end we submit valuations for all projects on which we are working at present, as well as providing clients with the necessary budget information, cash flow forecasts and financial reports.

There are also internal processes and tasks to complete at month end such as reviewing and processing all sub-contractor applications and invoices and processing them for payment.

Commercial information for each individual project is also reported back to the Commercial Manager at month end to ensure we can monitor each project sufficiently.

Mid-month would usually be filled with client meetings, internal catch ups, and site visits to catch up with the relevant site teams and check on progress of projects.

Daily tasks in between completing all the above involves liaising with clients, site teams, and sub-contractors to assist with day to day running of the projects and planning future projects.

I also review some of Neil Gibson’s (Contracts Manager) excellently coloured spreadsheets from time to time. If your spreadsheet is looking rather dull and needs an injection of colour, Neil is your man!

Where do you see Connolly Ltd in 5 years?

Connolly’s at present is a world away from company I joined 10 years ago, and the rate of growth has been remarkable.

The company has grown from being a small sub-contract painting company with a turnover of around £1m into a regional main contractor now turning over £40m.

We have outgrown three offices in the space of just 10 years and have grown our client base significantly which in turn has contributed to large growth in employee numbers both in the office and out on site.

The company has continued to go from strength to strength and has won multiple awards along the way… just don’t mention the curse of the award… (I’ll talk more about that later)

The change has been gradual over this period, and you often don’t realise the scale of the growth as it happens around you until you look back and compare two points in time.

Every aspect of the company has evolved throughout this timeframe and the foundations which have been set in doing so are firmly in place for this to continue over the next 5 years and onwards.

Can you tell us about the hardest moment in your career and how you overcame it?

I found this question the most difficult to answer as I’ve spent the majority of my career at Connolly’s and since doing so have never really looked back.

COVID was obviously a difficult time for the company and everyone in general, but it was the first time since joining Connolly’s that we had faced some real adversity. A large chunk of our work disappeared more or less overnight as clients and customers didn’t want you to work in and around people’s homes.

This applied not only during the national lockdown but for a period both before and afterwards as people reacted to it in different ways.  This meant that most of the staff including myself were sent home on furlough for an indefinite period of time.

We seem to have recovered well since and are now back to pre-covid levels and more, however the challenges faced by both the pandemic and Brexit seem to be still affecting us and the rest of the industry. Costs are rising on nearly all products we use, and materials are harder and harder to source, which throws up a challenge for ourselves, our supply chain and our clients.

If you had invested money in roofing batten 2 years ago for example, it would probably be worth more today than if had you invested in Bitcoin!

Connolly Culture is at the heart of the business – can you describe what the culture means to you?

Connolly culture has played a huge part in the company’s ongoing success as it resonates with our clients and customers.

We have long-term partnering relationships with key clients which are built over years of working together, as well as positive relationships with new clients as we gain them.

The office is very much open to all those who work with us and the addition of our new coffee and networking hub in our latest office extension will further enhance this approach.

The culture of the business is evident to all those who work with and alongside us both in the office or out on any of our sites.

Throughout such growth the company has ensured to maintain its core values of a family business, which is felt by employees, clients, sub-contractors, and suppliers which is a fantastic achievement.

What do you believe is the greatest thing that Connolly Ltd has achieved so far?

We don’t mention awards as we have been struck by the curse of the award once too many, when everything seems to go wrong after we receive one, so it would have to be the company growth.

It seems to have become a bit of a clichéd answer for this question but that’s because it’s a very difficult one to beat.

I would say that the greatest thing Connolly have achieved is not just the level of growth the company has seen but the fact that we have maintained such a positive culture and family feel throughout the business, which can often get lost as a company grows at such a rate.

Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the Construction industry?

I would certainly encourage people to join the construction industry. Whether that be in a hands on, technical, tradesperson role which definitely isn’t me, or a pen pusher office based role which most certainly is, there is an opportunity there for everyone.

There are many different routes to take, for all kinds of people, all of which are very rewarding with great progression opportunities.

What do you love most about your job?

Definitely the people I work with, we have a fantastic team at Connolly’s both in the office and out on any of our sites.

The directors have recruited with this in mind and have ensured that people who join the business fit in with the existing positive team culture already in place and this has paid off massively.

We spend a huge amount of time together so the fact that we are such a close-knit team who enjoy each other’s company is completely invaluable.

Lockdown and isolation last year meaning we were away from the office and usual work environment for long periods of time really does make you realise what a great set of people you work with!

Finally, if there was one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Be confident in your own ability and don’t be afraid of asking questions no matter how stupid you think the question may be.