MP Group is a licensed domestic and commercial builder with experience across the entire industry. They are capable of undertaking a wide range of projects in the construction and shop fitting industries. With a head office and two factories located on the Gold Coast, the MP Group has a proven track record in providing high quality service at a competitive price throughout all states in Australia and New Zealand.
The beginnings of MP Group can be traced back to 1986. After Managing Director Mark Pidd completed his apprenticeship that year, he registered MP Constructions as a business name and began contracting as a sole trader. In 1996, after gaining 10 years of valuable experience in the shop fitting and building industry, Pidd registered MP Constructions as a company. He has since established a sound reputation in the shop fitting industry throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Recently, a decision was made to change the company name from MP Constructions to MP Group and to divisionalise the services the company offers into Shopfitting, Construction, Joinery and Maintenance in an effort to better clarify the different services they specialise in.
As testament to their professionalism and stability, MP Group debuted at number 181 on the Q400 list of privately owned companies in 2008, and have recently improved their rating to 174 in 2010.
Financial Controller Scott Harper joined the company in January of this year. What attracted him to MP Group was their diversity – particularly the fact that they had a manufacturing component. “For me, it was something different,” Harper says.
The MP organisation is embedded with a wide range of skills and abilities, enabling them to meet any challenge in their field. Since inception, they have completed over 1,500 projects. Annually, MP Group works on between 50 and 70 projects. At any given time, they’re working on between four to eight projects on a construction basis and another three or four in a planning capacity. The key to keeping their clients happy and keeping them coming back is to produce a quality product. “With the MP Group, we strive for quality,” Harper says. “I think it’s very important in a customer satisfaction environment to deliver something that is probably as good as or better than can be done anywhere else.”
“We don’t just try to slap anything together – our first concern with anything we do is quality,” he adds. “Once we work with a client, if they have a budget, then we have to consider how we work within their budget and parameters.”
It is also important to the MP Group that they complete their projects within a strict timeframe. In the shop fitting industry, the deadline is always important, especially for a retail shop in a shopping centre. “It’s very important from a shop fitting perspective, not only just to deliver a quality product, but to deliver it on time,” Harper says.
Repeat business is something MP Group relies on for their success – nearly 80 per cent of their client base is comprised of repeat customers. “Some of our clients we’ve been servicing since the date of the company’s inception, or prior to inception when it was a trading name under just the direction of Mark Pidd, our Managing Director,” Harper says.
At the same time, there’s always a need to be looking for new business, and the company is constantly seeking to create opportunities to find new clients.
MP Group takes great pride in having a family-style corporate culture with their approximately 90 employees. The company grew from small roots into a larger entity and they’ve always strived to retain that family atmosphere with an open-door policy. “We always strive to be an employer of choice and to promote a harmonious and safe working environment,” Harper says. “We encourage staff to be innovative and we value their suggestions for improvement.”
As a shop fitter, MP Group stands out by doing their own joinery in their in-house facilities. There is still a need for subcontractors, however, to deal with services such as plastering, painting, electrical work and plumbing. “We strive to be a shop fitter that can do all our own joinery and produce our own joinery. We don’t pretend to be electricians and plasters and painters,” Harper says. “They’re areas that can easily be managed and regulated.”
The key to fostering relationships with their subcontractors is communication and involvement – not just sending a purchase order and getting them to do the job and paying them. “You need to create a bigger relationship with the sub-contractor you believe can benefit your business and take you further as a business,” he says.
When it comes to environmental initiatives, MP Group tries to recycle as much as they can, but they recognize that there’s more they can do in that area. Being a joinery company, they have a lot of waste and timber materials and by-products. “We try to find new ways to deal with any of these by-products. Our preference is not to create more landfill, but to create something can be used, recycled, and not become landfill,” he says.
In terms of technology, MP Group is at the forefront of the shop fitting industry with their use of the products such as AutoCAD and Rivet for 2D and 3D presentation and modelling. They also use a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) system that is integrated into their CNC machine. “The CNC machine is a machine that does a lot of the manual cutting in an automated process. When you’re building a square box, the CNC machine can cut out all your four pieces and you put them together almost like a LEGO piece,” he says.
At the moment, the MP Group faces a number of challenges – heavy competition, the after-effects of the global financial crisis, and the pressure of the Internet are among them. Many retailers are now creating a large Internet-based presence and scaling back their requirements for physical shops. “We need to consider ways to continue in our business with those challenges. We offer maintenance and ongoing support to our clients,” Harper says.
MP Group strives to expand their customer base in response to the competition, which will always be ongoing. “There’s always a need to diversify your customer base like with any industry. We look towards other segments of the shop fitting industry – such as commercial and hospitality sections,” he says.
Right now the company is working on a few projects, including “run-of-the-mill retail outlets,” and the Harbourside Markets, located on the Gold Coast, which is a building complex. They’ve done the vast majority of shops within that complex.
“That’s an actual new type of project for us. It’s essentially like a mini-shopping centre in more of a niche market,” Harper says. “We’ve had the opportunity to do five tenancies for one entity and three other tenancies for three other people within that one complex. It’s kept us busy for the last six to eight months.”
Looking forward five to 10 years, MP Group will continue being at the forefront of the shop fitting industry – with a potential for attracting more or different customers. They pride themselves on being a large organization, and look to become the number one shop fitting and joinery company one day, but not now.
“We’re not in a position where we need to grow for growth’s sake. All we feel is required is to continue on with our expansion plans at a steady pace without trying to go too fast,” Harper says. “We pride ourselves on being a large shop fitting company and we want to continue to do so.”