Leaders in pipes
Rob Carr Pty Ltd is a leader in underground pipe and service installations, with a number of completed projects in sewage, drainage, water, telecommunication and energy infrastructure. They have worked for a wide range of clients, including government authorities, construction companies, and corporations in the private sector, and have developed a reputation for excellence along with numerous accreditations.
The company was first formed in Victoria 1989, establishing itself an expert contractor for sewage and water systems. After several years, they relocated to Perth in Western Australia, where they evolved into a more lucrative contractor and performed a large number of works in the Sewage Infill Program. Since then, they’ve connected over 5,000 properties to sewer infrastructure, and constructed over several hundred kilometers of gravity mains for sewers and storm-water.
“We’re one of the very few contractors who do all the work,” says Angelo Soumboulidis, a General Manager at Rob Carr who has been with the company since 2003. “We do our own sewer work, our own tunnelling, our own concrete work, our own excavations, our own manholes, our own trenching, our own pump stations, and our own mechanical work.”
“We do pretty much everything,” he says. “There’s not that many tunnelling contractors that are capable of taking on all those different aspects of the job.”
Over their many years in the industry, Rob Carr has earned a reputation for creating strong and long lasting partnerships with their clients. Angelo credits those positive relationships to the company’s policy of complete transparency and honesty.
“We tackle the tough talks with our client, and we don’t shy away from the issues,” he explains. “That said, we’re never contractually aggressive with the client either. We advise the client on what the issues, we’re able to see them through start to end, keep them informed, and that’s the sort of the things that a lot of clients like about us.”
“In some areas, like the Gold Coast, we’ve had a flood of work simply because of that approach,” he adds.“We’re able to tackle the difficult jobs, we keep the client informed, and we work with them through all the issues. We do everything we can to maintain a strong relationship. And I think that’s what attracts clients to us – our reliability and honest business practice.”
Rob Carr has the same dedication to fostering quality relationships when it comes to their employees.They stand apart from many of their competitors by offering a more hands-on approach that incorporates on-the-job training. This makes their employees versatile, marketable, and far more knowledgeable.
“We have a vibrant atmosphere and we’re always active here,” says Angelo. “The feedback from people who have joined us and stayed on, or even left us for whatever reason, has been positive. Some staff members have left saying ‘I’ve learned more in the last few months at Rob Carr Pty Ltd than I did the last three years at my previous company.’ That makes us particularly proud, and I think that’s an especially big benefit to these younger guys who we’ve taken on over the last few years.”
Water and Wastewater Infrastructure veterans
Rob Carr Pty Ltd has extensive experience in a wide range of underground water systems, including tunnel construction, pipeline construction, pump stations, caissons and deep excavation. In their 20-plus years of doing business across Australia, they have successfully constructed hundreds of tunnels using their extensive fleet of microtunnelling machines and thousands of shafts in differing ground conditions, utilising caisson methodology, steel sheet pile and waler systems, as well as conventional steel shoring boxes. They have also grown to own and operate an extensive fleet of tunnelling and construction equipment as well as a major maintenance, repair and fabrication workshop.
“We established a fledgling workshop around 2009,” explains Angelo. “That’s a fully-fledged workshop now. We build things in there for our own work, it’s not just a repair and maintenance centre, it’s a pretty major facility. We’ve got overhead cranes, boilermakers, electrician networks, and we actively do preventive maintenance on all our equipment.” Moving forward, the company is following a plan for sustained growth that was devised five years ago. “The senior management at Rob Carr Pty Ltd, which included Barry Crowley, and Catherine and Rob Carr themselves, got together a put a plan in place to grow the company,” Angelo recalls. “At the time, the company was hovering around the same basic revenue and profit margins, with no real change between years. In the five years since then, we’ve had absolutely explosive growth.”
“Our revenue has five-folded in only five years’ time. Our profit margins have increased, and our staff has exploded too – we’ve gone from about 30 to 35 employees, to where we’ve got 120 people on full-time.”
Rob Carr’s growth strategy involves continuing to do what they do well – striving for self-improvement at all times, and looking at new markets. Angelo insists that they will be successfully delivering water and wastewater infrastructure, including both conventional and more advance methods far into the future. As far as diversification is concerned, Angelo adds that they want to move “vertically” – they want to stay in the same industry, but while meeting the needs of its many subsectors as well.
“We’re not just about focusing on tunnelling, deep shafts, and concrete works any longer,” Angelo explains. “We want to push the fact that we do all of the work. Pump Stations, Mining, Reservoirs in particular are areas we want to work on”
“The goal for the future is to continue to sustain our growth,” he concludes. “We want to see ourselves fivefold again in the next five years. We want to target bigger projects without forgetting our roots – to still serve our clients with the smaller jobs while moving on to a bigger stage and bigger calibre of projects.”
“We know we can handle the big stuff, the tier-one contractor jobs, the things with the 60 or 70 million dollar budgets and larger,” he says. “But it’s important to be financially secure and viable as we continue to grow.”