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5 reasons exporting is great at Cundall

Data By Jonnie Allen, Partner – 19 April 2016

View of part of the earth from space at night, clusters of lights show towns and cities


Jonnie Allen underneath a tree with buildings in the background

Jonnie Allen

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  1. Working with people and on projects around the world is really exciting

Today on my way into the office I read an email from a client in the U.S. then I spoke to a colleague in Australia first thing. I booked a meeting with a team member in Dubai for Monday morning, emailed team members in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, authorised a press release to the Irish press and finally sent an email congratulating our lighting designer in Hong Kong on a great project win. I also did lots of things for the UK business but these things stand out as exporting is exciting. It helps that we are working on some great projects around the world and have people full of exciting ideas.

  1. Sharing work makes business sense

Cundall started working internationally predominantly to keep good staff in the business (when they wanted to go and try working in another country), to attract the most talented staff and to access the most exciting global projects. These things have all paid off but there have been other benefits as well. The connectivity within the business and our use of technology mean that we can share work very effectively between offices. There are always peaks and troughs in workload in each office but when you have 20 offices all speaking regularly it means that you don’t always have to employ a new person if you think the peak will be short lived you just keep talking and someone will be able to help. This means that we grow in a measured way.

This then has the knock on benefit that we know each other better (project work brings people together), we are more consistent in our design approach (well you have to be if you are going to work with different people around the world all the time) and we share ideas efficiently.

  1. Ideas don't have borders (and neither do lots of clients)

We work with an amazing number of global clients including at least 40 banks and finance firms, 10 global law firms, giants of the tech and media world as well as energy companies, property firms and the list goes on. These businesses are all becoming more connected and we need to make sure that we are able to transfer the ideas that work, seamlessly from one location to another. This makes every marketplace very fast moving. It used to be that once in a while, if you wanted to look beyond the developments in your local market someone would go on a research trip and come back talking of the amazing things that they had found out. Now we spend time ensuring that we are sharing best practice instantly. If we were not a business that exported then we would either just assume that the UK market is always at the cutting edge (how realistic does that sound?) or be sending people off on those research trips all the time.

  1. British design and engineering is valuable

Often we do not shout about it enough and I definitely think that we underestimate the esteem that people have for British engineering but it is a fact, British engineering represents quality across the world. We work hard to seek the best ideas from all of our offices and feel that this balance of British heritage and global focus ensures that we are offering our clients the best service and ideas in all forms of engineering from every office.

  1. There is a big world out there and it is amazing

Finally being part of a business that exports is great because we live in an amazing world where there are incredible developments every day and if you rely on the ones that are happening in the UK then you are missing out. We are working on data centres for Facebook in Sweden, a world class research facility in South Australia, one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the world in Greater China, a new chain of hotels in the Gulf and the Rio 2016 Olympics to name just five. I spent two weeks visiting our Asian offices just before Easter and every day I learned about something incredible that we are working on, we are developing as R&D or just more Cundall colleagues to catch up with and have a cup of tea, a beer or a chicken’s foot with.