Alex Smith is a self-confessed “building nerd”. After leaving high school the founder of Synergy Construction Group worked in sales before shifting focus to work in an IT team, rebuilding computers and networks. Apart from working in IT support he had the opportunity to help upgrade the policies and procedures for an ISO 9001 integration. This was where he learnt to love software and just how powerful technology could be to run a business.
“As a kid, I would pull apart clock radios, stereos, even computers then rebuild them,” says Alex. “I worked jobs to pay for upgrades on our computer, and stuff like that, and I just started building and getting into electronics.”
Alex left IT in 2002 and moved into construction following his love of technical, intelligent design,and fascination with processes. It was the jolt he needed to get his carpentry ticket and from there, his building licence. He started his own company in 2007.
“About three years into growing the business, I was given the opportunity to get into commercial and industrial construction,” Alex says. “We completed a couple of fun projects in our first year, and from there I got the taste of that kind of construction.”
Alex says the Synergy difference is driven by his own desire to understand what makes his clients tick, the work they do, and how the project he constructs will be used after it is finished.
“I want to design and build projects tailor made to my client’s needs, not the standard approach of get in quick to make a quick buck”. says Alex. “I don’t want, “Oh, here is the job, build that,” by someone that hasn’t really got into the mind of the owner or the owner’s business,”
“With industrial and commercial projects, I like to understand how our clientsconduct business, what their productivity efficiencies and inefficiencies are, and the way they actually perform their work on site, so we can find ways to design and constructto increase their output,” Alex says.
This intelligent design approach can make a huge difference to the functionality of the building while remaining within budget.
“Time and again, we come across sites with decades of neglect, buildings that have been slapped together, sometimes with no approvals and certification, places where people have come and gone, and just no one really cares about,” says Alex.
“We try to understand where they are now, and where they’re taking their business in the future, and then provide an intelligent design for future expansion and growth, without blowing budgets.
Alex also takes this approach to residential builds, specialising in difficult renovations, or builds where site access, location, design or materials make the work a challenge.
“I love engineering, and I love physics. I love constructing houses in difficult locations that use smart engineering techniques. But even if we are just doing normal houses, just knowing that when we finish the job, the client walks in and goes, “Wow! I was not expecting it to be this good.” That really gets us motivated as a team.”
Alex says it is this customer satisfaction that really drives him. It is also what has put his business on track to be a $10m enterprise by 2023.
“I don’t chase the money. I chase the result, I want our clients to be happy. I want them to say at the end of the project, “Oh, my God. Your team provided such a great design. You built it really quickly and you built it really well. It’s great quality, and it didn’t cost you the earth,” he says.
“That’s where I want to be. I want to be able to provide intelligent design, and quality builds on a smart budget.”