Ready to innovate

Damon James, Founder and Managing Director of Q Design and Construct, reveals how his business managed to quadruple its turnover in five years.

Founded in late 2012, Damon James, Managing Director of Q Design and Construct, says the business started with humble beginnings. “In the beginning it was just one blank desk and a blank laptop, these now seem like distance memories,” he says.

However, Damon found that the business experienced rapid growth from the offset, turning over $4 million within a six-month period in 2013, to having $47 million on the books throughout FY2020.

Q Design and Construct (QDC) started in Western Australia and has now expanded into four states including New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. The business currently operates from two separate office bases, one in Perth and one in Melbourne.

For Damon, a real point of difference at QDC is the expertise and professionalism of the team. “We sit down with our clients to work out what they want to achieve and develop designs that allow us to build as economically as possible. We work closely to collaborate with our chosen consultants, trades and suppliers to ensure we optimise across all facets of design and construction to deliver on time, on budget, and most importantly, safely,” he says.

The implementation of QDC’s expansion east started over two years ago and the organisation is committed to expanding its Melbourne office and eastern seaboard presence. “We have had a huge amount of organic growth, and we’re working on more and more project opportunities in South Australia, New south Wales and Victoria, and plan to head north into Queensland, soon enough,” Damon says.

Damon references the current consumer trend of fast delivery with regards to the changing landscape of the logistics property market. “A lot of growth and development in this area is coming from consumers wanting same-day delivery. You can see this in areas of Asia and the US, where they often have a major traffic issues, yet they can still make online order delivery in hours, let alone within the same day. I think we’re going to start to see that expectations here in our major cities,” he says.

This shift in consumer demand is also contributing to a shift in the kinds of facilities organisations require. “We’re starting to see a requirement large-scale warehouse storage on the outskirts of town to hold stock, and then smaller satellite facilities closer to the populated areas in order to be able to meet the delivery expectations of consumers ,” Damon says.

For this kind of site, Damon says QDC is ready to innovate. “We have the expertise and partnerships with professional consultants and trades to truly package and deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions for these kinds of businesses. We are ready to innovate in this space and we are excited to see how this will shape the future of warehousing,” he says.

QDC has worked with a number of blue-chip clients, including Bridgestone, Qube Bulk, Qube Logistics, CBH, Landmark and Austal Ships, to really understand the operational requirements of all aspects of logistics, from bulk cartage, handling and storage, bulk liquids transport & Storage, warehousing, dangerous goods, launching of large scale offshore ferries, automation of cargo handling and even the logistics behind moving giant mining tyres.

“Our mantra is to be the ‘professional partner for the design and construct of industrial, logistical and port infrastructure. To date every one of QDC’s projects has been the design and construct of an industrial property or industrial assets. We’ve delivered over $170 million worth of projects in our eight-year history, and every project has been delivered on time and on budget, with no major injuries,” Damon says.

One significant project, and one that QDC is very proud of was the Bridgestone Pilbara Mining Solutions Centre (PMSC). The facility is used to store, warehouse, repair, and even remotely monitor earth moving tyres, conveyors, hoses and the like, on what they call a “Pit to Port” one stop shop. The location is strategically located to provide these services swiftly to their customers.

“The Bridgestone team came to us with some vague sketches for what they were after. Our team then spent some time with Bridgestone to understand how they operate and how a purpose-built facility could improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The kind of tires that needed to be stored in this facility are huge, reaching four and a half metres in diameter and weighing up to seven tonnes each. So, there were some really unique challenges, tht we worked through with the client” Damon says.

QDC spent six weeks with Bridgestone touring facilities across the nation to really get to know how their operation worked and what would work best for them. “It truly was a design and construct project, and Bridgestone was absolutely wrapped with the final product, not only did QDC provide valuable input through the building design & construction process to cover their operations, but both parties collaboratively challenged each other to improve the operational and also building efficiencies – it was a true D&C project, with optimal results. Bridgestone even worked with us to model and forecast the ability for the facility to increase throughput in 40 years’ time, without any extension to the current footprint.” Damon says.

Damon himself has extensive experience in the construction business, with more than 20 years across infrastructure, marine, resource, industrial and commercial building projects in Australia and the UK. His involvement in both major and smaller projects has given him the broader technical and commercial skills to successfully work within complex and dynamic environments.

“We continually seek to challenge the status quo, we never rest on our laurels and are always seeking out new and innovative designs and methods to construct, to ultimately bring value to our clients,” Damon concludes.

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