M+W Australia’s multi-million dollar projects have set the company up as a leader in the market.
M+W Australia is a subsidiary of M+W Group, a recognised leading global project partner for engineering, construction, and project management in several fields including advanced technology facilities, the life science industries, energy and environment technologies, and high-tech infrastructure. The brand offers a full range of services from concept and design to turnkey solutions.
This international contractor is not your everyday general contractor, either. As a specialised contractor in several highly technical fields, M+W Australia has made a name for itself as a company with strong internal engineering know-how that can help drive quality construction processes.
“Being an international company really gives us an advantage, especially as a specialised engineering and construction company,” said Matt Williams, managing director at M+W Australia. “We have centres of excellence around the world, meaning we can pool resources and technology to problem solve for our clients, who in turn get a high-quality consistent experience for their project no matter where they are on the globe.”
The privately owned company has been in business for over 100 years, and is one of the biggest and most financially strong players in the mechanical and electrical markets in the region.
Incredible Growth and Current Projects
In the last two years, M+W Australia has gone from taking on $1 to $5 million projects to $100 million projects. This seemingly overnight growth is something all companies yearn for, but few accomplish. So how did M+W do it?
“It’s a little more complicated than this, but we started taking on bigger projects because the market was looking for financially stable services contractors,” Williams commented. “We also took on more lead roles than supporting roles, and we followed some of our
global clients wherever
they needed us.”
The company is currently doing some major work with John Holland in Western Australia, and has partnerships with Lend Lease and the University of Sydney which are industry leaders and a key educational institution.
“With rapid growth came some growing pains,” Williams said. “There were some pitfalls, and we have learned a number of lessons from the rapid growth we did have. Because of the strength of the brand—our reputation, financial situation, and depth of very qualified employees—we were able to pull through those growing pains and deliver what our clients needed.”
This rapid growth has led to a slew of high-profile projects for M+W Australia, including a $100 million joint venture with Cockram Constructions for the Data Centre for Global Switch.
The company is also working with the University of Sydney on a new laboratory for the nanoscience division. The design and construct package is for a manufacturing facility with very strict performance requirements on the building and is being completed as an exclusive subcontractor to Lend Lease. The project was won via an international design competition, further demonstrating M+W Australia’s status as a leader in the market in delivering cost-effective and world-class design solutions.
In another major subcontracting role—this one with John Holland, M+W Australia is working on the mechanical contracting services for Wheatstone Non Process Infrastructure Buildings. The project has significant logistics and a high degree of technical complexity, and is a major project in the oil and gas sector for the company.
One of the struggles M+W Australia works with is finding the right employees for the job. Because the company works in highly specialised markets, employees must have a special blend of skills to stand out.
“It can be difficult to find people who have both engineering and hands-on construction oriented knowledge,” Williams shared. “We have to consider high-quality engineering and cost-effective construction practices in the same breath, which is a big task. Luckily, we’ve got some of the best people from around the world preparing designs, peer review, and troubleshooting.”
The Asia Pacific has provided a strong pool of qualified candidates for M+W Australia. Because of the nature of business in the region, many people are mobile and have worked in other countries. Williams even shared that often people will be brought in for a project and then step back into their native country’s business, allowing the company to utilise specialised employees in a short-term commitment.
To continue its success in the future, Williams would like to see the business continue to build its reputation of being able to successfully deliver large and complex multidisciplinary projects. The company has gone through a successful period of positioning, and secured some good projects for both now and the near future, and is looking to secure more.
“We’re always developing relationships, and in doing so we’ve seen steady growth,” Williams said. “We’re getting the projects we want that fit the company’s core expertise.”