Welcoming Stephan Edwards as Estimator

26th May 2021

Following an uncertain but busy year, The Slatter Group continues to expand, continually investing in our people and technology. We've been catching up with some of our newest recruits to welcome them to the team whilst getting an insight into their new roles and past experience.

Stephan Edwards joined us as an estimator in late March, along with fellow newcomers Andy and Chris. All three are already proving to be great additions to our sales, design and planning teams!

Hi Stephan, welcome to the company! How have your first few weeks been?

It has been fantastic. I’ve been here for just over a month now and from day one everyone has been so warm and welcoming. I have managed to visit some of our live sites and have been really impressed with the works and attention to detail that our site managers are producing.

 

Tell us a little bit about your background

After I left school, I took an apprenticeship doing general building works then moved on into decorative horticulture. After college, I worked for a hard landscaping company then took the plunge and set up my own landscaping company 7 years later, working on bespoke garden designs and restaurant gardens throughout Warwickshire and the West Midlands. In 2016 I became the estimator for a commercial landscaping company in the West Midlands which led me to becoming a Senior Estimator for a national landscape company, then to my most recent role as Head of Commercial and Operations for a pan European landscape group.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your new role as Estimator and the team you’ve joined?

My role is to receive new enquiries from different sport disciplines and build a competitive tender that is beneficial for all parties. The role varies from day to day: from reviewing specifications to going to site and surveying the proposed areas, then trying to look at the project from all angles to ensure that the client is getting the very best value for their project.

How has the sports construction industry changed over recent years?

As I am still fairly new to the sports construction side it’s hard for me to go into too much detail – but speaking with the team, I’ve learned that the most significant advances within our industry are the parts that you don’t often see. Improved works to preparation and drainage systems for example are greatly improving the performance and longevity of playing surfaces themselves.

With the UK, like other countries, in and out of lockdown over the past year, how has the industry had to adapt?

I spent nearly all three lockdowns working in the housebuilding sector and it has been testing to say the least. Housebuilding, as with sports construction, never really stopped, so ensuring the safety and wellbeing of site teams whilst hitting deadlines was a key role for me in 2020. The one good thing that I did see was the camaraderie between trades on site and in person. If one good thing can come out of this pandemic, then I hope this continues within the industry!

What are the biggest challenges you find that our customers are facing?

Everybody is essentially a year behind, so planning, funding and everything else in between is taking longer. The pandemic has also caused problems with procuring materials too. Timber, plastics components, and concrete products have a much longer lead time which also leads to price rises due to supply and demand.

What are the biggest challenges for you as an Estimator?

For me it is making sure our clients get the very best from their projects whilst being viable. There is so much literature and different specifications to read through, making sure we have captured every element is key to a project’s success.

What attracted you to your role at S&C Slatter?

S&C Slatter are the leading sport construction company in the UK. From my interview with Ben, I had a great feeling about this company. I love most sports, so combining this with work is an absolute dream for me. My Partner always tells me I spend too much time reading about and watching sports but now I have a great excuse!

What advice would you give to any organisations planning a new sports construction project?

Seek advice. Whether it is a consultant, S&C Slatter or other recently developed sports facilities, there is so much groundwork that has to go in and the key is to have this ready for a smooth transition. Our Sales team and design and planning team have a wealth of knowledge and are always willing to help.

Finally, what do you like to do outside of work?

I love gardening and have a young family who like to keep me busy all the time. When I do get a chance to escape, I love to watch Coventry City FC or Coventry RFC – who play on a pitch built by S&C Slatter! If I am very lucky, I like to meet up with my friends in Wales to watch the rugby.

 

Thanks so much to Stephan for taking the time to do this Q&A with us - welcome to the team!

Get in touch

Our estimators are on hand to give you the best possible understanding of what’s possible on site, and at what projected cost.

If you’re considering a sports construction project and want to ensure maximum quality with minimal risk, get in touch with Stephan and the team on 01635 345 21 or email info@sandcslatter.com.