It has been a growing trend in recent years for Main Contractors to self-deliver mechanical and electrical (M&E) services. For example, Wates Building Services now has a dedicated in-house M&E delivery service which replaces traditional M&E procurement on some Wates Construction projects.

Why implement self-delivery of smoke control?

One of the main drivers of this approach is cost reduction. The Main Contractor is taking some of the profit away from the sub-contractors, particularly the mark up on plant items which is where most of the margin is. Another benefit of the self-delivery of smoke control is the greater control and management of risk, which is important in today’s market. The lack of capacity can lead many sub-contractors to be at risk of failure through over trading. Bringing M&E services in-house is seen as a source of competitive advantage by many contractors such as Wates and Mace.

Make a positive impact on your profit margins

Some savvy M&E contractors are adopting this approach themselves by bringing specialist services in-house. For example, contractors have brought services such as BeMS, fire alarms and smoke control systems with impressive results. Most contractors, however, shy away from installing even the simplest AOV or stairwell ventilator.

By fearing the life safety implications and employing a specialist to do it for them, they negatively impact their profit margins. The service from specialists can be poor, particularly in periods of high demand, as is currently the case in places like London and the South. As electrical contractors often have their own labour on-site already, it makes commercial sense to take this work in-house for simple buildings such as residential developments.

We can help every step of the way

Group SCS is a leading smoke control specialist with over 25 years of industry experience. We offer a number of resources to help contractors bring smoke control in-house, including opportunities for training and support. The Group SCS Approved Contractor Network is designed for those who wish to expand their offering and include smoke control in their services. It offers training, ongoing support, exposure to our network and a discount on our range of products.

Download the Approved Installer Brochure

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