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Focusing on its niche

SCT Construction’s managing director Per Tiam Hee shares how he steers his company to navigate changes affecting the industry

BW Monastery.JPG
SCT Construction has worked on recognised buildings such as the Kew Ong Yah Temple in Upper Serangoon which was gazetted a national monument in 2005 and the BW Monastery in Woodlands (above).

As the construction industry digitises, with new technologies that help improve efficiency and increase productivity, companies have to keep up with the latest trends to stay relevant.

SCT Construction, which started operations in 2006, is one company that has taken steps to stay competitive.

It conducts general building construction work for institutional, residential and commercial buildings, conservation work for monuments and aged buildings, addition and alteration work for schools and churches, as well as interior decoration and finishing work.

Its managing director Per Tiam Hee elaborates on his direction for the company amid a changing market.

Q: What does winning this award mean to you and for your business?

A: As a first time winner of the Enterprise 50 Awards, this win means that we have established a foothold in the local market and the recognition and platform to springboard our company to the next level.

Q: How has digital transformation affected your business and the industry you are in?

A: Digital transformation has swept through the construction industry in recent years. There are software advancements such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), the 3-D model-based application.
Another trend is virtual construction, which helps to optimise operations and enhances work coordination through visualisation.

Q: What are some of the latest innovations and technologies that you have implemented in your company?

A: SCT has been adopting cost estimation software which helps increase productivity in the tender department. For instance, quantity surveyors can use the software to accurately measure the wall area in a house in one click.

There has been feedback about the software, which we take seriously and from here, learn how to provide better service.

Our core operating principle as always been one of “excellence in service”, and we provide continuity and consistency in our workmanship and by adhering to industrial standards.

We are also using BIM software for a new church project that we are working on. The church is a four-storey building with a basement and an attic, and BIM allows the engineer to check for discrepancies in the earlier stage of the project instead of later, during the construction stage, which may incur costs.

Q: What are some major challenges that your business has faced recently?

A: The construction market is shrinking in recent years, in terms of the number of tender construction contracts available, and this affects SMEs such as ourselves.

As such, we find that it is critical for us to focus on projects where we have an advantage, which is in the conservation of monuments and heritage buildings, and the construction of institutional and religious buildings like traditional temples, churches and mosques.

Q: How important do you think it is for companies to be open and adaptable to learning or using new technology to stay relevant?

A: Just as technology has benefited society, businesses have to learn and adopt what benefits them to increase their productivity and ease or improve operations.

Q: How do you compare your company against other businesses and competition?

A: Our niche is the conservation of monuments and heritage buildings and religious buildings.

Some buildings we have worked on include the Kew Ong Yah Temple in Upper Serangoon which was gazetted a national monument in 2005, Grace Baptist Church at Mattar Road, BW Monastery in Woodlands and the famous Thian Hock Keng Temple in Telok Ayer.

Such projects require a depth of experience and a combination of the right engineering approach, skilled personnel and materials to be successfully executed.

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