TClarke Group Managing Director, Mike Crowder and ETON Director Jamie Ward set out the strategic picture behind TClarke’s acquisition of Integration specialists ETON Associates
Technology is a strategic growth area for the whole construction sector
The Construction marketplace is moving rapidly towards integration of all building systems and digital networks. This is being driven hard - both by end users and equally by principal contractors. Both see big benefits - in the efficiency of the building and the efficiency of the construction programme.
Big data is transforming the world of property management by allowing building owners, users and operators to measure, manage and improve efficiency - whether that be by saving energy or using space in far better ways - but that only happens once you have integrated ICT systems delivering all the data you need.
For principal contractors, the increasing complexity of data, security and alarm networks has added to the complexity of construction programming. On major integration projects we can now simplify this for them - allowing them to deliver high quality - but with less management and simplified construction planning, dealing with one supplier instead of four.
Giving TClarke complete control for major integration projects
This acquisition gives us complete control to deliver major integration projects. It is the perfect addition to our substantial existing capabilities - and we know through practical experience.
Because ETON are not only market leaders, this team is one we have worked alongside on landmark projects like 22 Bishopsgate, Bloomberg Place, HM Treasury and Angel Court for over 20 years. So we know each other very very well, we share values and we know their teams and their leaders very well.
Focus on efficiency in bringing the ETON operation into the TClarke family
Bringing them into the TClarke family is something that is happening physically with their teams coming into our head office at Moorgate and their manufacturing operation locating to our new purpose built Stansted manufacturing facility. From a systems point of view, all our back office systems, security and processes are also all being brought together immediately.
Moreover, our onsite delivery working for the same clients together has meant we share the same processes and procedures - so the onsite experience will immediately be seamless.
Jamie Ward and his ETON team are now getting used to life at Moorgate and we’re delighted to be getting all of their strategic insight and experience into our operation. There’s real value in having them onboard.
ETON brand will stay in the market place
ETON is a well established business with a strong set of client and supply chain relationships and we’re going to continue with those. But where there are major integration projects, then you will see this new TClarke offer in play - giving end users and principal contractors a powerful new option.
Now is the perfect time
This move makes so much sense at this point in time because the technologies are now there to match the concepts.
Big Data is a global reality now and it will have a massive impact across construction.
For example, one global industrial company we know has a target of dropping their energy consumption by 1% and this would net them $1bn. It was not possible just a few years ago because the technology was not there. Now with IP addressable metering you can pick up 20 lines of information from a single meter and the potential to learn from the data and make savings can become a reality. The only 'But' is that you have to have truly intelligent buildings or you can't get the data you need to access the savings.
As we move forward there are yet more technology advances - like power delivered over IP so you can run power for light fittings round the same ethernet cabling that delivers data.
When you put ETON’s integration capabilities alongside TClarke’s substantial data infrastructure, fire and alarm systems then we know that there is no one else in the market with this depth and breadth of expertise and resource.
There is an important signal for all TClarke stakeholders here
For everyone with an interest in TClarke, this is one of the most important strategic moves we have made in recent years. No one else in the market can offer the complete integration - of data cabling, fire alarm and security, building management and all other systems on the network.
No one else has a live integration job on the scale and with the potential of 22 Bishopsgate.
The industry is moving quickly and as we have said for several years now, the whole concept of the intelligent building, is something that people will rapidly see as the necessary norm. That creates opportunity for us.
TClarke’s leadership position is clear. Moreover, as we said in our August announcement, after integration costs are taken into account, the acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2018.