As this newsletter marks the end of the financial year, I thought I’d reflect on the last 12 months and take a step back to look at the big picture. And it has been a big picture for Macroplan, with growth in both the amount and scope of our work.
Our increase has been both an organic and strategic response to the needs of our clients - sometimes anticipating those needs even before our clients do!
So, for me, the past year has been all about growing to meet demand. We’ve done that by maintaining our repeat client base, and by creating new demand through the extended range of services we can deliver.
With our recognised expertise in planning, economics, advisory and feasibility, this year saw the addition of project management to our skill set. Macroplan is currently managing the delivery of over 12,000 residential lots in one project alone.
Meeting the demand also means that we’ve invested a lot of time and effort into understanding other sectors, assisting our clients in the increasingly important fields of health and education. These are becoming major areas of our business, along with our traditional strengths in retail, residential, retirement and industrial. This spread in our sectoral offering reflects changes in the broader economy where the service industry is booming.
We’ve enjoyed a very broad mix in project scope throughout the year, with a growing part of our work around health, education and business hubs, such as Melbourne’s Monash cluster, Macquarie Park in Sydney, Oceanside Health hub on the Sunshine Coast and South Perth Train Station in Perth.
While we continue to do work with a particular project focus, our clients are now turning to us for our deeper understanding of how these sectors can be new opportunities. They want to know what the world is going to look like in 20 years’ time and how we plan for that future place.
Governments are also seeking answers to the big questions such as: what does tourism mean and how do we facilitate it; and what does housing demand mean and how do we deliver affordable housing?
Macroplan prides itself on its strong thought leadership. This year saw the launch of ‘Destructive Cities’, the most recent book by Brian Haratsis. It provides a comprehensive and compelling argument on how we must prepare to take advantage of rapid changes in technology and the rise of the service industry through our urban environment. We also undertook an innovative research project, CityLife Labs looking at a polycentric Sydney.
Our leadership role is also evident in Macroplan’s board representation across the industry groups, PCA, UDIA and QFI, and in our strategic advisory to government.
To meet the internal demand of our increased breadth of service provision, as well as the greater volume of work, we have been investing in our people and our office space. Some of our new stars are Somma Sourivong, as our GM Vitoria, Tony Carmichael, as National Principal Strategic Advisor, and our Chief Advisor, Dr Nigel Stapledon. They join our existing stellar cast. Overall, staff numbers grew by almost 20% during the year.
As Macroplan’s reputation has allowed us to attract some of the brightest in the business, we are also fortunate to have a great record for staff retention. Some of our longest serving staff include; James Turnbull, Wayne Gersbach, Daniel Parker, George Alexiou, Rachel Mulder and Jason Anderson.
While the Macroplan family grows, there’s also been growth in our personal families. We’ve had a bit of a baby boom going on here. Yet another reason to celebrate.
So, as we put this year to bed, you may be wondering what’s in store for 2017-’18 . . .
Well, we’ll be bringing all our staff together from around the country in what will be a monumental occasion for us. Having achieved over 30 years in the business, we can’t let that milestone go by without a party.
And don’t be surprised to see a new look for Macroplan when we rebrand in the coming months as part of that celebration.
It’s going to be another great year for us and we’re confident that, working together, it’s going to be another great one for you too! I wish you all the best for the next financial year.