Blog

Mistakes to Avoid During an Office Fit-Out or Refurbishment

Committing to a new office Fit-Out or Refurbishment is a significant undertaking. There are a lot of moving parts involved and you need your brand-new office up and running again as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there are many mistakes people make when carrying out a Fit-Out or Refurbishment. We’ve listed some of the top pitfalls …

Worksmart in the Community

Our Local Community Worksmart embrace and believe in supporting our local community in numerous different ways. This includes being involved with various local charities, and supporting local causes that empower local people and help to grow the local economy. Some such charities we work closely with include Centrestage, a community-based organisation who run events, classes, …

How Worksmart Deliver Value to Clients

In today’s world the expectations and demands placed upon those in the industry are high. We are doing more work, in tighter timeframes and for less money. Every company within the sector has three main areas in which they must compete: Cost, quality and differential. “Why should we use Worksmart?” is asked in relation in …

Women in Construction Summit London 2019

Back in May, we sent our very own Kellie Ann down to London to the Women in Construction Summit. Here, she writes about her experience at the event, and speaks about the issues that were up for discussion.  I attended the Women in Construction Summit on the 16th May at the Olympia, London. This summit …

Schools Back – End of a Busy Summer for Worksmart

It’s official, the schools are back! This marks the return to work various sectors in which we undertake project during the summer, such as colleges, Universities and Football Clubs. It’s been a very busy summer workload for Worksmart and we’ve been all over Scotland and the UK. Recent years have provided Worksmart Contracts with a …

My Four Week Construction Placement at Kilmarnock F.C.

Not many young football fans get to spend time at the club they love after the full-time whistle has gone, but that’s exactly what happened to Fynlay. He was lucky enough to land a work experience placement, not only in the construction industry, but also at his beloved Kilmarnock Football Club! Fynlay was kind enough …

How to Choose the Right Fit-Out/Refurbishment Contractor

Carrying out a Fit-Out or Refurbishment can be a massive undertaking for a client, as an Architect or Surveyor, it’s crucial you steer them in the right direction and choose the correct contractor. We’ve devised a list of crucial checkpoints you need to consider before choosing a Fit-Out/Refurbishment contractor for your next project. Do your …

Refurbishment Works at Park Hotel Ayrshire

WORKSMART Contracts are delighted to announce that we have been selected as the refurbishment contractor for new works at The Park Hotel in Kilmarnock. The Ayrshire hotel, which is adjoined to Kilmarnock F.C’s Rugby Park Football Stadium, has been granted funding to modernise its facilities. The works at the four-star hotel include a full refurbishment …

Life as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor

Having recently joined the Worksmart team through our Graduate Program, Cameron Maudsley talks to us about life as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor. Cameron has a bright future ahead of him and is a great role model for other young people looking to enter the industry. How long have you been with Worksmart Contracts and how …

Benefits of a Fit-Out or Refurbishment to a College

For the past several years, Worksmart Contracts has enjoyed a mutually beneficial working relationship with Ayrshire’s largest educational institution: Ayrshire College. This affiliation has seen Worksmart carry out a variety of works at both the Ayr and Kilwinning Campuses. These projects have proved to be hugely advantageous to the College and Worksmart. Heather Dunk OBE …

A Coffee & a Chat with James Harkins – Business Development Manager

The most recent addition to the Worksmart team, James Harkins is our Business Development Manager. We sat down with him in order to get to know him a little better. Hi James, how are you today? I’m very well thanks. Firstly, I’m James, it’s great to meet you all! Could you describe your role and …

Laying the Foundations – Gary Roberston, Operations Manager

This interview is designed to uncover the stories behind the people at Worksmart and their careers until this point. How you got to where you are today, essentially. Gary, thanks for sitting down to answer a few questions today! Hope we haven’t caught you on a busy day? Most days are quite busy to be …

Women in Construction

I attended the Scotland Build Expo at Glasgow SEC a few weeks ago and sat in on the Women in Construction panel discussion. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by how busy the hub was, especially compared with the other workshops. The women on the panel were discussing the gender imbalance …

Another Giant Stride for Women in Construction

Worksmart Contracts’ Briony Aulton recently picked up the John Mather Trust Award. The joinery apprentice was given the award in recognition for her career achievements thus far and will aid the young apprentice in her career progression. The John Mather Trust is a charitable organisation set up to benefit young people in the West of …

Laying the Foundations

Gordon Bain is Worksmart’s Buyer, he is responsible for all procurement and supply chain requirements throughout the company. He sat down to look back on his life and career to date. How was your school life? Were you a good/bad student? Did you do as well as you could have in terms of grades? My …

Hiring Working Site Supervisors & Site Managers

Worksmart are looking for additional Working Site Supervisors & Site Managers to join and complement our existing Team. Working on Fast Track Interior Refurbishment & Fit Outs throughout Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ayrshire and throughout Scotland. Worksmart Contracts have a proven track record and pedigree in first class quality projects. Apply only by emailing [email protected] and let …

A Day in The Life of a Trainee Quantity Surveyor: Dylan Parker

Hi Dylan, thanks for sitting down with me today. Before we delve into your day, could you give me a brief description of your job and your responsibilities within Worksmart? No problem at all. I’ve been in the position for 18 months which also involves attending Glasgow Caledonian University one day a week. My role …

Everything you need to know about Worksmart Fire Door Inspection

– Hi Mark, you’re heading up the new Worksmart Fire Door Inspection division, could you tell me a bit about it and how it came to be? Worksmart Contracts have been installing fire doors and screens as integral elements of their glazed partitioning and multi trade fit-outs for many years and the new Fire Door …

A Day in the Life of: Barry Wilson, Estimating Director

A Day in The Life of: Worksmart’s Estimating Director Worksmart’s Estimating Director Barry Wilson took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk us through an average day in his world. Hi Barry, thanks for sitting down with me today. Before we delve into your day, could you give me a …

Kilmarnock Football Club taking Rugby Park into the Top Division in Corporate Hospitality

After a fabulous season in which Kilmarnock FC were taken to new heights by Steve Clark, the Killie board have followed suit and continued their support and development of the Club. Part of these new plans involved the transformation of the existing Executive Club into the new Champions Lounge, as well as a new reception …

Check out our brand new project with Ayrshire College

For the second summer in a row, Worksmart Contracts have successfully completed an impressive development and refurbishment project for Ayrshire College. The works at the Dam Park Building on Ayr Campus involved the full refurbishment of the existing first floor teaching areas, corridors and link corridor; forming new staff base areas, teaching rooms and new …

Attacking the Skills Gap – Worksmart’s First Female Apprentice Joiner

Hi, I’m Briony, Worksmart’s first female joinery apprentice! I’m here to tell you all about why I’ve chosen joinery as a career and go into the pros and cons of working within a male dominated environment as a female joinery apprentice. I’ve not always wanted to be a joiner; over the years – like a …

WOMEN IN FIT-OUT

The FIS Women in fit-out sector has been formed to help bring greater recognition to a crucial part of the construction team and to encourage women to enter the sector. Its aims are to: • Raise the profile of women in the industry and highlight their successes. • Inspire the next generation of women to …

Coffee & a Chat with Gary Baxter – Project Manager

Relatively new to the Worksmart family, Project Manager Gary Baxter describes how impressed he has been with the company since joining just under a year ago. Tell me a bit about your working background and how you came to join Worksmart? I began my career as a joiner in the early 1990s, specialising in private …

Coffee & a Chat with Donna Herman – HR & Office Manager

Donna Herman – HR & Office Manager With nearly 25 years of refurbishment & fit-out industry experience under her belt, Worksmart’s HR and Office Manager Donna Herman tells us about her role, the responsibilities she has and how she came to be where she is today. Tell me a bit about your working background and …

A Coffee and a Chat with… Lisa Neilson, Owner and Financial Director

Lisa Neilson – BSc (Hons) MSc, has come a long way within Worksmart over the last 10 years. A qualified forensic scientist, she tells us about her journey and shares her advice to any young people with aspirations of a successful career. Could you tell me a bit about your working background? I’m the Owner …

Worksmart increase their support at Kilmarnock Football Club

Following an outstanding season for both Kilmarnock Football Club and Worksmart Contracts Ltd, Worksmart have increased their support of Kilmarnock Football Club with both Season Tickets and Corporate Signage advertising Worksmart further to the Ayrshire Business Community. Pictured with the legendary Ray Montgomerie of Kilmarnock Football Club and former Killie Captain of the league winning …

A Coffee and a Chat with… Paul Cravens, Commercial Director

With the better part of two decades in the industry, Paul Cravens is an experienced Quantity Surveyor and Worksmart’s Commercial Director. We sat down with him to get his insight into his role and hear his advice for someone looking to make a career in Quantity Surveying. Tell me a bit about your working background …

The Life of an Interior Contractor

A significant proportion of the projects we win are competitively tendered, we are regularly competing against up to 5 contractors and sometimes more. It is a competitive world we live in and sometime the race to be the cheapest can be soul destroying. We spend money and time in making sure our Management Systems, IT, …

FIS guide to fit-out & Refurbishment

Here at Worksmart we are proud to be associated with FIS – Finishes and Interiors Sector. FIS represents specialists in all aspects of the interior fit-out and finishes sector. They are a truly vertically integrated organisation with members from across the sector supply chain. They work on behalf of the sector to develop skills, drive …

A Coffee and a Chat with… Kellie-Ann Lees, Bookkeeper

Kellie-Ann is Worksmart’s bookkeeper, handling all of the accounts and making sure everyone is paid on time. Such responsibility means Kellie-Ann treads a fine line between being the most and least popular person in the office. Luckily, she’s great at what she does, and no one has to worry about not being paid on time! …

Worksmart takes on the Mighty Killie at Rugby Park

After the Tender process Worksmart worked with the Board of Directors at Kilmarnock Football Club and their Architects, Thomson Hunter through a Value Engineering process to ensure the Client had the best Design and Specification at the best price possible and Worksmart Contracts were awarded the Project. With such a success at Kilmarnock Football Club …

Nicola Sturgeon opens Worksmart’s Brussels Scotland House Project

Nicola Sturgeon visited and opened an expanded and refurbished Scotland House in the heart of Brussels’ Schuman district looking over the European Parliament and official buildings. Scotland’s First Minister stated that the facility is there to help Scottish Businesses and increase Scotland’s presence across the EU. This will play a major part in representing Scotland …

Worksmart Complete Refurbishment for Billy Bowie Special Projects

Billy Bowie Special Projects are a leading U.K. Company specialising in Haulage, Jetting, Skip Hire, Recycling, Composting, Vehicle Sales & Hire amongst other services. As an Ayrshire Company, with a well-known owner at the helm Mr Billy Bowie, it has been great to watch their significant growth in Scotland and throughout its U.K. Office and …

Worksmart Re-Join the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce

We were thrilled to share with you some very exciting news this week. No, we’re not talking about the fact that we now have almost a thousand likes on Facebook (although that is a close second), but that we are now member of the Ayrshire Chamber once again. We are delighted to have re-joined this …

A Coffee and a Chat with… Keir Anderson, Commercial Manager

One of the key divisions within the business here at Worksmart is our commercial team, who are on hand to ensure that all our interior fit-out and refurbishment projects run smoothly. Kieran sat down with Keir Anderson, our Commercial Manager, to talk about his role in the company. KJ: Hi Keir, what are some of …

Working Digital 2018 – The Obligatory Post-Event Blog

Well, after much planning and hype, Working Digital 2018 is finally in the rear-view mirror. This was a truly fantastic event for the entire Worksmart team, as well as the wider world of Ayrshire business. We were treated to two nights of interesting and engaging speakers, and we will tell you a bit more below. …

My Journey as an Apprentice

Hi, I’m Kieran but you’ve already guessed that by my photo at the top of the page. I’m the current happy, smiley face (or grumpy one, depending on who you ask) of Worksmart, and have been their Digital Marketing Apprentice for the last 14 months. I’ll tell you a bit about my journey, and some …

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018

  This week, the 5th – 9th of March is Scottish Apprenticeship Week. This is a government initiative used to promote the benefits of apprenticeships, and the positive impact they can have on the apprentice, the business that employs them and the economy. Worksmart have consistently used apprentices throughout our 15 years in business. Worksmart …

Working Digital 2018

Worksmart are delighted to be announced as Principal Sponsors for Working Digital 2018 – Engaging the Digital Customer. http://www.workingdigital.co.uk/ Working Digital is a unique digital technology and social media event involving industry leaders, key thinkers and future business stars. Providing live presentations and workshops, along with original digital content, Working Digital is a free platform, …

A Coffee and a Chat with… Brian Henderson, Contracts Manager

The team here at Worksmart is always expanding, and we have taken on several members of staff in recent months. Our most recent addition is Brian Henderson, who recently sat down with Kieran to talk about his role in the company. KJ: Hi Brian, how have you enjoyed your time at Worksmart so far? BH: …

Our Christmas Message – Getting Fit for the future

As we steam full throttle towards Christmas with tenders still arriving on our desk, jobs still going to site and some projects finishing (and the obligatory social event), we have taken some time to gather our thoughts and reflect on the past year at Worksmart. The business has experienced significant and structured growth over the …

The FIS Scottish Awards 2017

On Friday the 6th of October, some of the Worksmart team attended the FIS Scottish Contracting Awards, which turned out to be a great day for our team. Worksmart won two Gold awards and one Silver award at this prestigious ceremony hosted at the Principal Hotel in Edinburgh. We entered into four different categories at …

An Interview with Alan Brown of Forza Doors Ltd.

As well as McGarry Flooring (who we discussed in last week’s blog), one of Worksmart’s key suppliers is Forza Doors Ltd. Kieran caught up with Alan Brown, co-owner of Forza, to discuss more about their business. KJ: Good Afternoon Alan. Firstly, can you tell me a bit about Forza Doors? AB: Forza was founded by …

An Interview with Liam McGarry of McGarry Flooring Ltd

One of Worksmart’s main suppliers since the company began has been McGarry Flooring Ltd, who continually provide an excellent service on all our fit-out and refurbishment projects. Our marketing apprentice Kieran recently spoke to Liam McGarry, owner of McGarry Flooring Ltd, to discuss all aspects of his business. KJ: Hi Liam, what can you tell …

Scottish Construction’s Future

One of the big stories in Scottish Construction at the moment has been the long awaited opening of the Queensferry Crossing, the newest bridge over the Firth of Forth. With the limelight back on the world of construction in Scotland, I thought I would take a look at how the interior fit-out and refurbishment may …

The FIS – Improving the Interiors Sector

One of our partners who we often engage with on social media is the FIS, or the Finishes and Interiors Sector to give them their full title. They are a leading body in the interiors sector, who host regular events and awards design to promote fit-outs and refurbishments to the wider public. Our marketing apprentice …

A Day with Worksmart’s Edinburgh Team

On Monday the 28th of August, our digital marketing apprentice Kieran spent the day with the Edinburgh office. He tells you about his day below. My day started bright and early at 6:30, when I arrived at the train station in Kilmarnock for my train. After waiting for 20 minutes, my first train arrived to …

Willie McIlvanney Campus Kilmarnock East Ayrshire Council

Worksmart secures the Glazed Partitioning & Fire Screen package at the Willie McIlvanney Campus Kilmarnock East Ayrshire Council with Kier Construction Worksmart have secured work at the East Ayrshire Learning Campus, or the Willie McIlvanney Campus as it is now formerly named, which takes its name from the renowned local poet & writer.  We will …

Worksmart’s Storage Division

After nearly 2 years of operation, the Worksmart Storage Division has already established themselves as one of the premier suppliers of storage equipment in the UK.  Our marketing apprentice Kieran sat down with Colin Lightbody, Worksmart’s Senior Sales Executive, to discuss their successes. KJ: Good Afternoon Colin. Which services do the Worksmart Storage Division provide …

Helping to Improve your Business with Worksmart & Komfort Glazed Partitioning Solutions

One of Worksmart’s main supplier partners since our inception in 2002 has been Komfort, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of glass partitioning. Dan Smith, Komfort’s Project Specification Manager, sat down with our marketing apprentice Kieran Johnstone in the Worksmart Lounge built in Double Glazed Komfort Polar Glazed Partitioning with Sonik P Double Glazed Door …

June 2017 at Worksmart – Golf, Samaritans and Summer School

Another month rolls by in the Worksmart calendar- and it’s been a very busy one. We have been from the top of the UK right to the bottom, going all the way from Aberdeen to London. This week’s blog will show some of the things we have been up to in June. The month started …

Worksmart Go from Strength to Strength after Edinburgh Move

The decision to open an office in Edinburgh has paid off with the business securing work on a number of prestigious projects. We are now targeting further expansion as the reputation of our skilled team’s ability to deliver high quality work on time and to budget grows.  We opened an office in the city in …

How Worksmart Won the 2017 FIS Gold Judges Award

As those who follow us on social media will know, we have recently returned from the FIS Awards in London. These were held at the impressive Dorchester Hotel in London and turned out to be a very successful trip for Worksmart. Our refurbishment project at the Gaiety in Ayr, won the Gold Judges Awards. This …

Ayrshire Samaritans – Helping Ayrshire Cope

Worksmart have recently completed a fit-out of the Samaritans new Branch in Kilmarnock town centre. Cathy and Hilary from the Samaritans sat down with our Digital Marketing Apprentice Kieran Johnstone to discuss how this will affect them. KJ: Hi, what made you chose Worksmart to fit-out your new office? AS: We chose Worksmart after a …

15 Years of Worksmart: An Interview with Stephen Neilson

Tuesday the 23rd of May 2017 is a very important day at Worksmart – we have launched our new website at www.makeitworksmart.co.uk and we will be celebrating our 15 year anniversary. Our digital marketing apprentice, Kieran Johnstone, sat down with Managing Director Stephen Neilson to discuss both these milestones. KJ: Hi Steve, what do you …

How Scotland House in London is Helping Scottish Businesses

Scotland House in London has recently been opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.The latest Innovation and Investment Hub was officially opened in London after Worksmart’s Team created the state of the art facility in London’s Victoria Embankment through 16 weeks of Interior Fit-Out. Scotland House will provide touchdown facilities and a place to meet customers …

Scotland House: The New Hotspot for Scottish Business

Following the recent announcement from the Economy Secretary Keith Brown MSP, Scotland House has just been launched in London. The purpose of Scotland House is to allow businesses to improve their presence in the thriving London market, and appeal to clients in this area. What makes Scotland House unique is its focus on supporting Scotland’s …

How Worksmart Are Socially Responsible

Just like any organisation, it is hugely important for Worksmart to be socially responsible – meaning that we must operate in a positive and ethical way. This can be achieved in many ways, from making sure all our employees have the consumer in mind and completing interior fit-outs to the highest standard to donating money …

Why Appealing to the Next Generation of Potential Businesspeople is Crucial

Hi, I’m Kieran Johnstone, Worksmart’s new digital marketing apprentice, and I’ve been instructed to have a try at writing a blog. Hope you all enjoy my first attempt. Speaking from my own personal experience, business was never very high on my list of potential careers when I first went to school. While a chef and …

Building a sustainable Business in the East of Scotland

Since our inception in 2002 we have completed a number of interiors projects throughout the East of Scotland, but we recognised that in order to grow a sustainable business it was necessary to open an office in Edinburgh and recruit accordingly. This vision came to life on 5th January 2016 and in just over a …

#makeitworksmart by B2B

Steve Neilson Managing Director of Worksmart Contracts stated “Since the start of Worksmart Contracts some fifteen years ago Worksmart Contracts have always concentrated in B2B works. Working closely with existing and new End User Clients in our Multi Trade Fast Track Interior Fit-Outs and Refurbishments where we work hand in hand with the Clients and …

Investing in and Developing the Worksmart Team

Worksmart continues its development and investment in the Construction Industry with a wide spread approach to Tradespersons and Staff. Three years ago Worksmart identified skills shortages in the Construction industry following the recession and set out plans to grow the Worksmart Team in a variety of methods. Starting off with a School lever joining us …

Storage Solutions

The team have had an extremely successful 2016, with orders coming from as far away as Stoke and Aberdeen.  From competitive tenders including PCS, to existing customers, to framework agreements, to prospecting all over the country with our range of branded catalogues, the team have won a number of projects in various industry sectors including …

Worksmart Education | Edinburgh Napier University

Worksmart have secured further success in the Education sector with refurbishment works at Edinburgh Napier University – Merchiston Campus. The Design Corridor alterations and refurbishment were won via competitive tender and is a significant project for our new Edinburgh office. The nine week programme will consist of considerable downtakings with works commencing to four design …

Kingsway Court | Spring Update

Works are well underway at our Kingsway Court project for Glasgow Housing Association with the erection of structural steel on site. An introduction to the project can be found here. All civil engineering works have now been completed and the roof structure can now begin to take shape. Low level block work is being carried out …

Worksmart Golf Day | Dundonald Links

Worksmart held our inaugural Golf Day, Thursday 16th June 2016, at Ayrshire’s stunning Kyle Phillips designed course, Dundonald Links. Attendees included the Worksmart team from our three offices: Kilmarnock, Manchester, and Edinburgh, architects, designers, surveyors, and property agents. The day began with coffee and breakfast rolls in the Clubhouse to fuel the 8 teams of …

Euros 2016 | Worksmart #WIN

The EUROS 2016 got off to a cracking start last week and to celebrate Worksmart are giving away UEFA EURO 2016 Adidas Replica Match Glider Footballs alongside some of our new #makeitworksmart merchandise! You can cut a fashionable figure in our new Worksmart eco-totes and button badges.

Glasgow Kelvin College | Spring Works

Worksmart are delighted to progress their expertise in the education sector with the successful completion of another project for Glasgow Kelvin College. The multi-trade, fast-track works, secured through Public Contracts Scotland involved forming two new classrooms in a former, open-plan staff canteen at the Springburn Campus. A full joinery package was employed with the installation …

Ayr Gaiety Theatre | Secret Staircase

During week thirteen of refurbishments at Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre Worksmart’s joinery team uncovered a secret on the fourth floor. What Happened?  The team are in the process of creating a fourth floor lighting booth and office space as well as configuring the new ventilation system. While lifting floorboards for the ventilation contractor our joiners discovered …

North Ayrshire Council | RAMS Relocation

North Ayrshire Council are moving from Perceton House and relocating to a new records management unit. Worksmart are delighted to be providing bespoke storage solutions for the new purpose built unit secured through competitive tender (Public Contracts Scotland Quick Quote). Our solution was focused on being fully interchangeable and relocatable to best suit the council’s …

NHS Ayrshire & Arran Woodland View | Working Local

Worksmart worked alongside main contractor Balfour Beatty to supply and install glazed partitioning solutions for Woodland View, NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s new £46m mental health and community facility in Irvine. Balfour Beatty’s pledge to support local employment and subcontractors throughout the duration of the project ensured that 23% of the workforce hailed from Ayrshire, secured our …

Gaiety Theatre | Phase One

Phase one of Worksmart’s extensive refurbishment of Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre is complete ahead of tonight’s Murder Mystery performance: The April Fool. The phase involved reviving the tired changing facilities with our team installing new flooring and suspended ceilings, worktops and shelving, sanitary works (2 disabled access showers) and M&E systems. The décor is clean, bright …

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016 | Working on Campus

To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016 Worksmart are sharing the achievements of our apprentice joiners James, Stephen, and Alex who have been learning their trade on campus but not only within the confines of the classroom. The three are currently undertaking a CITB Modern Apprenticeship and were drafted in during the Summer of 2015 to …

Pure Gym, Livingston | Refurbishment and Fit-Out

Pure Gym, Livingston | Refurbishment and Fit-Out In late 2015 Worksmart completed an extensive refurbishment and fit-out for low-cost fitness chain Pure Gym at Leithen House, Livingston. This former financial call centre and operational hub required Worksmart to transform the complex infrastructure of multiple data and server rooms into an open plan space for the …