Our next ‘Sixty seconds of steel’ feature is with Cedric Easthorpe of DBM Vircon.

HERA member DBM Vircon is one of the world’s largest structural modelling and steel detailing companies with considerable experience in commercial, industrial, infrastructure and digital engineering projects. With offices spread across the U.S.A, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, India, Philippines, and Thailand, their operations are inter-connected by a state-of-the-art wide-area network, with robust backups and disaster recovery systems.

The workflows and networks employed by DBM Vircon enable multiple users to share and work simultaneously from any location providing unique capabilities, particularly on large, complex projects. With a dedicated in-house research and development team, DBM Vircon can stay on the cutting edge of modelling, detailing, and data reporting, by developing exclusive systems and software. HERA spoke to the Business Manager, Cedric Easthorpe, about the future of steel, the impact of industry 4.0 and some of the challenges and opportunities the company is facing.


How are you finding current business conditions?

There has been a steady flow of offshore projects and more recently, growth in the New Zealand market which is encouraging. Pricing is very competitive both offshore and locally and margins are squeezed, however we are getting reasonable returns and are optimistic that there will be steady and sustainable growth going forward.

Has the pandemic affected your business?

To some extent it has, mainly in that there has been a level of inefficiency caused by working from home, but more importantly all our people have been equipped to work from home, resulting minimal loss of time and productivity.


What has been the most frustrating aspect of the pandemic?

All our projects involve and rely on teamwork and effective communication. While we were able to connect and communicate via MS Teams, not being able to function in person was frustrating. We have a dedicated internet connection in the office, but working from home using various internet providers in the public domain caused frustration due to less than favourable internet speeds and connectivity.


Where do you see potential growth for your company?

We already have a strong presence in the commercial markets, but with the skill set we have in the industrial market, we see potential for growth in this space, both in New Zealand and offshore. We also see potential for growth in the Digital Engineering space in New Zealand, having delivered successful projects in Australia.


Staff retention – how easy is it and do you have enough?

We have a considerably low turnover of staff in the New Zealand office. Most our staff have been with the Company from between 10 to 38 years. I believe our core values go a long way towards making our workplace a safe, respected and happy environment with equal opportunities for everyone.  


What sort of 4.0 technologies has your company adopted and what are some of the benefits you are seeing as a result?

I suppose staying up to date with the software packages we use and our cloud-based platforms fall into this category, as does our extremely robust data security and cyber security systems. As our Tekla models are cloud based, the ability to have multiple offices across different time zones work in the same model is a huge benefit. 


What steps is your company consciously taking to help mitigate climate change?

Being an office-based business, I am not sure that there is much more we can do to help mitigate climate change, other than conserving energy, recycling consumables and avoiding unnecessary paper printing.

Are you interested to feature in our ‘Sixty seconds of steel’ series?

We’d love to talk to any of our members that would like to be profiled so we can share what your business is up to more widely on our platforms!

This is a great opportunity to not only help our industry move forward by being more open with each other, but it also allows you to get your business in front of more eyes as well. How? HERA’s digital communication platforms collectively have around 6000 subscribers/followers made up of individuals and businesses interested in the New Zealand metals industry… and growing!

Moving forward, we also plan to leverage our newly created Pūtātara media lab to develop digital collateral in video and audio form to share on our platforms. This is a great chance for you to get digital promotional resources (which could normally cost you in the thousands) for free!

The best part? It will take up very little of your time to get it across the line, as we’ll do all the heavy hitting for you.

To find out more, get in touch with our Manager Customer Experience, Rebecca Symonds to get the ball rolling!