Peter de Vuyst followed his father into the construction industry. He began by helping out his dad on site as a teenager, learning how things were built, and eventually turned to the tools, building houses and helping out on bigger projects. By the time he had finished school, he knew what he wanted to do. He jumped headfirst into a couple of university degrees and set his sights on project management and administration in the commercial building sector.
Fast forward 10 years or so, and Peter is now the manager of Kane Property Services (KPS), leading his team of enthusiastic men and women on a myriad of small works and maintenance projects under the Kane Constructions umbrella. His role includes overall project management of the KPS team and their projects, and his objective is to keep everyone happy, while ensuring the team is delivering a quality product to the client.
Peter says he finds every project satisfying in its own way, even though some are more challenging than others. One example of a more challenging project the team current faces is the Albert St Church roof replacement, as it’s located in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD with minimal access.
Peter’s day is often eventful, diverse and long. At any one time, KPS could be handling up to 18 jobs from Wacol through to Caloundra.
It all starts with a morning coffee and sometimes some croissants or bagels for the office team. Peter likes to keep the morale up in the office by treating his crew — he also has a penchant for pastries!
He checks in with the KPS estimating team on how current tenders are progressing, and contemplates the tender due at the end of the week which KPS are pretty keen to win. He confirms that KPS are on track to put forward a competitive submission.
Peter then starts on a program and construction methodology for another tender due the following week. It’s a good job and he has a detailed discussion with estimator Shane Rush and Nick Brockhurst to make sure the methodology meets the tender request.
Next, Peter heads out to one of the smaller project sites to check in with site supervisor Phillip Newport, assess some concerns from a recent interruption, and confirm the client is happy with the works to date.
In transit back to the office, he takes a call from another site manager Jack Trainer, advising of a concern with a pipe connection and confirming a plan of action.
Back in the office, Peter pushes on with his tender program, then responds to news of an upcoming project. He decides to assemble a package of similar previous experience to send across to the client who he has worked with previously, to get the process underway.
Peter and one of the project teams meet up with a client over lunch to discuss a recent project completion. The client is full of praise for KPS’ work and it’s a great opportunity to celebrate this success at the same time as discussing lessons learnt.
Peter then visits the job site where that morning’s issue was discovered, he inspects the issue and meets the specialist contractor with the site manager.
On the drive back, Peter has time to call several other sites to plan works for the following week, and check other jobs are progressing as planned.
Back to the latest tender, he finishes his methodology for the estimating team, and finalises his project forecasting for upcoming monthly reporting.
The final task is to check his calendar for the next day’s events and prepare for a site visit first up the following morning at the Sunshine Coast.
Peter says that he loves his work’s frenetic pace and relishes the challenges it presents daily.
“Every day has a unique challenge and I like the diversity of being involved in all aspects of KPS, from finding new clients, pricing the projects, delivering projects and creating long term relationships with our clients,” he says.
“The culture, the people, the support and being part of a team that values everyone as importantly as each other is real. The project wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for the managers and BDM finding work to price, wouldn’t be won without the estimating team, and wouldn’t be delivered successfully without the site managers and labourers on site putting in the hands on hard work.”