David Harford – Employee Q&A

Here at REDS we have a talented team of technicians, engineers and consultants who work under the direction of our experienced project managers. Having joined REDS in 2019 as a senior project manager, David Harford has recently been appointed Associate Director, heading up the construction division. We spoke to David to find out a little more about him, his route into the fuel and oil industry and his experiences as senior project manager at REDS.

How did you come to be working within the Oil & Fuel sector?

With a civils background in construction, tank inspection and pipe installations the route into the industry came relatively organically. I crossed over into the Fuel industry as a Commercial Sales Director and within a short time due to a change in company structure I took on full responsibility of large-scale projects which included compiling project tenders and designing.  It was during this time; I found an incredible mentor in Colin Mitchell and learnt a great deal.   I have been fortunate to work with some incredibly knowledgeable people who were willing to mentor me and guide me in the right direction.

What significant changes have you seen within these disciplines and industry over the past 10years?

Paperwork has increased significantly as greater safeguarding and environmental considerations are now in place.  Equipment and knowledge have much improved too. I could tell you some horror stories of what it was like to work on a build 20years ago when regard for health and safety was just not in peoples list of priorities.  Things have improved so much for the better.

How did these changes impact on your role as Senior Project Manager?

As the changes I refer to have been progressive over time, I have been able to adjust and incorporate them within my day to day.  As Senior Project Manager I am responsible for my team, the client, the clients’ assets, and local environment so by having rigorous safeguarding regulations and undergoing regular due diligence, I feel protected in the knowledge that it is carried out to a series of set standards.

 

How much involvement do you have with the design and planning stages of a build?

I am involved from the initial tendering process right the way through to completion of the project. This includes assisting my esteemed colleague, Nigel Friend, in writing and pricing up the tender, leading prestart meetings, programming, listing materials, securing the labour, and overseeing the project throughout.  With regards to designing I offer suggestions to suit and am often on hand to create flexible solutions when obstacles arise such as, asbestos and water flooding.  The key to my role is to remain flexible, adapt, and make decisions based upon the information presented.

What does your job on site entail?

I oversee the team working on site, making certain that regulations such as health and safety are adhered to, that we are on track for financial planning milestones and regularly reporting progress to the client.

From the major projects you have worked on with REDS Group, which has been the most challenging and why?

Bicester has been the most challenging due to it having to stay operational throughout the build, which meant having to carryout works in two phases.

What has been the most rewarding project with REDS to date?

Every job is rewarding when on time, within budget and the client is happy with the result.

 

How do you balance your time between managing current projects and preparing for the next?

It is a balancing act; however, I am fortunate to have the support of an incredible team around me, from the guys on site through to the operational staff based out of Devon.

Outside of your busy work schedule what do you enjoy doing?

I am an avid cyclist both on the road and mountain biking, I really love escaping to the Forest of Dean when I get chance.

Date Posted: 03/11/2021