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SPOTLIGHT: SJ Construction & A1 Concrete

SJ Construction
This month we are in Carmarthenshire finding out about not one, but two businesses – SJ Construction (Gwili) and A1 Concrete Products (Cymru) Ltd – both run by Sion James and his family.

Y mis yma i ni yn Sir Gâr i ddarganfod mwy am fusnesau SJ Construction (Gwili) ac A1 Concrete Products (Cymru) Ltd, y ddau yn cael ei redeg gan Sion James a’i deulu.

 

Name of Businesses: SJ Construction (Gwili) Ltd & A1 Concrete Products (Cymru) Ltd

Facebook: SJ Construction Sheds Wales

Website: sjconstruction.co.uk

Facebook: A1 Concrete Products – Cymru Ltd 

Website: a1concretepanels.co.uk

What do you do?
Mae SJ Construction yn gwneud a chodi siediau fframiau dur.  Mae A1 yn gwneud paneli concrit ar gyfer siediau da byw a mwy.

SJ Construction (Gwili) Ltd deal in the fabrication and erection of steel framed buildings.

A1 Concrete Products manufactures concrete panels for livestock sheds, silage pits, recycling plants and embankments. 

When was the business started and by whom?
Yn 1996 ddechreuwyd y ddau fusnes gan Sion James a’i dad Eirwyn wrth y llyw.  Mae pethe wedi datblygu llawer dros y blynyddoedd.  Erbyn heddiw i ni yn rhedeg y ddau fusnes o Gaerfyrddin, gyda iard hefyd yn Chwarel Coygen yn Nhalacharn.
SJ Construction was established in 1996 by Sion James and his father Eirwyn James. A1 Concrete was also set up in the same year. Initially we bought concrete panels from other companies to put in our buildings. We also supplied and delivered to other farms locally. Both companies run from Carmarthen. 

By 2015 we had significantly invested in our own concrete panel system, and by 2018 we put in another bed and erected a large building in Laugharne. Having a tight knit relationship with Gerald Harries, we have managed to build a very successful business running out of Coygen Quarry, Laugharne. 

How did the business start?

Roedd gan Eirwyn fusnes bychan yn adeiladu siediau, tan i Sion ddechrau SJ Construction a gweithiodd y ddau o’r cwmni. Roedd gan Sion gefndir mewn peirianneg sifil ac adeiladu a pheirianneg a’r arbenigedd hyn sydd wedi helpu i adeiladu y busnes i’r hyn yw heddi.

Eirwyn James had a small business building sheds. Sion had previously been working for a civil engineering company for many years and had a background in construction and engineering. Sion then started SJ Construction and both worked with the company. His expertise helped build the company into what it is today. 

What’s been the biggest change in the business or biggest change in what you sell or do in that time? 

Y tyfiant yn y sector amaethyddol, gyda ffermydd godro yn mynd o 100 buwch i lawer, lawer mwy – a’r siediau yn treblu mewn maint.  Mae ansawdd y gwaith yn holl-bwysig i ni.    

Expansion in the agricultural sector. With dairy farmers jumping from 100 cows to much bigger herds, and the buildings trebling in size. However quality of work is better than quantity of work. We want our work to be up to an impeccable standard. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Os nad y’ch yn gallu cyflawni rhywbeth am ryw reswm, rhowch wybod i’r cwsmer.  Bod yn onest a ‘straight’ gyda’r cwsmer yw’r polisi gorau pob tro.  

If you can’t do it, let them know. We have always been honest, if we tell a customer we can do it we turn up with weather in mind. If we feel we cannot do it in the time frame intended then we tell the customer straight. Honesty is the best policy.

What has been the most memorable sale you’ve made / moment in the business?

Codi sied 460’ o hyd yn Llangynog ac ar amserlen dynn.  

Erecting a 460’ shed for Mr & Mrs Davies of Coomb Farm, Llangynog, Carmarthen within a tight timescale, and completing the job from start to finish in under 5 weeks.

It was on a newly set up farm, and we have since erected the cubicles, youngstock and various other sheds throughout the last decade.

What’s the funniest/strangest question a customer has ever asked you?
Perchennog y dafarn leol yn gofyn os o ni yn gallu adeiladu bwrdd adar gan feddwl bod ni’n adeiladu siediau bach i’r ardd! 

Went into the local pub on a Saturday night, and the landlady asked, ‘Oh Sion Sheds, do you build bird tables?’  They thought I built small garden sheds!

What would you say to potential customers about why they should come to you?

Ry’n ni’n fusnes bychan, teuluol sydd yn ymfalchïo mewn saernïaeth o ansawdd. Rydym yn edrych ar ôl ein staff a’n cwsmeriaid a mae pawb yn nabod ac yn ymddiried yn eu gilydd.

We are a small, reliable family business who take pride in quality workmanship.

We won’t beat around the bush, and we start and finish our jobs to an extremely high standard. We have fantastic staff and customer relationships. We look after our team and have a very small turnover of staff, whom our customers know and trust.

Any new developments happening in the company?

Rydym wedi buddsoddi mewn lorïau newydd fel ein bod yn gallu trosglwyddo nwyddau yn fewnol, heb gorfod dibynnu ar eraill, sydd yn gwneud pethau yn llawer haws i reoli.

We have invested heavily over the last few years in new vehicles, including purchasing a new articulated lorry and a rigid lorry to keep all deliveries for both companies in-house, removing the need to depend on external companies. Having our own lorries and our own drivers means that we can be in control of deliveries and collections. Not relying on a third party makes things much easier to manage.

What’s the best part of running your own business and working in the agricultural industry?
Adeiladu perthnasau arbennig yn y diwydiant amaethyddol ar draws y DU a gwneud ffrindiau da gyda chwsmeriaid dros y blynyddoedd.  

Over the years we have built relations in the agricultural industry throughout the UK.

We travel from St David’s to Canterbury, Kent.  Having made friends over the years with customers, and building trusting relationships with everyone that we meet.

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