Was moving into support services to blame for the recent troubles at Carillion, Interserve and Kier?

Support services feature Joey july 2019 1

These major contractors blended their traditional work with support services and all recently got into big financial trouble. Coincidence?

It is more than 15 years since the new-in-post Carillion chief executive, John McDonough, took the now bankrupt firm into a market he promised was the holy grail for struggling contractors: support services. Within five years of taking over, nearly half the company’s turnover came from this source, while McDonough toured the City of London telling anyone who would listen that Carillion was no longer a construction company. 

They say the past is a different country, and certainly the halcyon days of the long economic boom between 1994 and 2007 are a far cry from the seemingly diminished contracting industry of today. The problems besetting the industry, with the collapse of Carillion and Interserve, and the deepening woes at Kier, are causing much re-examination of everything contractor management teams thought they knew about running their businesses. 

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