Interview with Andrew Barraclough from Barrasons Engineering

What Makes Up A Brand


What is your origin story?

Barrason’s was started in 2017, deriving Andrew’s surname Barraclough and the fact that he has five children with the eventual goal of creating a family legacy for his kids. Forensic inspections and reports are the first business focus for the business. Andrew started the company with a desk, computer and a burning desire to start a structural engineering consultancy.

The initial structure of the company was two other Structural engineers working from home, after work and weekends, Steve and David. Steve accepted a full-time role in PSA, Plastic Solutions Australia, and David Hanna desired to work from home and spend time on his own business.

Andrew, Steve, David and Fari worked at ITW Construction Systems Australia; this is how they met and developed a working relationship. Once Barrason’s Engineers started gaining traction and getting busier, Andrew purchased a Home Building franchise to complement the Engineering business. Neither Steve nor David were able to give up their full-time commitment, and we chose to find our own path. It was at this point Fari joined Barrason’s. 

Initially, Fari wanted to join Barrason’s in a three-day-a-week capacity and pursue his academic career since he had just finished his PhD at Swinburne University. Since joining Barrason’s Engineers, Fari has been very involved in the setting up of the different business units of the company.

Around the time Fari joined, Mohammad, Ricky and Kevin were appointed as Design Engineers assigned to the Westkon M-City project. Then the business started to grow with the uptake of the building company.

Over the last two years, Residential Inspection and Designs have grown to be now supported by four people. The strategic growth of this business unit is in the area of land surveys and geotechnical services.

Precast shop drawing services started with Ricky, Kevin and Mohammad, being the first to offer this service, which grew into a Temporary Works Engineering offers.

Being part of the Precast industry was an industry both Fari and Andrew knew quite well. Fari and Andrew worked in the Research 7 Development department at ITW. Both had been involved in the invention and product development of various products now used extensively in the precast industry. Both Fari and Andrew have published and presented many technical papers in the industry and are also a representative in various industry bodies, like AS (Australia Standards), NPCAA (National Precast Concrete Association of Australia), CIA (Concrete Institute of Australia), EITA (Engineering Institute of Australia), Holmesglen TAFE (Lecturer on Project Management) and PCI (Precast Concrete Institute USA).

Fari and Andrew have published papers in both the national and international arena, with presentations in Australia, the USA, Israel, Germany, and France.

In October 2019, Michael Smith from PSA purchased a 50% share of the business, which allowed the company to support their growth areas, being Shop Detailing and Design & Construct business units. From this time, numerous precast manufacturers have come on board for Temporary Works, Shop Detailing and D&C services.

Currently, Barrason’s Engineers’ operations are from our Pakenham office with a full-time staff of 18. Barrason’s Engineers employs a further 13 full-time people overseas to support its engineering services.

What people make up the company? Why are they special?

Andrew has a philosophy of employing people, not necessarily because they have the experience, but more a willingness and motivation behaviour. Andrew believes that desire to self-learn and the motivation to succeed is a behaviour not all embrace well. A positive attitude and a ‘will-do’ ethos are encouraged in Barrason’s Engineers. Andrew also believes his role in the company is to lead individuals by providing adequate resources and support to support them in their journey. Whilst leadership is to provide various targets for each individual, it is up to the individual to reach the target within their capabilities.

How did your company get here?

By the achievements of its staff….


What are your core strengths?

Residential forensic analysis & Design of Precast Concrete Elements.


Why does your company exist?

To improve the construction industry’s inclusion and acceptance of precast concrete. Being an efficient and economical alternative to in-situ concrete.

Where is your company headed?

To be the preeminent engineering consultancy to the Precast Concrete Builder, Designer and manufacturer.

What are your goals?

Full-service provider to the residential market for Engineering (Structural, civil, Geotechnical and on-Site) services

Complete Precast Concrete design service from concept, design, production and construction stages.

What are you contributing to the industry?

Promotion of precast concrete to the construction industry.

Providing real solutions to the homeowner for structural issues.

Market Orientation

What are the stated wants and needs of your customers?

Homeowners want to find a practical solution to rectify their building concerns. Homeowners need an efficient solution and referrals to help solve their structural issues in a timely, cost-effective manner.

Precast manufacturers want a timely service to assist their demanding builder schedule. The precast manufacturer needs a practical engineered solution, full-service, to improve their profitability, reduce the complexity, reduce errors on-site, and increase their opportunity to sell more elements as precast.

Commercial builders need a robust engineering design service to solve in-situ to precast conversion. Commercial builders need a timely design service to conduct the primary structural engineering design or the timely & robust engineering delivery of an alternative precast element conversion.

Architects and draftspeople want a structural engineering residential design that isn’t over-engineered and timely. Architects and Draftspeople need a practical, fully engineered solution for residential construction and one that satisfies the needs of the builder surveyor.

Residential builders want a practical structural engineering design that is economical and delivered promptly. Residential builders need a comprehensive, one-stop-shop for structural, civil, geotechnical and surveying services.

What are the hidden wants and needs of your customers?

Practical engineered solutions that are customised to their particular construction methods.

How does your company serve these?

We are growing to provide a complete service to all sectors. The practical and economic nature of the design is factored into our structure with Nyco. Timely and economical by growing into being a volume supplier through 214. Not over-engineered by having AU checking and coordination.

Who is in charge of the brand?

Andrew (Lead), Farnaz (Advertising), Phil (Marketing).

All other employees (Timely, Accurate, Relevant)

Who is in charge of the marketing?

Andrew (Lead), Lisa (Day-to-day one-on-one phone contact), Phil (Marketing strategy and implementation), Farnaz (Web, social media).

What is the current image of the company with current and former customers?

We are perceived as a friendly bunch, one who delivers an economic solution.

What is your NPS?

Not sure….

What do you think your reputation is?

We get referrals and recommendations, so we have a reputation that ex-clients are happy to promote.

What has improved your reputation?

Lisa getting more competent on the phone with the team with their timely delivery of designs and reports.

What has damaged your reputation?



How would you describe your financial performance?

It is improving each month as the team becomes more effective in their roles.

We are currently still in a stage of growth, and we have to maintain our focus on each of our business unit’s performance.

KPIs for each group need to be implemented in full and meaningfully.

What are your financial goals?

$100k for residential inspection and designs pm

$100k for shop detailing pm

$50K for D&C services pm

$50k Lifting & Bracing pm

Is this information public or private?

Financial ok for in-house employees only

Some goals and focus areas are to be in-house only.

How does your company demonstrate growth?

Personal growth and involvement in projects and scope of responsibility.

Financial performance and profitability

How does your company demonstrate a commitment to the market?

Involvement with PSA in the precast industry.