How roles and functions contribute to organisational performance
A Tarmac case study

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Page 1: Introduction

A Nottingham County Surveyor, Edgar Purnell Hooley, discovered tarmac by accident in the early 20th century. He found a barrel of tar had spilled onto the road at a local ironworks. This had mixed with waste slag from the furnaces. The result was a dust-free, strong surface. Hooley created and patented the product that could take the weight of the new automobile. In 1903 the Tarmacadam syndicate was formed, its name taken from the developer of the road construction system, John MacAdam.

The Tarmac Group is now a large and complex company and is organised into three businesses:

  • Tarmac Quarry Materials ready mixed concrete, asphalt, aggregates, lime, cement and contracting services
  • Tarmac Building Products mortar, screed, masonry, packed and precast products
  • International.

To manage its business Tarmac has a clear strategic framework and one important element of this is having the right people with the right skills in the business. It is Tarmac's core belief that its people make the difference and enable the business to be the leader in its chosen markets. It aims to have motivated people all working together as one team across its business units and functions in support of its vision to 'achieve the exceptional'.

To deliver exceptional value, Tarmac focuses on five big goals which are clearly defined and easily remembered as the mnemonic 'DREAM':

  • Develop markets - and grow by working closely with key customers
  • Reduce costs - and be well positioned for the future
  • Engage employees - to work as one team and each achieve its full potential
  • Act responsibly - and be safe in everything that is done
  • Manage assets - to get the most out of its investments.

Each goal has a few targeted strategies. Each strategy has clear actions, targets and measures in order to be relevant to employees and described in a way that is understandable by all.

For example, Tarmac targets and measures a reduction in waste sent to landfill as part of its sustainability strategy in order to reach its goal to 'Act responsibly'. It wants all employees to bring their expertise, enthusiasm and commitment to the activities that will deliver most value in support of the company'sobjectives.

This case study focuses on how the people in Tarmac Quarry Materials deliver the highest value for customers, communities, employees and investors.


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Tarmac | How roles and functions contribute to organisational performance