Steve is the Executive Commercial Director for Careys Civil Engineering, having joined the business in 1991 as a Senior Surveyor. He was promoted to Chief Surveyor prior to being appointed to the Board of Directors in 1997 and in 2017 became Executive Commercial Officer. He is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) and brings a wealth of expertise developed over 42 years’ within the construction industry.

Steve is responsible for leading the surveying function, negotiating contract terms and conditions, providing contractual advice, cost control and sits on the Leadership Team Board.

Steve Smith


I would say that the culture of Careys is professional and dedicated. It’s always been a hardworking culture. I’ve been here for 26 years and I’ve seen it grow considerably over that time. Leading the commercial team, we’re obviously very client focussed but that runs throughout the business in that we make sure that we work hard for our clients and that we deliver what we say we’re going to deliver.

I try to set an example. I’m professionally qualified and I try to demonstrate the values that I want to see. I’m very much a can-do kind of person and I try to instill that in others.

As far as clients are concerned there are many things that are important when a project is being commissioned, but I keep our team focussed on both time and money. We work with our clients to make sure that they’re fully up to date with the costs, that all variations are up to date, we advise them on challenges and issues and make sure that with complete transparency, the client can understand what is happening to their budget.

This essential gives our clients greater certainty and therefore makes them more likely to want to work with us in the future. To help support this, I obviously encourage quite a lot of internal collaboration and make sure that the team are up-to-date with the latest training.

There have been some digital techniques such as on-screen measuring, but it’s not so much specifically to do with surveying. Mobile technology is probably going to become more prevalent. Just yesterday I was talking about ‘floating staff’, or those that work over a number of projects and how important it is to track people’s skills and abilities to enable us to rapidly assemble the right skills for future projects. 

We’re also working on an in-house app that can also be used by the site teams to track things like procurement and deliveries. It just makes things quicker and more accurate. You don’t have people wandering around in the rain with tickets. Once it’s done, it’s in the system. Things like BIM will be game changers too. Obviously, we don’t use it in the commercial team, but Careys has been using it quite extensively to enable close collaboration between a whole raft of key project stakeholders to see how things affect an entire structure.

I would go back to the roots of the company - Sainsbury’s at Portsmouth, which we did back when I was employed as a senior surveyor. It was the first full contract that I did with Careys and I got to work with such a great team. We developed a great relationship with Sainsbury’s and the client, and really set out right from the beginning to keep the client informed. The project itself wasn’t anything unique, but the way we approached it was a real masterclass in client engagement.

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