As a forward thinking SME that is totally committed to growth whilst supporting our customers we are always looking to improve our skill base and knowledge.
As part of this process and to further align with some of our key clients we attended the CompeteFor Supply Chain Access Forum 2016 @ Olympia. As clients at the higher end of the supply chain look to partner with specialists, we are readying ourselves for what is starting to look and feel like a whole new world for our customers and therefore ourselves.
Whether its BIM, DFMA or general advances in technology and thinking, we are seeing behavior changes that give us all opportunities and challenges. We want to ensure that we are ready for them so we can be sure to support current and new customers. Another sign of the times is highlighted by the number of our older customers that are coming back to us because we are the solution to their problem. Whilst price is always important, we are seeing a significant trend in the market asking us about resources, capacity and ability to deliver projects on time and to budget. Predictability and reliability has always been a big part of the TDS DNA.
This event is the 3rd time it’s been run and it was very well attended with an excellent list of speakers.
Richard Dilks, Programme Director for London First, highlighted the huge opportunities available within construction over the next 20 years. Headline figures made very interesting reading. London’s population is forecast to rise from current levels of 8.6m to just over 10m by 2036 and infrastructure projects scoped currently throw up some eye watering budgets; Transport £88 billion, Energy £117 billion, Social infrastructure £50 billion with a total of £483 billion being planned. All very interesting to see and this didn’t even include private and commercial developments which are still growing at a rapid rate.
The key question on everyone’s mind was “who is going to build all this?”
Rob Hatton, Rail Sector Procurement Director at Costain covered some really interesting headline information from their company’s performance. 50 people driving a turnover of £500m is impressive at any level, but when we add to that the financials showing a record order book up by 11% to £3.9bn it becomes inspiring.
Rob spoke very openly about how other competitors have actually become partners on projects. In line with industry challenges on funding and delivering major projects its seems that collaboration is becoming a necessity rather than a nicety. Driving efficiency and creating value is within the narrative of every Tier 1 contractor and it seems that the opportunities for all of us in the supply chain is becoming more of a reality.
Stephen Trindade of Laing O’ Rourke shared some very useful insight into how LOR is offering supply chain opportunities to SME’s and specialists. Having played a major role in delivering the new Crossrail Tottenham Court Road project, Stephen was keen to demonstrate what was needed from smaller partners to flourish within a Tier 1 environment.
3 Key learning’s we feel are worth sharing:
1 – It’s clear that we need to keep giving partners and customers the value engineering ideas we do. The industry needs experienced specialists.
2 – It’s going to be very busy over the next 10 years across the UK across many disciplines of construction.
3 – Collaboration is becoming a real part of everyday work life, rather than before when it was just a buzz word that companies used to throw around in order to sound nice to deal with.