In the last three years, our turnover’s increased, with £23m turnover for this year. We’ve got an expansion plan for the next five years as a result of the changes that are happening across the industry.
From our point of view, it’s made us much more efficient. Our sustainable profitability is improving and that’s what we’re using to make us more competitive and more profitable.
What are the benefits on a project?
On a project basis, it’s predictability of timescale, predictability of cost, improved customer satisfaction, improved supply chain satisfaction, which is part of reducing the cost. Once people get it and they believe in what you’re doing, they start to reduce their prices. They’re not cutting their margins, what they’re doing is taking out some of the risks that are inherently priced into their pricing structures. That happens with both designers and contractors and suppliers. We’re starting to see that.
Has it made you more competitive?
On open book situations, it’s reducing the cost to the client. On competitive single-stage tenders, we’re able to be more competitive and we’re more profitable as well. What are the accreditation options? There are three options – One is BSI, one is an NFB scheme, and then there’s another organisation called Ocean, we’re probably going to go with them.We’re already ISO 9001 and 14001, so the next step is getting PAS 1192 accredited.
We’d done a lot of the analysis about being BIM ready. We did that over a year ago and we’re ticking all the boxes. We were assuming there would be a much bigger drive for Government saying you’ve got to be able to demonstrate you’re BIM-accredited to stay on tender lists, but they haven’t actually done that. From our point of view we wanted to demonstrate that anyway.
We were doing a presentation at Kent Constructing Excellence on supply chain engagement, and took two of our Mechanical and Electrical subcontractors along with the Contracts Managers and Design Managers that are working together on a project.
They had questions fired at them about how they engage with BIM, whether it was worth it, whether they’ll carry on with it, did they think it was helping them improve their businesses, and so on. The guys were so engaged with it and a lot of the supply chain were saying “about time too!”
You’ve got the systems to give them better information that they can look at on site so their teams are building things at once. They haven’t got to wait for someone to go and print off a drawing. All those, some people say “little things”, are actually quite big and they make a massive difference to the supply chain, and whether they can make any money, so they love it.
What would you say to others?
Wake up or you’re going to get rolled over!
Those companies who modernise, change and really get hold of the BIM agenda – not just to tick boxes but to deliver the benefits from it –will be so far ahead of the other contractors that the other contractors won’t be able to survive. It’s just a case of at some point there’ll be a critical mass where enough people will be doing it correctly that the others are consumed or rolled over.