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“As the CEO of Constructing Excellence South West, I am proud to announce our partnership with LeadersMeets in providing the Construction Industry Collaboration Initiative (CICI). We understand that collaboration has been a longstanding challenge in the construction sector, with research having confirmed the need for greater collaboration among organisations.

Our unique initiative aims to bridge the gap and provide a platform for better collaboration and communication between organisations in the construction supply chain. We are excited to have the Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire Club as our founding member, and we believe that together, we can create a positive impact across the construction industry.

Through the CICI, we aim to promote a culture of collaboration, foster better relationships between organisations, and improve project outcomes for all stakeholders involved. We are committed to working with our members to create a supportive and collaborative environment that benefits everyone in the construction supply chain.

We are confident that the Construction Industry Collaboration Initiative will help to address the challenges that have persistently hindered the construction sector, and we look forward to working with our members to drive positive change in the industry.” Kevin Harris.

“Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire are delighted to partner with the South West Region in the delivery of this Collaborative Initiative. This subject matter is most relevant in the Construction sector today as we seek to work in a collaborative manner. We look forward to seeing how the delivery of the certificate drives improvement across the regions.” Johnathan White, Chair.

“Collaboration is fundamental to Constructing Excellence. This initiative led by the South West is an excellent mechanism to upskill and train those at all levels in the sector on how to effectively collaborate.” Alison Nicholl, Head of Constructing Excellence.

Typically, the benefits achieved include:

· Improved Quality

· Reduced project/contract delivery time

· Decreased costs

· Heightened productivity

· Joint problem-solving

· Reduced error

· Eradication of disputes

· Building of trust and long-term relationships

The key immediate focus and benefit in this first and unique initiative is to provide value for money training in the key behavioural aspects of effective Collaborative Working through a five-hour Certificate course. This will be delivered on a regular basis via five one-hour weekly online group workshops or alternatively it can be facilitated in a one-day face-to-face session being the ideal opportunity for Supply Chain members to come together to learn and develop their Collaboration and Collaborative Skills as a team.

The highly pertinent behavioural training is based around a Construction Project team as they go about their work and has been created using the findings from Collaboration Research recently carried out across the sector.

The cost per person is £400 and can be reduced through discount available to members and starts from the end of April 2023. To learn more please click here and to join our webinar at Noon on the 18th April register.

CESW has made some essential movements in our strategic review to honour our Brave approach for 2023 as indicated at the November 2022 AGM.

We have made some fundamental changes to our membership structure. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE NEW STRUCTURE

The Board of CESW wishes to reflect value into our new 2023 – 24 proposal. Member’s feedback has shown us there was a need to simplify the existing structure to avoid any misunderstanding, predominantly, larger organisations have been penalised for their success by paying higher premiums based on company turnover or employee volume, therefore, the CESW Board have agreed upon rationalising our value-based approach into 4 simple categories, Individual, Bronze, Silver and Gold packages.

This new approach allows an organisation to position itself where they believe the Best Value to be, irrespective of its turnover, employee quantity or typology of business. This way, you can be a large PLC opting for Bronze or an SME that wishes to gain greater value by opting for Gold.

This offers New Choices for all.

This proposal has been well received by our current sponsors of the CESW Awards 2023 who have appreciated the value by receiving discounts of up to £600 on their sponsorship package when combining this with the benefits of the new membership structure.

CESW remain to be a fundamental body of the South West Construction sector, achieved by the financial contributions through membership and sponsorship and accompanied by a wealth of knowledge and wisdom shared by our industry experts during networking opportunities we create.

Please take the opportunity to review the new structure that will be implemented from April 1st 2023, should you wish to discuss membership in greater detail, please do not hesitate to contact either CEO Kevin Harris via or Chair Dan Macey via


This month Martyn Jones has been reflecting on relationships, and more particularly, the inter-organisational relationships associated with supply chain management (SCM).

In 2002, he along with coresearchers, published ‘A review of the progress towards the adoption of supply chain management (SCM) relationships in construction’ in the European Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management,

At that time, it was being strongly argued that SCM, which was proving to be successful in other industries, particularly manufacturing, could be similarly adopted in construction.

Based on empirical research the authors argued that although SCM relationships could address many of the issues impeding improvements in construction’s performance, there were also specific features of our industry – such as being project-based and its operating system – which rendered it difficult to fully implement in the context and culture of construction.

Since then, construction frameworks have become widely recognised as the best approach available to us in delivering the transformational improvements advocated by Latham and Egan, and provide a way for construction to get as close as possible to the inter-organisational relationships associated with SCM.

Private clients have always had much greater scope to innovate and forge closer relationships with their preferred construction suppliers. Public clients, however, were often constrained by strict governance and procurement rules.

And looking at the scope for changes in relationships, it is also necessary to differentiate between regular and frequent clients of the industry. Regular clients have the necessary flow of work and hence the incentive and necessary influence and leverage to nurture longer-term SCM-type relationships.

In 2004 the situation changed for public clients when public sector frameworks were formally introduced into European legislation through EU Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament for the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts. This formally released

the potential benefits that could flow from the stronger relationships arising from longer-term arrangements and closer relationships with fewer but carefully chosen trusted suppliers.

With the emergence of framework providers and multi-client frameworks even infrequent and public clients of construction were now able to benefit from frameworks and to some extent SCM-type relationships – including the development of greater mutual understanding, the empowerment of main and specialist contractors, and opening up opportunities for shared learning, and building mutual competitive advantage.

And in another shift, 2022 saw the publication, of ‘Constructing the Gold Standard: An Independent Review of Public Sector Construction Frameworks’, produced by Professor David Mosey. His review of the over 2,000 public sector frameworks that now exist, represents a robust and valuable insight into the progress that public clients have made in adopting SCM type relationships and sets the “gold” standard for frameworks.

What does David’s review have to say specifically about relationships? Well, for example, he calls for “multi-party relationships that align objectives, success measures, targets and incentives with commitments to joint work on improving value and reducing risk”.

Also, “Transparent costing, call-off, performance measurement and incentives that provide a fair return for suppliers and drive value rather than a race to the bottom and framework management systems that support collaboration and dispute avoidance”.

David’s review provides 24 recommendations number 23 of which “recommends improving framework outcomes by creating collaborative systems for the management of framework relationships and strategic supply chain relationships”.

There is more. “To drive improved framework outcomes through clear mutual understanding, effective problem-solving and dispute avoidance, this review recommends that framework providers, clients and managers create collaborative systems for managing framework relationships and that these are mirrored by suppliers in strategic supply chain relationships. These systems should include a ‘Core Group’ or equivalent joint decision-making group through which to manage strategic planning, value improvement, risk reduction and dispute avoidance.”

Does this take construction near to emulating the SCM relationships achieved in other sectors of the economy? Not really, as there are still many features of construction that set us apart from other sectors of the economy in the pursuit of SCM.

And the world has moved on. Yet this review suggests that much of construction is still playing catch up in exploiting the opportunities presented by closer relationships and integrated processes that have dominated thinking in the past 25 years or so, and not looking enough to exploiting the possibilities in the emerging paradigm.

David does nudge us in the direction of the new paradigm. For example, “Recommendation 13: Improve economic, social and environmental outcomes through framework early supply chain involvement (ESI), using Supply Chain Collaboration systems in all framework contracts.”

In a similar vein, with “Recommendation 11: Improve supplier investments in MMC and other offsite technologies by awarding framework call-off contracts for portfolios of work.”

And, “Recommendation 12: Create a whole life golden thread of asset information using BIM and other digital technologies integrated under a framework alliance contract.”

So yes, many parts of our industry have made considerable progress since 2002 in adopting SCM-type relationships despite the barriers in our traditional operating system. But have we have moved as far and as fast as we might have done, or needed to, in exploiting the opportunities of the existing paradigm? Probably not. And does this mean that we are not as prepared as we might be to respond to the opportunities in the new digital paradigm?

Why getting more people into the construction industry and innovation leading to increased productivity is more important new than ever before .

It was 7 years ago that Sir Mark Farmer published his report ‘Modernise or Die’ in which he predicted a perfect storm in the construction sector due to lack of labour and falling productivity in the construction sector and made an urgent call to the industry to address these issues through improved training and the adoption of modern methods of construction and industrialised techniques( Don’t forget Sir John Egan ) .

Was this call noted? Has there been a step change in the industries’ approach to training and efforts to improve productivity and adopt an industrialised approach to delivery of construction projects? In an article published in Construction Manager in 2021, ‘Five years on from Modernise or Die, where are we now?’ Mark Farmer wrote: “In the years since I published the Farmer Review, lots has happened and I take heart that we have stirrings finally within industry that all is not well under the bonnet, combined with clear evidence that some businesses are pivoting to different models to secure their future.”

Here we are at the beginning of 2023 and there is even more urgency to address the issues identified in 2016, due to changed circumstances and where we find ourselves nationally and regionally .

Labour shortages

The labour shortages remain we currently have an estimated 250,000 construction vacancies nationally. 250,000 or 16 % of the workforce are in the 50 -59 age bracket and will have retired in 10 years time.

The number of construction apprenticeship starts in 21 /22 was approximately 37, 000!


Inflation in the UK is now over 10 % and the construction materials price index is as at the end of 2022 at about 138 against a base of 100 in 2015 with the index jumping approximately 23 points since 2021 .

Innovation and increasing productivity

Whilst there have been considerable efforts and encouragement in creating a pipeline of work for offsite manufacture in the residential sector the supply chain remains vary volatile with a number of significant suppliers going into administration and smaller companies just about surviving

So where should we as Constructing Excellence South West be focusing our efforts over the next couple of years .

What can we in CESW do in our local branches and theme groups? :

Improve the supply of labour by supporting initiatives to encourage people into the sector. We can do this by promoting contruction a sa career in schoold and colleges – making the

students and their teachers understand that construction is not about standing around in muddy fields or charging around the countryside in white vans.

Supporting relevant and much needed training schemes being developed by local colleges – Exeter colleges retrofit training centre is a great example

A number of local branches have held days for school students. Devon branch held and the inaugural ‘Battle of the Builds’ showcasing the industry to year 10 and college students which was a great success involving our members competing for the top prize as voted for by the pupils.

A new Future Skills Theme Group has been set up dedicated to the acceleration of construction skills with with the common goal of the cause for growth and encouragement of the next generation.

The plan is to hold a Building a Better Tomorrow event in the Autumn of 2023 : This aims to be a large event to increase engagement with the younger generation, a collaboration of education and industry to organise an up-scale event to attract a large number of schools in the south west region,

Supporting and promoting innovative products and processes to increase productivity and support the decarbonising agenda

The Smart Construction Theme Group of which I am Chair, has provided a forum for members to discuss ,visit and learn form experts in the field who are promoting innovative products and systems. We hope to encourage encouraging commissioners /clients to work with contractors and suppliers of all sizes to adopt innovative approaches .

On Wednesday 1st March the CESW Smart construction Theme group organised an online elevator pitch event . It gave 9 companies to opportunity to provide a summary of their innovative product or service and to explain the benefits of what they were doing . The pitchers are all to be congratulated for promoting their products and ideas and to trying to improve how we deliver and maintain homes / offices and other buildings using highly sophisticate and energy efficient methods.

We will continue visiting sites /factories of interest, holding webinars and maybe another elevator pitch this year.

Finally I would like to encourage all current and future members to get involved in the work of our local and theme groups . Whilst the problems in the industry are on a national scale there is plenty we can do on an individual and regional scale to improve matters

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