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July Overview – Robin Thorpe

The longest day has come and gone, and the nights are drawing in. Despite being busy I do have a nagging concern that as the nights lengthen, the darkness may also bring a gloom across the construction industry. There is some light on the horizon, as the growth in off-site construction continues. Modular building manufacturer, and Constructing Excellence Dorset Member, is reporting a strong pipeline of work including an order to manufacture 109 homes for five sites across Wiltshire and Dorset. And one of their competitors, Reds10, are also reporting a significant growth in turnover.

Nearly everyone I speak to has a tremendous amount of current work, but there is a concern that as the year progresses and interest rate rises make it increasingly difficult to finance new projects that there may be a slowdown. The current data is that commercial and civil engineering sectors are still seeing growth. This has meant that, despite a decline in new residential projects, construction activity has seen an overall increase. Ensuring that our businesses have in-built resilience is increasingly important so that we can continue to not just survive, but to thrive.

Engaging with the Constructing Excellence movement gives us an advantage with both themes mentioned above, Off-Site Construction and Resilience, and there remains a lot of opportunity with the drive towards net-zero. The CESW mission statement sets out five key areas, all of which will help to develop resilience:

1. Committed Leadership

2. A focus on the customer

3. Integrate the process and the team around the product.

4. A quality driven agenda

5. Commitment to people In 2017 Constructing Excellence published a report on organisational resilience, in which were identified three core functional domains:

ü Operational resilience – focused on internal continuous improvement activities with a customer focus in mind.

ü Supply chain resilience – to quantify and minimise supply chain risks across all business operations.

ü Information resilience – managing information throughout its lifecycle securely and effectively.

The Club events and the Theme groups are an opportunity to learn about how to incorporate MMC or Digital in future projects and with the sharing of best practices you can enhance the profile of your own company or gain knowledge to differentiate you from your competitors. The Constructing Excellence Awards are a great way to do this, and I am looking forward to finding out who this year’s winners are. Entering the awards can:

· Raise awareness of the work you do and how it contributes to improving the wider reputation and image of the sector.

· Demonstrate excellence in your market, showcasing your organisation to key regional and national influencers and helping you to win more work.

· Show your customers (and your competitors) that you are committed to keeping standards high.

· Gain external validation for your company values.

· Celebrate your team’s success, boost morale, and help you to attract and retain the best industry talent.

· Focus your internal strategy to embed a culture of best practice throughout your business.

· Align your business to the Constructing Excellence brand and our key drivers for a better industry.

I was pleased to be ask to judge one of the awards, the G4C Future leader, and I can tell you that the standard of entries was very high indeed. The Awards ceremony will be held on the 20th July at Aerospace Bristol. I look forward to meeting you there.

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