FGS’s Head of Marketing, Nicola Thomson, attended the Building Live conference to join industry discussions on one of the most challenging years in construction. Here she outlines the key take-home from the discussions:
The theme which resonated from the day was the need for the industry to change to focus on value and away from cost-driven business models. Discussions across all topics focused on the need for greater transparency, fairness and building trust at all levels and between multiple partners.
Scape Group’s Chief Executive said that collaboration delivers value, not competition. He believes that everyone in the value chain should make fair margins and in his view contractor margins should be set across all public sector projects. Perhaps an achievable aspiration in the public sector as the client is often the building occupant. But how this will translate in the private sector, with investors driving cost parameters with less connection to the value derived from the buildings occupants during its life-cycle, is another matter.
So, can greater transparency and honesty in the industry drive a change in culture? Will this change the fortunes of some of the country’s biggest contractors? Can trust help sub-contractors whose cash flows are seemingly always being put under pressure?
As a specialist sub-contractor, FGS has experienced the financial impact of breaches in trust. For example, projects in which we have had early involvement to help with design, only to be squeezed out later on costs. Our value added advice, service and early engagement for little or no charge attributed no value.
Wilmott Dixon’s National Supply Chain Director believes that reducing its supply chain and creating a partnership approach is the key to delivering defect-free buildings and stated it is committed as a business to driving value.
FGS is keen to build more collaborative relationships with clients and contractors to deliver great value for residents and occupants of buildings of the future. That is why we are considering our role in the supply chain and our selection of clients and customers carefully. We are also focused on greater collaboration and restructuring our business to derive greater value from our expertise and to ensure we always do a good job for our customers.