Colorminium host fourth Business Breakfast Debate
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Ian Harwood – Knight Harwood | John Robeson – Osborne | Iain Forsyth – Sir Robert McAlpine | Julian Kent – Buro Four | John Williams – M3 Consulting | David Lawrence – Flanagan Lawrence | Andrew Hyman – Core Five | Roscoe Price – Colorminium | Gareth Baker – Colorminium | Kieran Mallinson – Colorminium | Reuben Price – Colorminium | Ronnie Myatt – Colorminium

Collaboration is the key to success

Getting all key stakeholders together, tabling the issues, sharing ideas and challenges in the industry and seeking alignment. All were in agreement that open collaboration is very beneficial to project success between the project stakeholders, it is the strongest partnership in construction, and it is important that we recognise how we can add value to each other. Understanding and respecting each other’s views is critical. Ian Harwood of Knight Harwood stated: ‘I’m sure we can all agree the most successful jobs we have done, is with a collaborative approach, and we have been involved from an early stage.’

Supply chain management

Whilst some feel trust is an issue in construction, others say it isn’t trust that is the problem, it is naivety. John Robeson of Osborne Construction highlighted from a Main Contractor’s perspective: ‘We have the biggest supply chain of any industry in the world, but least management of it. Most industries seek to have repeat relationships, Ford don’t change their tyre detail every week and they don’t ask how much it costs after they have built it!’

Best value is not necessarily lowest price

Andrew Hyman reinforced the importance of trust: ‘The most successful jobs are the ones with trust, honesty and relationships, working together without getting entrenched in our positions. Trust and relationships only work out of repeat business and behaviours and on the basis of having a good experience.’

Working with informed clients who understand that choosing partners to build their projects is the way to successfully deliver a project rather than competitively tendering everything. John Williams, of M3 Consulting raised: ‘It’s about selecting horses for courses, you have to know your supply chain to know you are going to the right people for the particular project’. Value isn’t just price, it’s the ability to de-risk the project, to deliver it, whilst allowing us to make money, and be there for the next project. A fundamental challenge is that very few clients are willing to negotiate the façade at an early stage. How do you demonstrate the value for the client?

The answer is to develop a mechanism to tender the cladding early via the Client and his consultants, before the developer goes into planning. That way the Clients will get cost certainty and validation of the Cost Plan and the cladding technical design at planning consent stage. Often once the Client gets planning they do not know if it technically works nor the cost, which ultimately puts pressure on the Cost Plan trying to fit the signed off planning design. Lastly, the Clients will get best value through this specialist cladding partnering once on board, directly working with the Client and his consultants. Honesty from early doors is essential.

De-risking through offsite manufacturing

The discussion then led to that of off-site construction. The event was summarised by the majority round the table feeling it is a critical factor of de-risking any façade. Ronnie Myatt of Colorminium added: ‘We have found through the benefit of early engagement we have been able to flip to a modularised façade construction approach. Whilst this approach may on the face of it cost the client more money, it is outweighed greatly by the benefits of programme and prelim savings, coupled with significant onsite de-risking.’

Collaborative discussions like these from a representation across all aspects of the industry lead to some insightful views. We will be sharing more insights from our discussions in due course, so keep in touch to hear more, and if you are interested in attending one of our future events.


Additional comments from around the table

John Williams, M3 Consulting – ‘I thought it was a very illuminating meeting and I totally agree that collaboration and working together is indeed the way forward as a successful formula.

David Lawrence, Flanagan Lawrence – ‘I thoroughly enjoyed the morning – the message is clear. Wouldn’t it be fun to work on a “model” project together!’

Julian Kent, Buro Four – ‘Thank you for an enjoyable and enlightening debate this morning.’


Comments from previous events

Eamonn Wall, Regional Director of ISG Construction – ‘The breakfast session was a great opportunity for me personally to check in with the Colorminium team, meet some new relevant industry contacts, and to gain an alternative insight to facade contractor issues in the broader market sense. The conversation generated was a lively debate, this was made possible by the diverse mix of disciplines that attended.’

Eilis McShane, Head of Facades at Multiplex – ‘I enjoyed the debate. The number of people around the table worked perfectly for that and everyone was very open and sharing, which was great. This positive environment was in a large way enabled by Colorminium being so open and wanting to appreciate the issues in order to collaborate even better. I enjoyed the diverse group of people which stimulated better debate and it was also reassuring to know that others suffer the same frustrations and to reflect on how we can do things better.’