“Recovery must be about delivering better, not just more of the same.”
This was the clear message from the launch of the Construction Innovation Hub’s Value Toolkit earlier on in the summer – and it’s a message that is very close to my heart. As well as working with the Hub on the Value Toolkit, I also sit on the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) which, in tandem with BEIS, drew-up the Roadmap to Recovery – An Industry Recovery Plan for the UK Construction Sector.
Delivering better – through value-based procurement and whole life performance – is a key theme running through the ‘reinvent’ phase of the Recovery plan and demonstrates that the concept of value-based procurement is now becoming more mainstream, certainly amongst policy makers. The Value Toolkit feeds directly into the recovery plan and it’s a fantastic example of how our industry is working collaboratively to change construction for the good in these difficult times. There is a real shared ambition to drive better social, environmental and economic outcomes from the ‘Build, Build, Build’ agenda.
I really believe the Value Toolkit will act as a catalyst to change behaviour from the top to bottom of our industry. The suite of robust and practical tools maintains a focus on outcomes and enables evidence-based decision-making across the whole investment lifecycle.
Using the toolkit policy makers, clients and their advisors will be able to better plan programmes and projects, in the round, based on five key themes of Natural, Social, Human, Manufactured and Financial value. By capturing and measuring the competing demands for resources within a project, right from the start, it will help determine priorities and establish the optimum value that the completed project can deliver. By creating a unique value profile, clients will have a baseline against which informed decisions can be made, enabling them to get the best possible long-term outcomes and select a delivery model and commercial strategy that best meets their value drivers.
It will also help suppliers to shape their offer to best fit the clients’ value drivers and so improve supplier efficiency and effectiveness by ruling out inappropriate work at the earliest possible stage. The continuous forecasting, review and measurement of value throughout design, delivery and operation, which is inherent in the Value Toolkit, will enable clients and suppliers to create a database of real metrics from projects against which future proposals can be benchmarked. This will, in the long term, inform policy planning which will promote value modelling at a national policy level.
Feedback from the initial launch of the Value Toolkit is encouraging. It has been well received by industry – with lots of clients and suppliers asking for more detailed information. This is a fantastic start, but we must make sure we build on this momentum and promote a genuine understanding at every level of both the benefits the toolkit will bring and the impact it will have in changing behaviours and creating a sustainable model for our industry when it is released early next year.
Ann Bentley is a global director of Rider Levett Bucknall and the Business Models and Supply Chains Lead for the Construction Leadership Council. Ann is also author of the CLC’s ‘Procuring for Value’ report as well as a lead on the Construction Innovation Hub’s recently launched ‘Value Toolkit’. She is a member of the CBI’s Construction Council and an advisor to the Construction Industry Council. With more than 35 years’ experience working in the property and construction sector Ann is experienced in working with commercial, public and third sector clients, Ann is an advocate of diversity and social inclusion in the construction industry.