Wednesday, 8 October 2014

What have the the Red Arrows and Aston Martin got to do with construction?

The answer is absolutely nothing! Maybe that is the problem we have in construction.Both organisations are acknowledged for their excellence. 
I came across these organisations at the Kent Construction Expo today where I was speaking about digital construction.What made this event special was the fact that on the same site in the same day was the Kent manufacturing expo. 
There was a stark difference between the two. The manufacturing event was very digital and had machines doing all sorts of clever things on show. There was even a real car which was beautiful. The construction aspect was less impressive regretfully with mainly service business rather than products or technology. 
The talk from the red arrows pilot was fantastic. He talked about highly performing teams and how, through briefing and de briefing in every single flight, they strived for excellence. EverY flight is recorded on video from the ground and then reviewed. They do three runs every day and every one is de briefed before the next flight. They have an openness about performance and are objective about their own errors. 
Can you imagine this level of commitment  to excellence and performance in construction. 
I then listened to the purchasing director from Aston Martin. They have 140 supply chain partners. They are real partners and they support one another. They are looking for innovation all of the time but they measure performance of their supply chain constantly and and provide ongoing feedback. There is incredible openness and every quotation must be totally broken down and transparent. 
How different is this to the culture in construction. I'm sure we have all struggled to get even the simplest schedule of rates or a preliminaries breakdown in the past. 
The issues in construction are all cultural. Today another tier one boss lost his job for poor performance. T Clark posted a profit warning and Royal Dutch BAM made 650 people redundant. 
These issues are no one individuals responsibility but are down to all of us who have worked within this environment. We must challenge now for a better and different way of doing things. We can build an industry with a sustainably future. 

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