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Roading industry gets valuable advice from experts

30 August 2006
For immediate release

Roading industry gets valuable advice from international experts

International roading experts shared key learnings from the UK with New Zealand’s roading industry yesterday, where they said a collaborative approach is fundamental to the success of roading procurement and tendering.

Speaking at the Roading New Zealand ‘Better Value Roading’ Conference yesterday (Tuesday 29 August), Steve Rowsell, Procurement Director for UK Highways Agency, outlined procurement processes the UK roading industry are finding very successful.

“There is a need for clients, contractors and consultants to work together in partnership from the early stages, and to create the right environment for innovation in order to deliver the challenges of the future”, he said.

Key lessons for the New Zealand roading industry are to involve contractors early; to work in partnership and with shared objectives; to develop long-term partnerships to keep a successful team together for future projects; to use consistent performance measures to drive continual improvement; and to celebrate success.

Don Ward, chief operating officer of the UK Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment, agrees with these key success factors, and credits collaborative work processes as the fundamental to improvements in roading procurement and tendering in the UK.

“Early involvement of suppliers selected by value, not price, is critical. It is important to build lasting relationships with the supply chain, implementing common procedures and measuring performance as a basis for continuous improvement”, he says.

Average project duration has halved in the UK using a collaborative work process. Projects that would have taken 10 years from the scoping stage through to construction completion are now taking just five years.

Roading New Zealand chief executive Chris Olsen welcomes the advice of the UK experts at a time when the New Zealand roading industry is gearing up to a period of high growth.

“These lessons from the UK are really valuable for our industry to take on board, and while Transit New Zealand have already begun moving down the path laid down by the UK industry, Don Ward and Steve Rowsell have provided some key ideas that will help the New Zealand roading industry move forward in a more streamlined way.”

Don Ward and Steve Rowsell will be in the country for the rest of the week to meet with representatives from the roading and construction industries.

Keynote Speakers

Don Ward
Chief Operating Officer, UK Constructing Excellence in the Built Environment
Don has over twenty years experience of best practice in the construction industry specializing in industry change, supply chain integration and collaborative working. As chief executive of the Construction Industry Board, he worked with Sir Michael Latham, UK industry’s representative bodies and other stakeholders to implement the 1994 “Latham report” and latterly the 1998 “Egan report”.

Steve Rowsell
Procurement Director, UK Highways Agency
Steve has spearheaded the Agency’s drive towards Best Value Tendering using a partnering approach with new initiatives such as the Agency’s new Procurement Strategy, the introduction of Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contracts, the Capability Assessment Toolkit (CAT) and new developments in performance specification and management. He has led the development of new processes to speed up the delivery of major road projects as part of the 10 Year Plan proposals. He is a chartered Civil Engineer and has worked for the Department of Transport, latterly the Highways Agency, for 30 years.


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