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“Innovate To Survive and Prosper” Was The Core Message at “Breakthrough Construction 2014”

The construction industry is on the edge of a revolution, and it’s either innovate and succeed, or stagnate and disappear! So says expert Richard Threlfall, head of Infrastructure at KPMG.

Threlfall’s view is that UK construction is at the crossroads. There is an inexorable need for “breakthroughs”, and that is exactly what StreetwiseSubbie were pushing for at our second annual conference in June.

As over 100 delegates from across the UK gathered at The Belfry Hotel in Nottingham for a second year running, the buzz was felt by all as we talked “Breakthrough Construction”; the conference’s apt title and the theme of the speaker presentations throughout the day.

An impressive line-up of expert speakers, included the keynote speaker and London Underground Head of Commercial – Infrastructure Geoff Gilbert.

Gilbert spoke of the current supply chain delivery model being outdated and ill-equipped to carry us forward in this new, post recession economy. “The current construction supply chain approach is unsustainable” he says, and goes on to mention that UK infrastructure is actually 20% more expensive overall than its European counterparts, largely down to the current out-dated approach.

Gilbert goes on to talk about the London Underground (LUL)’s new approach, which involves working direct with Tier 3 and 4 Specialist Contractors in order to sustain quality and productivity  but reduce costs and potentially improve time scales of works.

LUL are rolling out this new and revolutionary way of working based on the belief that “production leads… everything else enables.” They believe that the right capability, right attitude, appropriate delivery models like the one suggested by Geoff, and more collaboration are the key ingredients to creating a more cost effective, efficient and most importantly fairer future for UK construction.

Other notable themes from the conference included the increasing use of technology to bring Specialist Contractors together with both clients and industry peers. In the digital age it is vital that the construction industry embraces the new nature of business, both for innovation and for growth. 

Growing construction businesses through adding value was another hot topic, as various Specialist Contractors explained ways in which growth had been achieved and value added in their business.

And whilst growth is a very hot topic, the delegates discussed the fact that some age old challenges are still being scattered in the path of Specialist Contractors by others in the industry.

Various speakers at the conference highlighted ways in which payment issues and other problems that commonly arise can be identified and avoided, and how they can be solved.

The buzz at the conference was felt by all as the 10 speakers made quick and interesting presentations that shared their own knowledge, experiences and expertise in a bid to help Specialist Contractors take control of both their own business and the future of the industry.

The positive atmosphere that resonated throughout the day showed that YOU, the Specialist Contractors in the industry are ready for positive change and welcome innovation with open arms.

One thing is clear; we must all innovate to survive. But the underlying message still remains, that unless everyone buys into it, a full scale innovative age for UK construction may never dawn.

Missed out this year or attended and want to make sure you join us again next year? We are taking early bird bookings now! On 16th June 2015 we will host “Win Work. Get Paid. Make Money.” Held at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel once again, our third annual conference do just what it says on the tin; show you how to win work, get paid and make money in the UK construction industry. Email info@streetwisesubbie.com to find out more and secure your place at the soon to be sell-out event.


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