Month: June 2015

Why? How? What? Things we learnt from last month’s procurement excellence event

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On Wednesday 27th May, at Addleshaw Goddard in Leeds, we held our fifth breakfast seminar of 2015 where we welcomed representatives from two regional public sector clients, Cliff Jones from ProCure21+ & Steve Baker from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, to lift the lid on why & how the public sector procures the way it does.

Both presentations gave a concise but excellent summary of the client’s perspective and what they look for from their supply chains when recruiting to a framework using real case studies from their respective sectors. Both presenters managed to cram a wealth of useful information & advice in to their 20 minute slots; in addition to finding out that Steve Baker is a closet Black Sabbath fan, here is what else we learnt…

Why do Clients procure?

A simple but often lost message. Clients don’t build because they want to build, they build because there is a need in order to deliver services & those needs to be effectively communicated by the client & understood by the supply chain. Some examples include;

  • New technologies & processes: Technology moves quickly, particularly in the NHS, and new or existing facilities have to be created & adapted to accommodate this
  • New products & services: Cliff Jones using the example of manufacturing, a new product may require a whole new production line
  • New opportunities & markets: Retailers often have to address regional demographics, different products required for different areas requiring different facilities
  • Additional capacity/Increased Turnover
  • Maintenance: To address ongoing maintenance, particular in line with new safety & environmental legislation.

Why does the public sector procure the way it does?

In an ideal world the process would be as simple as possible; easy to understand PQQ’s & ITT documents that are quick to fill in. However,

  • Legislation: public sector procurement has to evidence adherence to an enormous amount of legislation & best practice documentation; such as EU Legislation, UK Legislation and guidance documentation such as Public Contract Regulations 2015 & in Steve’s case additional Local Authority Procurement guidance (see image below)




  • Transparency: Public sector procurement has to be open, they have to have tender requirements with clear criteria that can demonstrate how best value for public money is evidenced & how companies are selected
  • Due Diligence: The public sector have to take experience into consideration to mimimise risk of project failure
  • Finances: The public sector have to carry out a wealth of checks and audits to ensure that the company has the financial security to deliver the project; again minimising risk ofproject failure & potential public money losses.
  • Increased Turnover: Occasionally you will get an SME who wants to tender for a job that would be an %50 or above increase in their annual turnover. Procurement teams have to be confident that the supplier can manage such a large increase. Do they have the relevant experience, teams and individuals for a significant increase?
  • PQQs: public sector has to deliver PAS 91 (more info here )
  • Compliance is key & therefore tender documents have to be lengthy & perhaps more complicated than ideal to ensure the right questions are being asked to ensure legal, financial & social e.t.c . compliance

Why Frameworks?

Frameworks have their detractors but both ProCure21+ & East Riding of Yorkshire Council use them. Here is why they believe they work;

  • Reduces Costs: It costs around 10,000 to procure a small job but can be as much as £70Kto 100K for larger projects. Frameworks avoid exhorbitant procurement costs being spent on every job.
  • Reduces Time: The procuring organisation does not have to go through OJEU process every time which for large projects can take up to six months.
  • Pushes Continual Improvement Agenda: Frameworks can have standard measures & performance KPIs built in to them so organisations can usefully compare their supply chain and individual teams within them
  • Social Value: the latest generation of frameworks have to address the social value act with real tangible outcomes to be measured. More about how YorBuild are addressing the social Value Act here
  • Builds relationships & Reduces Disputes: The potential for repeat work for companies on the framework facilitates greater co-operation between the client & their supply chain
  • BIM: Opportunity for BIM requirements to be built into framework and therefore promotes adoption throughout the supply chain.
  • SME support: there is a misconception that SMEs are generally excluded from the supply chain when in fact 90 to 95% of work is carried out by SMEs. In the future more frameworks will contain ‘value’ lots widening participation. Procure 21 also has barred exclusivity in their frameworks to ensure that their T1 contractors distribute subcontract work fairly.



What does this mean for those involved in delivering work & what does the client want?

  • Understanding the Client’s business & how it operates: if you don’t understand it then how can you advise them? For instance in the NHS, contractors need to understand how a hospital works; what your operatives can & can’t do on site. Understand who all the stakeholders are on the project and what their needs are.
  • Early Supply Chain involvement & collaboration: Help the client with their strategic planning, but they don’t need to know the ins and outs of the project. Clients are looking for whole solution providers so work with those in your supply chain and ask their advice. Ask the bricklayers the best way to do the job. Work with, don’t dictate. Engage people to ask the right questions at the right time.Standardisation & Sharing of information: facilitating the reuse of working designs & copying successful builds. The NHS has repeatable rooms for standard facilities, such as private bedrooms, patient bathrooms e.t.c (see image below)
  • Standardisation & sharing of information: facilitating the reuse of working designs & using them on future builds. For instance as in the NHS “repeatable rooms” standard  below;
  • repeatablerooms
  • Reliability: Delivering the project defects free. Defects are extremely disruptive to the client, particularly in NHS
  • Longer Warranties: NHS has a two year warranty on components but are pushing for longer.
  • Reduce Client’s Operational Costs: Some great examples from Cliff below





All the tweets from the seminar can be viewed at the storify below and don’t forget to book your place at our next Constructing Excellence breakfast on Contract Law where we will be discussing the merits of JCTS and NEC3 contracts. This seminar will take place on Wednesday 24th June at Addleshaw Goddard’s in Leeds. All details and booking here



Shortlist announced for this year’s #ceyhawards

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Shortlist announced for Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2015

A Stately home, an Eco Home development & a chapel garden, just a sample of some of the fantastic projects that have been shortlisted for this year’s Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire & Humber awards (#CEYHAWARDS).

Organised by the Centre for Knowledge Exchange at Leeds Beckett University, these awards are open to organisations, companies and project teams involved in delivering “excellence in construction” across 13 different categories, each one representing the core themes underpinning the Constructing Excellence movement & improvement agenda. Sponsored by Atlas Cloud, categories include integration & collaborative working, client of the year and new for 2015, BIM Project of the year.

Leading the way with nominations are A-one+ Integrated Services with five nominations closely followed by Carillion Morgan Sindall and Henry Boot Construction. We are thrilled to see more entries from smaller organisations this year and particular commendation must go to WGL Stoneclean, a Leeds based SME, who have been nominated in 3 separate categories. The full shortlist can be viewed on the #ceyhawards web page at the following link.


Atlas Cloud

The winners will be revealed at a gala presentation dinner on 17th July at the National Railway Museum in York. Over the last seven years the CEYHAWARDS have grown to be one of the highlights of the regional construction calendar & this year promises to be bigger than ever. We have already enjoyed a record number of submissions and look forward to welcoming around 350 construction professionals, representing a broad cross section of the construction industry, on the night itself to celebrate the very best that our sector has to offer. Atlas Cloud CEO Pete Watson says

“We are delighted to support the Constructing Excellence Yorkshire and Humber Awards 2015, it’s a true celebration of the construction industry. Industry professionals are raising the bar on projects for clients and pioneering new ways of working such as BIM, with Yorkshire being one of the leading areas in the country. We are proud to be working with such leading, growing businesses operating more efficiently and productively through collaboration, communication and mobility”

Tables & individual places at the event can be booked at the following link and include a drinks reception, a three course gourmet dinner, the awards presentation and lots of entertainment thrown in too! The event is black tie but we are encouraging all our guests to wear an item of colour in their outfits, whether a bright scarf or colourful bow tie, to break up the black!



Our charity partner for this year will be Disability Action Yorkshire, a fantastic charity that provides services to improve the lives of disabled people.  These include residential care which trains younger adults in the skills required to live independently, care and support within people’s own homes, fully accessible holiday accommodation and training in the skills required for employment linked to a thriving social enterprise. Find out about them and support their work via


With thanks to our sponsors



JCTs or NEC3, which is better?

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There’s only one way to find out….

Join us on 24th June 2015 at Addleshaw Goddard’s in Leeds for a Constructing Excellence breakfast event on Contract Excellence.

Delivered by Keith Browne and Amy Ward, two of Addleshaw Goddard’s associates, this will be an interactive session comparing and contrasting key provisions of the JCT and NEC3 suite of contracts and discussing the advantages/disadvantages of the two from both a legal and practical perspective.

Wednesday 24th June

Addleshaw Goddard, Leeds

8:00 to 9:30

£35 to attend or free for Yorkshire & Humber Constructing Excellence Club Members





AG logo P425-UK&SG-300dpi 118

Mental Health + the Construction Industry

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2015 Mental Health + The Construction Industry - FINAL

The Construction Industry Council Yorkshire and Humberside is  pleased to announce its first Health Leadership Briefing on Mental Health and The Construction Industry, which will take place on the evening of 9 June 2015 at Leeds Beckett University.

Health and safety is a major priority in the construction industry. The UK has one of the safest construction industries in the world thanks to industry regulations and the greater awareness of the importance of safety by the construction workforce. Having established good safety measures, the industry now needs to focus its attention on the health of its workforce.

This event is the first in a series of Health Leadership Briefings, in which the Construction Industry Council Yorkshire and Humberside will raise awareness of a number of key health issues, starting with mental health and the construction industry.

Mental health is often seen as a taboo subject and it is one of the least talked about issues in the industry; perhaps this is because of its largely male workforce. Research carried out by the HSE in 2007 found that 88% of those working in construction experience some level of work-related stress and 5% describe themselves as suffering from depression or an anxiety related illness.

This briefing will address questions such as:  What do we mean by mental health? What can we do as an industry to promote a mentally healthier workforce? What are an employer’s legal obligations? Guest  speakers include:  Peter Crosland, CECA; Paul Croston, MIND; Natalie Saunders, Genus Law.

Stefanie Stead, Chair of the CIC Yorkshire and Humberside and Architect at Pearce Bottomley Architects had this to say:

“In these economically and environmentally challenging times, following a deep and protracted global downturn, during which construction shed a great many skilled jobs which it is now struggling to replace, we must be mindful of the pressures and strains on the workforce. Mental health is as important as physical health to the well-being of our industry. This event has been organised to raise awareness of mental health issues on the industry’s Health & Safety agenda.”

Booking details for this event are available here. The £10 ticket price includes a £5 donation to MIND.