Osborne
Osborne

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Is Highways Maintenance Feeling Like Groundhog Day?

Mistakes being repeated project after project, suppliers not sharing ideas and good practice, the same methods, the same problems, over and over…

That’s how it can feel in the world of highways maintenance.

Rather like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day you sense you’ve been in the same situation before and you know how it’s going to pan out.

The question is: how can you break the cycle? How can you move to a positive environment where a five year framework progressively builds better methods? One where the framework delivers more highway capacity with a smaller budget, alongside social and environmental improvements. Five years’ experience rather than year one repeated over and over.

The first step to breaking the cycle is to find a framework partner that appreciates the complexity of building an environment where innovation can flourish.

Specifically, you need to be clear about how potential suppliers plan to inspire, create and maintain the conditions and environment where new discoveries can be made. They need to articulate how innovative practices will be developed that address the challenges of lifetime asset value and maximising availability.

Innovation won’t happen unless somebody makes it happen. Suppliers won’t share best practice unless there are mechanisms to make it easy. And nothing significant will change without consistent, shared goals that everyone understands and adopts as a priority.

Proposals must address key questions:
• How will innovation be given the time and space it needs to develop?
• How will leadership consistently drive innovation and deliver superior value?
• How widely will the supplier cast their net in the search for better methods and processes?
• How will they promote and recognise innovation throughout the supply chain and community?
• How will they track and evaluate the benefits of innovation?

Answers to these questions must be coherent, specific and detailed. Otherwise, the past is likely to carry on repeating itself.

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