Collaboration is Vital to Understanding
The lack of collaboration can sometimes lead to communication failures between all stakeholders and can hinder us from really understanding what our customers needs.Although everyday we collaborate more, construction is still perceived as a largely fragmented industry, with lots of different stakeholders coming together for a particular scheme or project and then moving off onto something else.
The positive news is that it is changing, as best practice takes hold, this will filter down and become a normal way of working.
Engaging with our customers is the key to building on retaining a more secure and productive business relationships. I believe that to fully engage with our customers, we need to be able to walk a day in their shoes to understand their needs and pressures. That way we can help be part of the solution. If we work together and share resources, share skills and intelligence we can deliver the finished product.
I think that trust plays a big part- it’s the magic ingredient. So hard to gain, so easily lost.
Lets look at this objectively…
The question is- Does everyone have the same objective? Is it clearly defined from the outset? We all want a quality product at the right price. Something that is known as the Ronseal moment- “it does what it says on the tin.”
What we do all understand is that we have to make money, but how do we share in the success? Current procurement processes can in itself can be an isolated process, if we bought trust and collaboration right to the forefront, so we have a shared common goal, could we alleviate risks for all ?
Rather than be issued with a design at tender stage, we want to be able to look at design and say “yes we can do that” We want to meet the customer’s needs in an affordable way, and avoid unnecessary redesign costs by ensuring we are meeting all end-outputs as the design develops. We ensure all stakeholders are on board with the design as early as possible. It is important we bind together from the word go and find ways of accommodating competing priorities.
Collaboration creates happy end users and this has to filter down. Feedback helps create more positive relationships with all stakeholders as well as the end users. Collaboration creates better working practices-Taking a collaborative approach provides a platform for both supply chain partners and customers to deliver the highest standards and continually improve working practices. That way, we are all working together to achieve the best possible results.
Collaboration is the future- collaboration is vital to is all- not just in infrastructure.
The best working relationships are the ones where our supply chain partners take time to listen to customers needs and frustrations – and vice versa. This approach will help partnerships to innovate and deliver all projects successfully and sustainably and efficiently.
Mike Todd is the Lead Business Development Manager for Infrastructure at Osborne.