Local Knowledge and Relationships are Investments in Future Success

Every new rail project has a learning curve. The learning includes the technical, engineering and topographical details affecting the asset, risks to other infrastructure assets that may be affected by proposed works, and the needs and priorities of stakeholders. These are all considerations that sometimes have to be learned, and relearned, project by project.
Even in an age where information sharing and communication have become simpler, this still represents a significant investment of time and energy. And it’s an investment that can too easily be squandered when new personnel are brought in for each new project.

Long term contractual relationships bring the potential to be better at retaining and building on investments in learning about the assets. They can also be ideal for cultivating all-important local stakeholder relationships that can make a huge difference to mitigating risks when rail and highways projects intersect.

But do these benefits automatically flow from simply putting a framework or long term contract in place? Not necessarily.

Learning, Collaborative Culture

Choose your partner carefully is the key to any successful long term relationship. Simply having a contract in place for an extended period guarantees nothing.

If the contractor doesn’t have continuity in its workforce or supply chain, and doesn’t have the right kind of learning and collaborative culture (never mind efficient systems), the learning curve is still largely rebuilt project, after project, after project. Mistakes are also repeated with the same monotonous rhythm.

Osborne makes it a specific priority to build, retain and share intelligence through every project. We see this as an investment in future safety, efficiency and quality.

The benefits of long term relationships go beyond the continual building of asset knowledge. A long term approach also helps establish the mutual trust, understanding and confidence that help the approval and progress of proposed works flow much more smoothly. This is vitally important in the rail sector where the processes for approving works and possessions are, rightly, stringent and specific.

A contractor’s philosophy and practice in the safeguarding of asset knowledge and stakeholder relationships is an excellent indicator of the added value that will be delivered.

Find out more by visiting Highways learning pages on our website.

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