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VolkerWessels UK appoints chief digital officer

VolkerWessels UK has appointed Simon White as its new chief digital officer. 

Mr White, who previously worked as digital director at Atkins Infrastructure UK, is expected to help push through VolkerWessel’s digital transformation strategy.

The decision by VolkerWessels UK to embrace a digital strategy comes as the firm’s parent company, Netherlands-based Royal VolkerWessels launched a centre for digital construction focused on cutting-edge knowledge including BIM systems, IOT, GIS, reality capturing and augmented reality.

VolkerWessels UK is also creating innovation and digital transformation spaces in its key offices and intends to work with colleagues in the Netherlands to accelerate technology awareness and adoption in 2019.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr White said: “The construction sector has typically not taken advantage of emerging technologies and access to real-time information that is now readily available.

“It’s clear that embracing digital has the potential to add real value for companies, clients, and communities impacted by construction, yet our industry is one of the least progressed in terms of R&D and digital transformation.

“The cycle of our sector being a follower has to change and we have an opportunity to make a real difference to our clients, end users and society in general,” Mr White added. 

Last week VolkerWessels UK chief executive Alan Robertson told Construction News that the sector should focus on consistency of performance to stem a downward spiral of underperformance.

Mr Robertson was commenting on figures revealed in this year’s CN100 that revealed the UK’s top 10 construction firms recorded a pre-tax margin of -0.9 per cent.

Mr Robertson said: “At the heart of the solution must be a solid corporate culture, combined with consistency: consistency of strategy, and of management structures and teams; consistency of financial performance, and of commercial rigour and discipline; and consistency of governance.”

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