Skanska acts as both contractor and subcontractor, which gives us a good insight into the requirements of the construction industry supply chain, including specialist areas such as green retrofit, mechanical and electrical engineering, data centres and foundation work.
SRW, which is our engineering services business, benefits from these insights in a number of ways.
First and foremost, we understand it’s about relationships: in our experience, good relationships between client, main contractor and subcontractors are infinitely more productive and innovative when it comes to bringing together the right team to deliver the project.
Technical capability is important, of course, but how you approach the job is the key to making it a success, and the way you build relationships is central to that.
Specialists Award win
When SRW won the 2013 Construction News Specialists Award for Low-Carbon Excellence, it was a proud moment for us. It brought into the spotlight an area of our business that we have been nurturing.
“Winning the specialists award supported Skanska’s overall reputation for being a leader in green construction”
We work hard to promote sustainable ways to build, fit out and refurbish buildings, whether it’s a school, a commercial building or a hospital – even our own offices. The award also supported Skanska’s overall reputation for being a leader in green construction.
We believe green retrofit is an area that has high potential. The last six months in particular have seen a range of framework opportunities, as an increasingly enlightened public sector turns to green retrofit to improve its estates and reduce energy costs.
We have high hopes for the private sector also, as it gains greater understanding about how retrofit can add value to commercial portfolios.
Educating the supply chain
Another area of success also brings together sustainability and the skills of the subcontractor.
Skanska was a founder of the Supply Chain Sustainability School in June 2012, alongside six other major contractors. The school continues to grow and is now supported by 10 major contractors and boasts more than 2,300 members from 1,341 companies.
The school provides the means for subcontractors to assess their sustainability strengths and identify areas for development. They receive a prioritised action plan and a range of free tools, e-learning resources and training to help improve their capability.
In short, the school helps contractors to develop their supply chain, while benefiting the whole industry.
In acknowledgement of the school’s achievement, in September it won the top award at the CIPS Supply Management Awards 2013, across all industries.
It’s great to be able to share that success. We wish the entrants for the 2014 Construction News Specialists Awards the best of luck.
Martin Neeson is managing director of Skanska RW
Enter the CN Specialists Awards 2014: deadline 1 November
Now in their 10th year, the Construction News Specialists Awards are the only national awards that recognise and celebrate the very best specialist contractors in the UK, highlighting outstanding work across 16 categories.
For more details visit www.cnspecialistsawards.com
The awards are FREE to enter. The entry deadline is 1 November 2013.