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UK plays leading role on international stage

LETTERS

Sir, It is correct to highlight that initiatives to improve the construction industry's image, skills and profit margins are now a worldwide objective. (Construction News, February 20).

However, you have failed to mention that the UK is regarded as a global leader in improving business performance in the construction industry.

As a result of the progress that has been made in the UK industry since our launch in 1998, Construction Best Practice (CBP) has received inquiries from New Zealand, Hong Kong, Portugal, Chile, Nigeria and South Africa.

All of these countries have come to us for advice on UK CBP initiatives such as Key Performance Indicators and Clubs, which have both been used to great effect in the UK to derive performance improvement.

It is important for the UK to communicate within the international arena, not only so that other countries can learn from our achievements but also so that we can benchmark against other countries by learning and sharing information.

The construction industry in one country will not be the same as in another. Countries need to analyse their specific problems, both social and economic, then look at implementing improvements. In the UK, CBP works because we have tackled the industry as a whole, with the financial backing of the Government.

The results from our recent annual review proves that Best Practice works. In 2002, firms that adopted and engaged in Best Practice experienced phenomenal benefits. Users of Best Practice saved, on average 60,000 days and £8.5 million last year and increased profitability by a staggering £56 million.

The recently-announced 'Constructing Excellence' which will result from bringing together CBP and Rethinking Construction will continue this good work. What we need to do now is promote this success.

One of the core aims in the Accelerating Change report and a future vision of Constructing Excellence is that the British construction industry will be world class. We are on the way to achieving this goal.

But we cannot afford to sit back. We have to strive to be not just the best, but world class.

That means a commitment to Best Practice.

Brian Moone, CBP Director