Improving Bid success through construction #CSR

Is your PQQ or Bid success rate dopping? Are you loosing out to competitors and not sure why? You could do no better than to get along to one of the numerous best practice or knowledge exchange events such as the excellent Green Vision programme from CKE in Leeds.

Last night the focus was on CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, which has moved a million miles away from just doing good, volunteering and charity donation, important though as these are. No, supply chain CSR approaches in the words of Bob Simpson (Walmart/ex ASDA) have to be ‘contemporary’ and demonstrate value to clients.

Bob went on to emphasis how the supply chain has to demonstrate “a point of difference” through CSR, when bidding for work, that includes:

  • Design Problems out (through BIM for example)
  • Improving site efficiency (maximising considerate constructor scores?)
  • Embracing localism
  • Hating waste in all its forms including energy, carbon, transport
  • Exceeding safety standards
  • Taking the initiative. The supply chains are the experts in construction.

Paul Connell E.on consultant reinforced the same message describing how supply chains adding value to E.on to help them deliver their ambitious Cities Programme of collective intelligence, enabling large organisations to engage with individuals on a meaningful level.

Setting the scene, my CSR presentation focused on the changing world of communications and transparency, and the need for construction not only to be solid and reliable but also innovative in CSR. Particularly in the public sector, where the newly minted Social Value Act will require construction to start to really understand and demonstrate the value of CSR approaches.

There is a storify record of the event here.

How contemporay is your CSR approach? Is it helping you demonstrate value to your clients and winning you work? Maybe now is the time to re-evaluate. We are helping many organisations review their CSR, PQQ and Bid approaches.  Do get in touch to discuss.

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sustainable connectivity

A new look for isite with a new image on the top banner(*). I like this design as it includes a RSS button – to get isite delivered to your desktop, and a search facility to search back through isite items.

But a little more too. After reflection on this blogs contents and direction, I have slightly amended the purpose of isite.

Yes it will continue to be a news views and comments blog for the built environment, poking here and there when things dont seem quite right or dubious, or indeed covered with greenwash. It will continue to be a voice to the online world for the Lancashire Best Practice Construction Club and to a lesser degree the CKE, and will continue to focus on collaborative working, integrated working, facilities management, futures and improvement towards excellence. The emerging web2.0 or even 3.0, and I include second life here, is an important theme that links and enables allot of what we, what I do, so will remain a key element of the posts and comments.

isite is also of course the outlet to the world for my business – fairsnape.  (the name was taken from the local hill in the Forest of Bowland visible from my base here)

However, more importantly I see isite starting to look at connectivity with the natural environment. A number of activities I have been involved with lately has made me realise we may be where we are today because we have lost, and struggling to regain connectivity with our impact on ecology in its widest sense.

What does this mean? – Ecological footprints more than carbon footprints – as John Muir said when we tug on a single thing in nature we find it attached to everything else . – natural materials rather than harmful – renewable energy rather than fossil fuels, community based FM rather than endless target driven fm, about responsible sourcing rather than supply chain bullying, all putting a new direction to CSR.

I have long used the triptych of fit for people purpose and planet (before it became enshrined into the triple bottom line concept I like to think) . It is what Patrick Geddes would call folk, work and place, nearly a century ago, and reading Satish Kumar over the weekend – he described our modern trinity as needing soil, soul and society. Soil for the environment. soul for a spiritual dimension and society for justice.

Kumar a great walker – now based at the Schumacher college in Dartmoor, that incidentally run courses on Zen and Construction, talks about never trusting ideas that you never worked through whilst walking. “when you walk you are connected with nature, when in a car or a building your are disconnected, you walk to connect yourself”.

A while ago I started a benchmark walking programme to do just this – getting workshops and learning sharing events out of a training room or hotel into the countryside. With a loose agenda that emerges to deal with peoples real improvement needs, benchmarkwalks allows real learning and sharing, I likened it to doing business on a golf course – but this is business improving on a walk.

So all this as a preamble to a new thread for isite – connectivity – one I hope that will give it more scope, depth and importance as we address the sustainability issues, the soil, soul and society issues facing the built environment.

(* taken at Beacon Fell, Forest of Bowland, Lancashire recently – a location for many benchmarkwalks)

Construction Knowledge Exchange

I am delighted that isite, fairsnape and CKE are now working together to bring news of CKE’s events and projects (focusing on the North West activities) through this blog.  We also welcome Andrea Pye, CKE, as a guest blogger and contributor.   Welcome to the blogosphere!

The newly created CKE page to this blog will carry more details of the events, news, and project case sudies.  In addition we are working on thecreation of a similar relationship and dedicated blog space for the Women in Construction project currently under way as part of the CKE programme.