Improvement through PAS 91

PAS 91 has recently been updated to align with the Government Construction Strategy.

PAS91-CoverHere are some of my thoughts on recently providing PAS91 support (training events, webinars and live bid support)

As with all bidding the trick is to:

 “delight the client to attain maximum scores and score higher than your competitors”

Easy?

PAS 91 used properly could significantly improve the SME contracting sector, on topics such as Diversity, Quality Management, Environmental Management and of course Building Information Modelling.

The scoring I have seen to date heavily favours certification – to ISO 9001, ISO1400 and PAS1192. Providing these certificates scores full marks, and exempts the bidder from completing a large number of questions in an attempt to describe arrangements that meet the standards, and only score eg 75% of available scores. (in one case up to 12 sides of A4 are expected!)

A contractor without these standards in place are already scoring less than those who have, before they start to articulate their practices.

It makes attaining these accreditations a no brainer, whilst of course providing the benefits of accreditation. From a clients PAS91 perspective it allows further in depth questions in the Specific Questions Module, for eg delivering value, evidence of localism, sustainable material procurement.

The BIM optional module in PAS 91 contains some tough questions, but also provides a useful guide as to what bidders should be preparing for.

Top tips for maximising PAS 91 points:

  • Get a (free) copy of PAS 91
  • Practice, prepare and fine tune  your responses, get them internally and independently checked.
  • Ensure you provide complete responses to all parts of the questions
  • Evidence, Evidence Evidence – use real evidence (think business storytelling) to support.
  • Be consistent between what you say in the bid, demonstrate on your projects and say on your website and or social media (watch those linkedin profiles!)

We will be providing further training, public and one to one webinars, and live PAS 91 consultancy support over the coming months. Do get in touch 

We are also developing 91Cloud a PAS91 portal due to launch soon – watch this space

Also in addition in conjunction with ibepartnership we have developed a low cast but high value package for achieving ISO 14001 for smaller SME contracting organisations. Again, please do get in touch 

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Innovation Voucher Provision

mb-m-and-c-1-blueThe Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is making Innovation Vouchers available worth up to £5000 for construction and built environment companies. Applications are due to open on the 10th of December and close on the 23rd of January 2013.

Fairsnape in association with IBE-Partnership is delighted to assist you  in preparing and submitting your application for Innovation Vouchers in the following topics that we offer as your innovation provider to improve your construction performance.

  1. Social Media – Awareness, Getting Started, Developing, Strategy and Policies, Measuring,
  2. CSR – Awareness, Developing Strategies, Integrating and aligning systems, Measuring.
  3. Sustainability (1) – Awareness, Strategy, Policies, Aligning / writing systems, Measuring
  4. Sustainability(2) – (Beyond Waste) – Awareness, circular economy, cradle to cradle thinking, healthy products innovation, measurement,
  5. Construction Carbon – Awareness, Strategies, Measuring and Improving, Application of wold class tools
  6. Benchmarking – (Beyond KPI’s) – Awareness, Strategy, Benchmarking Project, Measuring, Application of world class tools
  7. Business Strategy – (EFQM) Awareness, Improving overall and holistic strategy, facilitation, measurement
  8. Collaborative Planning / Last Planner – Awareness, Strategies, Training, Guidance, Facilitation, Application of world class tools
  9. Lean Construction Techniques – Awareness, Strategies, Training, Guidance, Facilitation, Application of world class tools
  10. Collaborative Working – Awareness, Strategy, Principles, Training, Facilitation, Preparation for BIM
  11. BIM – Awareness, Strategy, Policies, Preparation Plan, Facilitation,
  12. Customer Management– Awareness, Strategies, Training, Guidance, Facilitation, Application of world class tools
  13.  ISO14001 – Awareness, Strategy + Policies, Improving/Writing EM system + process, training, readiness for assessment
  14. ISO90001 – Awareness, Strategy + Policies, Improving/Writing QM, training, readiness for assessment system + process
  15. PAS 2030 – Awareness, Strategy + Policies, Improving/Writing Green Deal system + process, training, readiness for assessment
  16. Bidding – Awareness, Strategy, Process/Approach, Support,

mb-m-and-c-1-blueThis is a great opportunity for you to innovate and improve your effectiveness and efficiency, improve attractiveness to clients  and of course improve the bottom line at no cost to you. If you are interested in progressing further please call or get in touch to discuss.

00 44 7776 234702

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PQQ Specification PAS 91 now to include BIM

I have blogged a number of times on PAS 91, the Publicly Available Specification for PQQ’s, (eg here) and on BIM, Building Information Management, (eg here – What is BIM)

But … until now separately …

It is encouraging to note then that Construction Manager published news that the new version of PAS 91 will include BIM, asking bidders on their experience of using Building Information Modelling.

Although PAS91 has maybe not had the take up anticipated, its influence on other PQQ’s is noticeable. Hence the inclusion of BIM into the PAS can only reinforce the importance and the need to act on BIM, from both clients and contractors.

A consultation on the draft version of the updated PAS91 has just concluded. The drafting committee convened by the British Standards Institute, which  authored the original form, will study the comments and issue a final version before Christmas, according to Brian Such, project manager at BSI Standard Solutions.

The draft asks about an organisation’s understanding, capability and willingness in BIM, said Such. “In the last two years interest in building information modelling has grown rapidly – and it felt appropriate and helpful to expand in this direction.”

The government has mandated BIM on all public projects from 2016. (See the Government Construction Strategy)

Proposed new version of PAS 91:

Required

•  Supplier identity, key roles and contact information

•  Financial information

•  Business and professional standing

•  Health and safety policy and capability

Optional

•  Equal opportunity and diversity policy and capability

•  Environmental management policy and capability

•  Quality management policy and capability

•  Building Information Modelling

Notes:
 
I am currently assisting a number of contractors in developing a BIM preparation strategy, based on collaborative working principles and approaches.
 
I recently co-authored a NFB Guide to PAS91:2010 which will be updated following issue of Revision 2
 
If you would like to know more, or receive an outline of a preparation strategy please do get in touch via email or twitter
 
A copy of PAS91:2010 can be downloaded from the BSI site

Social Value Act, CSR and Construction

Could the Social Value Act 2012 which came into being earlier this year have profound implications on construction procurement and on construction’s approach to Corporate Social Responsibility?

Indications are that it will.

The Social Value Act requires local authorities, when entering into public procurement contracts, to give greater consideration to economic, social or environmental wellbeing during the procurement stage.

(3) The authority must consider—

(a) how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area, and

(b) how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement.

This will require the authority to pre-determine social value expected, along with measures and targets for both the project procurement and delivery. Raising the game on construction understanding of Social Value and CSR.

In response, bids will clearly demonstrate how social value will be created and delivered (as a result of selection to the project). We could (will?) see more weighting and scores afforded to social value issues making ‘soft’ issues ever more competitive.

What are currently seen as innovative differentiators could well become the norm and common place (such as free fruit in site canteens, free whole person health checks for operatives, demonstrating localism through mapping carbons of site travel etc)

Construction can have a huge influence and impact on social value and social wealth, through employment, transport, material purchase, SME procurement, environmental and social impacts … and more. With a little rethinking those impacts, often seen as negative, can deliver real positive value.

Construction, and built environment CSR strategies and performance will need to become ever more important, more strategic and more informed. At one level demonstrating a coherent approach to social value and at another as a competitive differentiator.

Hence now, as ever, is the best time to ensure that CSR approaches are robust, realistic and aligned with staff client and society expectations.

If you are interested in the growing debate on the impact of the Social Value Act and CSR in construction, please join me on twitter @fairsnape, using the #socialvalueact hashtag. You can also comment below and or subscribe to this blog or get in touch to discuss wider CSR and Bidding support.

We have a planned CSR in Construction Tweetchat scheduled for the 18th June where we will be debating, over twitter, the impact of the Social Value Act. (Using hashtag #GVischat)

Bidding to Win

Following my Bid to Win session in association with the Lancashire Construction Best Practice Programme and the Federation of Master Builders on the 17th May 2012, below is a background narrative article, links to the key slides and documents referenced.

If you would like to know more about Fairsnape bid support please do get in touch with myself via @fairsnape or via email

The following article was originally written for Interiors, the AIS publication.

Bids that Win 2012 Style

The world is changing, today we find our selves in a very different and more challenging environment than we have previously faced. New themes and initiatives have taken over from those in the nineties and noughties. Probably never before have we had the urgency and importance for survival and resilience, for integrated and balanced approaches to economic, environmental and social responsibilities.

Winners are those who have embraced change. But, are we applying the same patterns of thinking to bid responses that we did 5, 10 and more years ago?

Winning work today requires more than just the technical capability and capacity to deliver the work. Important as these are, increasingly vital is the how, the responsible manner in which we undertake the work.  Responsible management approaches, or Corporate Social Responsibilities, have been described recently as the DNA of a business, your image and your reputation.

Towards the end of 2011 I wrote a five part series of bidding articles as part of the AIS Build a Better Contractor programme that covered

  • Getting Ready (you do not win the bid at bid stage)
  • Improving Content (evidence, evidence, evidence)
  • Getting it Right (selected not de‐selected)
  • Presenting your Bid (can you walk the talk)
  • Learning (for the next bid)

These articles can be found on the AIS Build a Better Contractor web site along with a series of three accompanying webinars delivered more recently for AIS Members

This article then, provides an overview and further narrative to the on line material along with questions to challenge, and indeed improve, your approaches

Getting Ready (you do not win the bid at bid stage)

Understand the industry and embed progress.  Being able to demonstrate that you are tuned into current and emerging best practice and legislation can be essential in moving a ‘good’ bid response to an ‘excellent’ bid response.

Understand where your sector and the industry is heading and ensure these changes are fully discussed at board level (or equivalent). Sustainability, diversity, localism and CSR for example should be seen as strategic issues not just a tick box for bid or project issues. Directors and boards need to lead,  providing stability and encouraging innovation for change.

Being visible and engaging with the industry has perhaps never been easier with today’s social media, web and cloud technologies. The power and potential of social media is yet to be realised. On one hand social media presents a phenomenal tool for sharing news, keeping informed, demonstrating innovation and engaging with clients and partners, on the other hand it can be your Achilles heel, rapidly broadcasting irresponsible practices or intentions, undermining all the good work in bids and client relationships.

Having an appropriately positive approach to Social Media with guidelines or codes of practice for use by staff in the business and on projects will increasingly become high priority.

Improving the content of bids (evidence, evidence, evidence).  

Evidence of how you go about delivering projects is your key to successful bids. Who in your organisation is collating and recording your story, the who, the why, the how, and the where  ‐ as well as the what you did.

A project diary kept as a project blog can provide an effective time line and record of how you approached the project, worked with the client and others, brought innovation and solutions to the project. Good solid, honest evidence could well move your bid scores from a five or six out of 10 to a 10 out 10.

Take a look at the evidence you have submitted previously and ask the ‘so what’ question. If you were reading for the first time what would really you think?

Is it anecdotal, could it have been written by anyone or is it unique to you, does it tell your “story’?  Do you find it interesting or dull?  Is it innovative?

Its also a good time to review your project data sheets, are they what you would expect from an innovative company in 2012? Make them come alive by adding maps, links to innovate web pages, your company, the building or clients websites, online pictures, reports, blogs or articles on the building or project. View your project sheets as an interactive PR tool rather than simply a flat brochure. Using online material wisely and effectively can really demonstrate how innovative your organisation is.

Getting it Right (getting selected not deselected)

Through careless errors, bidders all too often throw away points, deselecting themselves from success. Having a robust written process, as part of, rather than outside of your management systems, to manage the preparation, collation and submission of bids is essential

Presenting your Bid (can you walk the talk)  

Once you have submitted your excellent, well focused PQQ, have been invited to an interview and to present to the client, can you really ‘walk your talk’? Often the presentation can be your last hurdle in the bid process, a competition with just a limited number of bidders. It’s your opportunity to demonstrate you are better than the best. Prepare, Practice and Seize the opportunity to impress!

Learning (… for the next bid)  

Submitting good bids is not always good enough. Your bid submissions must continually improve, each one being better than the previous, and of course each being better than the competition. Don’t leave improvement of your bids to chance, but view bid writing as a core business activity, with appropriate management, resources and contribution from all.

It is vital that you work to improve bid responses between bids, for example collating evidence to strengthen your story and demonstrate your capabilities and innovations

Five Bid Improvement Thoughts

  1. How can you embrace social media to win work?
  2. Get an independent (internal or external) health check to review and update your evidence.
  3. List the reasons why you have de-selected yourself on previous bids
  4. How can you really shine at interviews and presentations?
  5. How do you ensure that each bid is better than the last one you did?

Zap or Sap

How do your bids appear to others? Reading between the lines do you Zap energy, ie come across as an eager, open and problem solving, collaborative working, with a proven supply chain of a similar ethos, or do you come across as a business that Sap’s energy, that in spite of technical excellent appears as hard work, guarded responses with a supply chain to be advised?

Martin Brown is a built environment improvement and social media advocate, providing consultancy support through Fairsnape, and can be contacted on martin.brown@fairsnape.net. You can join bid improvement conversations by following Martin on twitter @fairsnape (and indeed through following @AISInteriors)

Martin’s blog at www.fairsnape.wordpress.com provides commentary on built environment news, comments and tips for bidding. Martin is also a contributor to the Guardian Sustainable Business built environment hub and CSRWire’s Talkback

LINKS

The slides used to set the context for bidding in Todays Construction can be found here.

Simplified Bid to Win slides can be found here.

Download a copy of Never Waste a Good Crisis document from here The Wolstenholme_Report_Oct_2009

Construction PR and Marketing in a Digital Age – Record of Target Event held in Leeds 23 May 2012

MORE

If you would like to know more about Fairsnape bid support please do get in touch with myself via @fairsnape or via email

PQQ Secrets: Listening to the voice of the customer

For PQQ responses to have chance of success they need to address the requirements and aspirations of the client and project.

They also need to differentiate from the competition. So when a client organisation presents on how to differentiate at bid stage, you should be on to a winner.

But of course it’s an ever iterative game, and you will need to be better than those who also hear the customers tips for bidding.

At last weeks CSkills Forum in Salford, Urban Vision Partnership presented what they look to as differentiators when marking and selecting PQQ’s, either as direct bids, as part of a consortia or within a supply chain. Urban Vision’s overall remit is to manage, protect, maintain and enhance development within the city.

Key Differentiating Factors:

– Creation of community benefit

– Workforce development

– Added value and innovation

– Environmental performance, eg 14001 and CO2 monitoring

– Health and Safety practices, eg 18001

– An IMS (Integrated Management System) approach to quality, sustainability and safety

How many of these can you honestly tick as being well established, or well in development, within your organisation, to articulate within bids?

Many of these have been part of the construction business improvement agenda for many years now, certainly since Egans Rethinking Construction back in 1998, whilst others are relatively new as Methods of Modern Construction Management.

Through fairsnape we can help with advice or support in these areas, in practice or in bid articulation. Why not have a conversation? You can follow and join me on twitter @fairsnape, subscribe to or share this blog post, or get in touch.

local authority in peak oil tranisition

Last week, Somerset County Council voted unanimously to endorse a motion that they become the UK’s first ‘Transition Local Authority’ reported the Transition Culture blog yesterday

What this means is that SCC will take a more integrated approach to its planning processes, putting peak oil, sustainable communities and climate change at the heart of its forward planning, which would/should/will include its construction and maintenance procurement and management.

Is this the start of local authorities adopting a wider and longer term view of sustainability?  It will be very interesting now to see the PQQ (preliminary qualification questionnaire) issues the county ask of its bidders, the selection criteria used in procurement and the performance indicators.  One big impact should be the real focus on local labour, local materials and construction miles.

Just as the built environment sector is (slowly) getting to grips with answering basic environmental questions with in bidding documents, this may not only move the goal posts but put them on a different playing field.  Try addressing a PQQ question along the lines  “What steps have you taken to address peak oil”

At last we may have some real effort in addressing the impact we in the built environment have on the environment and climate change.

As the Transition Culture blog states: Something Wonderful Just Happened in Somerset

The proposal put before the Council ran as follows;

That this Council

  1. Acknowledges the work done by communities in Somerset on Transition Towns and that the independence of the Transition Movement is key to its grass roots appeal.
  2. As demonstrated in its Climate Change Strategy, fully endorses the Transition Town Movement and subscribes to the principles and ethos of the organisation’s goals to reduce dependence on fuel oil and create more sustainable communities.
  3. Commits to providing support and assistance to all towns in Somerset that wish to join this initiative to help them achieve the goals they set for themselves as local communities, as demonstrated under the ‘Community Initiatives’ section of the Climate Change Strategy.
  4. Therefore, requests the Scrutiny and Executive Committees to consider through the council’s strategic planning process; allocating funds to assist in achieving the outcomes of the Transition Towns Movement in Somerset and requiring all directorates to engage with and provide support for Transition Initiatives in Somerset

Through the work outlined above, seeks to become the first Transition Authority in the UK. Agrees to undertake a review of its budgets and services to achieve a reduction in dependence on fuel oil and produce an energy descent action plan in line with the principles of the Transition Initiative.