Continuous Improvement through Innovation and Technology
Mackenzie Construction Ltd fully are fully committed to provide a more efficient and effective service through driving and embracing innovative technologies and works practices in all of our activities.
Our aim is always to improve and we have a continual improvement attitude.
All our construction personnel are encouraged to challenge designs/scopes and methods of construction within an ethos of continually asking if there is a “safer or more efficient way” to carry out an operation. Knowledge sharing provides opportunity for this innovation to be captured as well as more formal procedures for identifying opportunities for improvement detailed within our business management system.
Mackenzie maximise efficiency by adopting any new system, robotic technology, new IT or new equipment which may reduce manpower or time or replace inefficient plant. We are always keen to keep abreast of new technologies and methods to make us efficient and competitive as possible. This includes new and better ways to do things and manage more efficiently and effectively by upskilling and sharing and adopting best practice.
We hold a regular meetings with our Framework Suppliers and receive constant information on new and more efficient equipment coming onto the market.
Through membership of Professional Associations, we obtain updates on new materials to the market and new equipment which increases efficiency. We also attend industry and client seminars, workshops etc. to keep a high awareness of current practises and we constantly attend Supplier Forums where new innovative processes are being developed.
We engage with The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) which is supported by Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and 11 Scottish University partners whenever an opportunity for innovation development has been identified.
Knowledge sharing and innovation are intrinsically linked. Knowledge sharing is the foundation on which Innovation is built and innovation is subject to knowledge sharing to ensure that all potential benefits are realised and their impact maximised.
Knowledge sharing through engagement takes place at:
- Industry Wide level
- Supply Chain level
- Company level.
Industry wide forums allow new and innovative materials or methods of construction to be shared and where appropriate brought to the delivery of the Framework with the prime aim of enhancing safety and/or efficiency. An example of an Industry wide Forum is that provided by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) for which there is currently in excess of 300 member companies.
As an Industry wide Association CECA provide extensive knowledge sharing through liaison with key procurement authorities including Higher and Further Education Institutions, Health Boards, Local Authorities and Government Organisations.
Sharing knowledge with our Supply Chain provides invaluable opportunity for prospective improvements. Our most recent biannual Supply Chain Engagement Forum was attended by 18 members of our Supply Chain.
We hold the forum as an opportunity to stimulate improvements and make a real impact in the safety, efficiency and sustainability of our supply chain through collaborative engagement.
The forum helps our supply chain members reduce risks and costs, as well as innovate, grow and build competitive advantage by operating collaboratively and safely. The forum helps to:
- Connect with one another
- Knowledge share and learn from one another
- Gain insights into the issues, impacts and business benefits of safety and efficiencies
- Engage and influence supply chain members to achieve their safety and business goals
- Collaborate to solve safety and efficiency business problems
- Best practice experiences
Those who attended the forum thought that it was a great success. Not only did it deliver benefits to them, but also believe it helps drive significant financial and strategic benefits to our customers by operating better through greater engagement of the supply chain.
We have an Innovation Notice Board where employees are provided a focal point to capture and display potential innovating ideas. The notice board also contains our ‘Innovation Register’ where ideas are then recorded.
Quarterly Innovation forums are held where our Construction Staff discuss the ideas recorded in the ‘Innovation Register’ are debated and further actions are decided.
Another example of knowledge sharing at Company level is our monthly Worker Engagement Meetings held and chaired by our Managing Director. These Forums are attended by our site operatives and key Sub-contractors.
Worker Engagement Meetings provide an informal and relaxed environments through which opportunities for improvement are identified and knowledge shared.
At site management level, our weekly resource meetings chaired by the Managing Director and attended by all contract staff, provides another platform for knowledge sharing.
We deliver continuous improvement benefits through utilising our experience and unique understanding of civil engineering processes by optimising the design and delivery process. By becoming involved with the project earlier, we can join the team right at the start and be involved and influence optioneering, planning, assessing buildability, cost estimating and value engineering.
Through early involvement, construction works typically start earlier and there is more certainty of cost and time which stimulates continuous improvement. Furthermore, with this process there is far less chance of last minute surprises, however even when there are changes these can be accommodated without fear of inflating cost.
Together with our customers, we identify and exploit all potential savings on material costs, project costs, life cycle costs and programme savings through innovation, knowledge sharing, and analysis of management and performance information.
Scottish Water New Geofield Software
We have had an early involvement in helping Scottish Water to develop their new Geofield Software System. Geofield operates in ‘real-time’ and is supported by a suite of management reports that provide the necessary ‘real-time’ tools for the day to day management and monitoring of performance against targets.
The synergy of this system provides a panoramic view of all assets and activity, and brings a ‘joined-up’ approach to network administration and management which inspires improved communications and effective methods of working. This helps to increase customer satisfaction, whilst offering benefits and added value through consistency, accuracy and speed.
As this system is linked to the mainframe, it shares data through full interoperability and allows project management and operatives data interrogation, remote and direct access to essential network information in ‘real-time’.
We have had for many years, a policy of continual investment in IT technology to allow us to keep pace with the industry as a whole and to compete at the highest level using leading edge hardware and software. We are committed to ensuring that we keep at the forefront of technological advances, and assess our requirements on a regular basis.
One of these new technologies we are preparing to adopt is Building Information Modelling Programme (BIM).
Our aim is to utilise BIM to reduce design costs, assess constructability of designs, capture accurate cost dating and enhance asset lifecycle planning. We support this aim and further believe that the adoption of BIM technology will provide more efficient ways of working throughout all stages of design and project lifecycle.