Innovation in the water sector

Innovation in the water sector | By Mark Brown

At Mackenzie Construction, we pride ourselves on fostering a culture of respectful challenge towards existing practices in order to achieve continuous improvement.

As part of this, our teams are encouraged to challenge designs, scopes and methods of working within an ethos of continually asking if there is a safer, or more efficient, way to carry out an operation. This knowledge-sharing ethos provides ample opportunity for innovation to be captured in addition to the more formal procedures detailed within our business management systems.

We firmly believe that new innovations can come from anywhere across our teams and partners – from supply chain to industry partnerships (such as Enisca or Panton McLeod) or developed through collaborative engagement with our clients in the water sector.

We aim to maximise efficiency by attending industry events, nurturing a culture of learning, leveraging shared knowledge through our Industry Collaboration Initiative, adopting new systems or technology which may reduce manpower or time. This also includes actively seeking new and better methods and more efficient methodologies through up-skilling and collaboration.

We also have a rigorous Quality Improvement Strategy, embedded across all that we do at Mackenzie Construction. The focus of this process is to establish best practice in our day-to-day activities, identify areas of potential innovation or improved efficiency and implement them into the business. We also ensure to learn from our mistakes and share documents on our key learning from each project throughout the company and to our supply chain, to prevent the risk of recurrence.

The strategy also ensures that any new innovations identified, are given the opportunity to be tested in practice. If proved successful, these new working methods are integrated into our business process as best practice. New innovations, such as our Smart Surface service, are testament to the success of this methodology.

In terms of seeking improvement, the starting point is often the Quality Improvement Request Form – a simple document, which is readily available to everyone in the business. This can be used to identify new best practice working methods, innovations or to highlight lessons learned. These forms are the primary basis of discussion at our Quality Improvement Forum, which is held on a regular basis with representatives from all areas of the business encouraged to attend.

In the water sector specifically, our view is that business efficiency and overall performance can be improved through the establishment of best practice and the pursuit of opportunities for innovation.

Best practice working methods are often established through improvements in operational kit and advances in technology. This is where our strong supply chain links become important in driving efficiency through the sharing of information and ensuring that ideal equipment is available to our team.

Also, by ensuring that all of our site teams working in the water sector are sharing information and operating to the same set of standards and procedures we can improve the consistency of our performance in the areas of both safety and quality.

See an example of how we operate in this sector and respond to challenges with our partners and supply chain here: