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June Overview – Mark Wakeford

I was lucky enough to attend Digital Construction Week this year. It is a show that has grown in size and maturity since my last visit pre-covid, when I might have characterized it as a series of solutions looking for problems to solve.

Today it is a busy show of vendors offering exciting products to solve problems where the focus is on value and return on investment. A number of things struck me:

– The diversity of services offered and the recognition these had to provide value to the ultimate customer.

– The emphasis on collaboration and the recognition that working together will achieve much more much quicker.

– The number of women, both presenting and attending.

– Large companies championing innovative start-up companies who are working within their teams to help drive cultural change.

– An embedded and implicit recognition that technology must support a net-zero journey

– A focus on people, and not technology.

The is all good news as it provides all our businesses in the Midlands with opportunities to improve our client services, whether that is reducing project risk, providing broader services or increasing productivity. The challenge is that construction technology is moving so quickly that there is a very real danger that companies that do not invest, or seek to collaborate with those who are, may be left behind. The key is to understand the value you can provide, where it sits in your ultimate client’s value chain and how you can best enhance, broaden or deepen your value. From the evidence at Digital Construction Week, technology can and probably will play a huge role.

My final plea to members is to invest in Cyber Essentials Plus. Regardless of how big or small your business this is fast becoming an essential standard to achieve if you want a part in any construction supply chain. This is a Board issue and Boards must review the risks to their companies. Cyber Essential Plus will not make you invincible, but it will reduce the risk to you, your customers’ and your suppliers’ of a cyber-attack.

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