The headquarters of the National Audit Office is probably not everybody’s idea of an inspirational place, but I like it there. It is an art deco building opposite Victoria coach station in London. It has recently been refurbished to a very high standard, maintaining the character of the building while providing everything needed for a modern office environment. In the reception area, it proudly displays its certificate boasting that the building is compliant with this BREEAM excellent standard. This was probably the highest standard for a sustainable building at the time, but the ‘outstanding’ designation has recently been introduced. Next to this proud accolade is the Energy Performance of Buildings certificate, a legal obligation. It proclaims a very middling C rating. How can this be? (more…)
The stadium is built, the medals have been sourced and the horses have been benchmarked to make sure that no competitor gets an unfair advantage. In just 100 days, the London 2012 Olympics will begin.
Of course, SM has followed the story as it has progressed, and I thought it would be good to reflect on what has come out from the marathon that has been procurement for the games. (more…)
Remember that old fiat Strada advert tagline ‘hand-built by robots’? The message was about quality, consistency and timeliness. Well, the tagline for London 2012 could just as well be ‘hand-built by UK SMEs’. While household name corporations won the tier-one contracts, the completion of all the major venues a year ahead of the Games is due in no small part to the 75,000 or so small- and medium-sized companies working in complex supply chains to meet the Olympic Delivery Authority’s targets.
This is a real success story in difficult times for UK business. It says something, too, that because European procurement rules meant the tendering process for large contracts had to be open to competition in Europe, with a few notable exceptions UK companies fought off bids from some of the biggest European corporates for major construction projects. (more…)