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Introduction

 

Welsh Health Estates (WHE) were the project managers on the implementation of the Welsh Assembly’s ‘Designed for Life: Building for Wales’ strategy. The initiative, which began in 2004, was set up to deliver world class health and social care services for Wales over a ten year period. Under this initiative, WHE took the opportunity to conduct a review of its existing construction procurement practices.

 

WHE believed that substantial benefits could be obtained by adopting a procurement model aligned with Rethinking Construction and Achieving Excellence principles.

 

Welsh Health Estates were also keen to provide a mechanism that would enable collaborative working between geographically dispersed employers (NHS Trusts) and the established private sector Supply Chains.

 

Welsh Health Estates and their supply chain partners assessed a number of systems that could assist collaborative working and potentially provide benefits to the NHS economy within Wales. The Asite platform was the solution selected.

 

The Challenge

 

Welsh Health Estates (WHE) appreciated the important need for teamwork, non-adversarial contracts and the key role of the client. These would be crucial in the successful deployment of the procurement model as well as supporting the implementation and delivery of their projects. The key areas identified were:

 

Client Focus: Ensuring clients have 'open access' and work collaboratively with designers and constructors. Selected for their capabilities, they would help deliver value for money by optimising cost, functionality and minimising risk.

 

Relationship Development: Nurturing long term relationships throughout the supply chain among designers, contractors, suppliers.

 

Framework Contracts: To enable continuous improvement with targets based on performance indicators, and shared risk and reward.

 

Introduction of Safeguards: To prevent complacency and inefficiency.

 

Benefits

 

Asite entered into a framework agreement tailored to meet the needs outlined by WHE. The Asite platform delivered the following benefits:

 

Effective Collaboration: Improved efficiency of communication and interaction between all project teams.

 

Effective Administration and Security: Project teams are able to access information whenever required, enabling them to find documents quickly within a secure and central document store.

 

High standard of document management capabilities: Improved control over all projects by having the ability to obtain a full overview of all actions and activities undertaken

 

Structuring the implementation for long term benefit: Implementation of the Asite platform enabled the project team to manage the end-to-end processes more successfully and provided an accountable audit trail

 

Asite Implementation: On twenty projects under the ' Designed for Life: Building for Wales' Initiative so far. Eighty companies from the PSCP and their supply chain are using Asite to share 17000 documents across different projects.

 

“Evidence of the business benefits gained from adopting the Asite solution are being realised and as the framework matures the adopted system will form a key component part to the successful delivery of the framework objectives”.

Iain Worby, Welsh Health Estates

 

Company profile

Welsh Health Estates (WHE) is an all-Wales NHS organisation supporting the NHS in Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government in all aspects of NHS estate, facilities and property management. They continue to work in close partnership with Constructing Excellence in Wales.

 

Conclusion

WHE and Asite overcame the traditional barriers of using information technology effectively on a project. Some of the traditional barriers to using technology are:

1) Reluctance of using the technology: The PSCP committed to use the information technology at the earliest opportunity. These significantly increased the acceptance level of the supply chain to use the technology.

 

2) Backtracking of historic Information due to late implementation of the technology: The collaborative technology was used from the tendering process so there was no need to backtrack previous activities ensuring 100% accuracy.

 

3) Implementation timescales: Asite standardised the implementation process with each of the PSCP resulting in the dramatic reduction of implementation time from 3 weeks to just 1 or 2 days.

 

4) Training Requirements: The need and cost of training were significantly reduced due to the standardised implementation process used by each of the PSCPs.