Engineering and construction

We assist clients to achieve excellent delivery and improved economics from single mega-projects through to smaller service/maintenance portfolios via improved strategies, design productivity, construction productivity, cost management and governance.

Our engineering and construction clients face an increasingly demanding environment driven by more complex projects, more uncertain approvals and constant calls for faster and less costly delivery. We know what it takes to get the job done and deliver the optimum scope on time and on budget: from developing the right design, strategies and contracts through to aligning the delivery of pre-construction activities, shortening schedules, helping front-line crews meet daily construction rates and ensuring commissioning and ramp-up targets.

In recent years, our consultants have supported private and public engineering and construction clients in infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, roads and rail, power and buildings, across all major disciplines: from engineering and approvals through civils and structures to commissioning. We also help with procurement and cost and overhead reduction. Our teams combine seasoned construction professionals with our functional experience in lean performance and organisation improvement from diverse industrials. We have helped client teams deliver significant improvements to, not only billion-dollar mega-projects on remote greenfield sites, but also small sustaining capital expansion projects on brownfield industrial sites.

Our clients need pragmatic solutions that deliver immediate improvements, that are sustainable through the life of their project. We are passionate about cutting through apparent complexity using the right communications and transparent performance management. Our consultants focus on coaching and project-specific solutions rather than filling resource gaps. We work across organisations from executives through to contractor’s construction supervisors to deliver immediate schedule or cost savings. Where appropriate, we also work with your client owner’s teams to debottleneck processes and clarify roles and accountabilities in order to make the whole project more effective. You’ll find us wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) far more often than a suit!


Capital design Net Present Value (NPV) optimisation

So much of a capital project’s value is made or destroyed in the design phase. In the past four years, we have assisted our clients to reduce capital in designs by over $31 billion and increase capital project NPVs by over $39 billion.

Learn more about out our work in capital design NPV optimisation

Design productivity

Here we work with design teams to help them improve the way they manage the design process, team effectiveness, and efficiency. For example, we have:

  • Reduced design backlog by 80% in five months and doubled the velocity of task completion in the design tracker for a mega telco construction rollout. Quality was also improved by focusing on ‘fit for purpose’. This was achieved through identifying, reporting and reviewing key Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for all stages down through the design process (including interfaces and KPIs with the customer). It also involved generating and implementing ideas on how to streamline the process and remove multiple handovers and steps of little value.

Construction contracting and supply chain

So many of the problems in construction can trace their cause back, in part, to the contracting phase. We act as thought partners to help our clients consider alternatives – taking into account risks, who is the natural owner of each risk, what type of relationship best suits the circumstances, what type of fee type and size/structure of incentives match the situation, escalation clauses, tricks and traps. Additionally, we help our clients effectively procure and manage the logistics and warehousing to prevent supply chain problems occurring. For example, we have:

  • Assisted a procurement team ensure every component for a gas pipeline network was delivered on time, every day, across five regional locations – from multiple local and international suppliers.

Learn more about out our work in supply chain and procurement

Construction readiness

We help projects in pre-construction release the construction phase on schedule, as well as ensuring the team makes the transition from an engineering to construction mind-set early enough. For example, we have:

  • Supported a mega-project’s approvals team to recover substantial delays within the approvals process and align their ongoing deliverables closer to the needs of the contractor.
  • Assessed supplier risk for a gas field development mega-project and worked with the project team to embed an ongoing supplier management system, including ramp-up plan, KPIs and review meetings.
  • Helped a 420km-gas pipeline project switch from an engineering- to construction-led approach and recover several weeks’ delay within three months.

Construction productivity

We work with and coaches project management teams and construction crews to deliver the construction phase of projects on time and in full. For example, we have:

  • Worked with a telecoms client to recover its target for installations completed on a national network roll-out, in part, by reducing construction times by 27% and major defects by 36%.
  • Supported a project team to better understand critical path daily earth-moving productivity on multiple work fronts and re-prioritise teams to optimise the ongoing cost and schedule of an annual Dam Lift, allowing the client to recover a 10% delay early in the programme and then stay on track.
  • Helped a rail line extension team set up weekly performance management to deliver a potential three- to four-month saving through maximising rate and removing float as new resources became available.
  • Supported a project director to recover 60 days lost in mechanical construction, to ensure the critical path ore conveyor hit first ore date on time.
  • Worked with an owner’s team to identify and prioritise a series of improvements to recover over 77 days of schedule delay at a Eurasian mine build.

Learn more about out our work in construction productivity

Project governance

We support project management teams to develop and implement the most appropriate management and assurance processes. For example, we have:

  • Developed and implemented a management operating system for an expansion portfolio of 20+ major projects, including detailed roles, processes, KPIs, reporting and meetings across all project phases.
  • Completed a schedule, cost and process review for a chemicals complex construction project, to identify its highest-risk elements and agree suitable mitigations
  • Conducted a government-sponsored audit of a major rail expansion project with a focus on identifying opportunities to further improve a project as it transitioned into its construction phase.
  • Established “Gas Curve” focussed assurance during pre-commissioning and commissioning for a mega non-conventional gas field development project.

Strategy and sales

We support engineering and construction companies in developing corporate strategies, assessing opportunities and enhancing sales. For example, we have:

  • Helped a niche construction contractor develop a growth strategy based on leveraging core skills into new geographic and sector markets, beyond their core local mining experience.
  • Worked with EPCM to optimise a project bid after market downturn increased importance of win – helped the team to halve the cost of a compliant bid and find a further 10% savings from non-compliant options.
  • Supported multiple due diligence engagements for companies considering pursuing a variety of construction suppliers – from building products and equipment hire to sub-contractors EPCMs.

Learn more about out our work in strategy

Cost and cash reduction

We have extensive experience helping our clients to identify and deliver step changes in cost and overhead reductions and in releasing and then managing working capital. Our teams have extensive experience in this across a number of industries and our deep operations experience mean that this will not be a slash and burn exercise, but thoughtful partnership with your people recognising the many risks and risk implications associated with reductions in these areas. For example, we have:

  • Reduced overhead costs for a tunnelling contractor doing development work at a major Australian coal mine by rationalising administrative positions and clarifying accountabilities for supervisory roles.
  • Reduced work-in-progress inventory by $34 million. This was done by mapping out and optimising the flow of materials throughout the capital project phases for a large international rail carrier.

Learn more about out our work in cost and cash reduction

Engineering is usually impossible to manage. The Engineering Reviews and the Readiness Tracker allow us to manage the Engineering Offices very effectively. I will definitely allow budget for putting together Engineering Reviews and Readiness Board on my next project.PAUL, PROJECT MANAGER, IRON ORE MINING INDUSTRY

Relevant case studies

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