The Thames Water Infrastructure Alliance (IA) is a 15-year partnership between Thames Water, Kier, Clancy Docwra, Morrison and Murphy.
TSS was brought in by Kier Clancy Docwra (KCD) in Q2 of Year 2 (of the first five year asset management period) to assist with the commercial management of their works within the IA. In the first year KCD had no commercial overview of the region. Large backlogs had developed in commercial workload and costs had spiraled.
Our specialist team undertook an initial review, and then provided a full re-forecast of the Year 2 project costs. We worked closely with operational teams to prepare, develop and implement a new delivery model, aiming to reduce the number of repair teams and plant while improving productivity and maintaining consistent delivery.
Following our initial Year 2 successes, we were asked to take the commercial lead in the consolidated regional management team for Year 3 and each subsequent year to the end of the framework.
Scope of Works
Our expert team of commercial managers and quantity surveyors provided:
- In-depth commercial review
- Budget forecasts
- Develop and help implement new delivery model
- Reporting including weekly KPI metrics and monthly reports
- Commercial Manager role in regional management team
- Implemented TSS’s F0CUS work management platform
The contract had been operating under a volatile cost and delivery model, resulting in poor performance and over-spends.
Using our experience in the water industry and expertise in commercial management, we led the commercial transformation. The new operating model is robust and sustainable, providing consistency and certainty for all parties.
- Year 2: operational delivery requirements met; spend reduced by £0.5m.
- Year 3: completed works increased by 1,221 jobs; spend reduced by £1.3m.
- Year 4 & 5: appointed as KCD Commercial Manager for reinstatement contract.
- Successful implementation of F0CUS software to manage payment applications and variations with full audit trail.
- Agreed Year 4 and Year 5 final account measures within one month of contract completion.
TSS have and continue to support the commercial management activity for the Infrastructure Alliance since inception and delivered significant reductions in cost through, effective commercial management, governance and controls as well as project specific cost reduction initiatives in relation to day to day services including but not limited to plant & vehicles, reinstatement services, sub contract labour and aggregates.
Thames Water Infrastructure Alliance
TSS provided a wide range of professional services to Amey for its utilities, facilities management and local government divisions, on numerous contracts across the UK.
Amey’s Utilities Division undertook construction and refurbishment / rebuilding of 11kv, 33kv, 66kv light & heavy construction overhead lines across for Western Power Distribution (WPD) across all four WPD geographic regions.
We were initially brought in by Amey to review and improve commercial, planning and contract management of the WPD contract to ensure good governance was in place. Acting as interim manager within the contract team, we identified risks and opportunities in the financial, operational systems and practices.
Following the initial review, Amey asked us to bring in a 7-strong team of commercial specialists. We implemented robust, uniform systems and processes. We transformed the management approach, generating significant savings, working capital improvement and ensuring sustainable, consistent contract performance.
Scope of Works
The TSS team implement
- Work order management system for projects & orders, giving one version of the truth
- Weekly & monthly review meetings for contract and project performance
- Reporting and dashboards
- Commercial management best practice on live sites
- Work bank analysis
We re-procured the supply chain via a competitive tender process.
A disputed supplier account valued at £1.36m was unresolved. TSS facilitated a fresh start to assess the claim, backed by our RICS standing.
Our in-depth review provided the necessary substantiation and diligence. We resolved the dispute through investigation, negotiation and a facts-based approach.
• Supply chain re-procurement generated £980k pa savings
• Improved end-to-end governance processes reduced WIP by £3.5m over 12 months.
• WPD satisfaction improved – invoice disputes reduced to nil and debtors reduced by an average of £560k
TSS have worked within Amey since 2012, delivering both commercial and project management services across our regulated sector UK wide contracts. Our long-standing relationship has been built on the confidence we have in TSS’s clear communication on cost, governance, contract performance, and stakeholder engagement. Often having to deliver consistent messages across internal and external commercial horizons, TSS are a trusted partner in our more challenging environments.
TSS implemented its F0CUS work management platform for Bethell Utility Services (BUSL) across three workstreams in their multi-utilities business.
BUSL were using a spreadsheet-based system to manage jobs, with multiple unlinked data sources. This led to inefficient working, duplication of effort, poor data integrity and time consuming paper-based site records.
Our implementation team included technical experts and utilities business specialists. Our first step was to undertake a full business process mapping exercise, consulting all key stakeholders. We then carried out a gap analysis of current to required functionality.
We managed the whole F0CUS implementation project including support for data collation. Our team developed custom data migration tools to transition from spreadsheet and paper to the F0CUS system.
Working closely with the end users, our team immersed themselves in BUSL’s business. We provided full training and support including custom user manuals and ongoing customer support.
Scope of Works
FOCUS manages the end-to-end job lifecycle from enquiry and pre-construction, to construction and commercial processes across three multi-utilities workstreams.
• Operations management
• Planning and scheduling
• Commercial management
• Capacity management
Following a comprehensive information gathering exercise, we identified processes unique to BUSL.
We adapted F0CUS to match these including a new enquiry management process with custom fields, tasks and statuses, a custom planning board and a bespoke job pack management process.
• Automated many aspects of the contract management process
• Increased data security, integrity and consistency
• Increased resource efficiency and minimised duplication
• Provided one version of the truth for fully informed business decisions
• Given BUSL a firm foundation to support their future business growth plans
Bethell have been working with TSS since the summer of 2021 when we decided to implement their F0CUS system as our new full end to end work management platform within our Utilities business. The initial phase was for us to map out our processes from end to end so that the team at TSS knew how we worked and what we needed from the system. Working with people from within the infrastructure industry who already knew how it works made this process a lot easier. The F0CUS system went live in February 2022 and although implementing a new IT system is always challenging it went smoothly, and the business didn’t experience any disruption. 12 Months on and the system is doing exactly what we need it to. We plan all work through the system and can track progress, we have instant access to all documents completed out on site, all completed activities are captured ensuring we can monitor commercial performance and we can run reports that provide us with the information we need to effectively manage our Business in real time. Our teams have found F0CUS is easy to operate with user friendly interfaces and intuitive navigation, F0CUS also gives us the flexibility to make amendments to the system where we need them and the process of logging requests with TSS is efficient and clear. We also have regular account meetings which really helps make sure we are getting the service we need.
Bethell Utility Services Ltd
We were appointed by Merseyrail to manage the refurbishment of the historic underground James Street Station as part of our framework agreement to provide professional consultancy services.
This complex project involved working in a sub-surface station and compliance with stringent regulations. We were chosen by Merseyrail for this project due to our expertise and experience in managing projects of challenging circumstances with similar scope and scale.
Our Project Manager led the project team that comprised of internal and external stakeholders such as Network Rail, Merseyrail and project architects Mersey Design Group. We co-located at Merseyrail’s offices to promote close collaboration and cohesive team working.
We successfully delivered the package of refurbishment works for this award-winning project. We provided a fully managed service, from tendering for contractors and managing the programme, to coordinating health and safety and closing final accounts.
Scope of Works
Project brief: restore and improve three dilapidated areas with a heritage theme including Platform 2 and a pedestrian subway tunnel. Resolve historic water ingress issues in a subway tunnel due to close proximity of River Mersey.
• Quantity Surveying
• Project Management
• CDM Coordination
• Site Management
Safety was critical on this project especially as the station remained open to the public throughout. We ensured all steps were taken to minimise and mitigate health and safety risks to the construction teams, station staff and Merseyrail customers.
The project was completed with zero near misses and lost time incidents.
• Project delivered on-time and under budget whilst working in a third live working environment
• Savings achieved of £220,000 against the original budget upon completion
• Nominated as outstanding project at RICS Awards, Rail Business Awards and National Transport Awards
• Winner of Award for Urban Heritage and National Railway Heritage Awards
TSS successfully and effectively managed the inter-relationships between all stakeholders including the principal contractor, Network Rail and Merseytravel to ensure project delivery to Merseyrail’s requirements in one of the oldest underground stations in the UK. We would like to thank TSS for their overall approach to the management of a very logistically challenging project and the professional manner in which they delivered all aspects of work.
Our first action was to introduce robust contract management procedures for work-in-progress to provide a stable financial reporting mechanism. We facilitated one version of the truth in reporting with our in house software F0CUS. Using F0CUS we were able to accurately capture the value of work done, and manage / track the conversion of WIP into cash,
providing detailed evidence backed reports at each stage.
We then reviewed each contract in detail and developed standardised commercial management processes, procedures, and reports to give a like for like basis on which we could review and compare the separate contracts. We implemented a weekly CVR ensuring that the inputs, process, outputs and outcomes could all be evaluated and for any necessary management/rectification action to be determined and implemented.
Finally, we assisted Kier with transformation from separate streetlighting contracts to an integrated service with existing highway maintenance contracts.
Scope of Works
Introduce control and reconciliation procedures into each contract. Evaluation and transformation, if required of:
• Resources deployed
• Process, systems, procedures and methods
• Productivity and comparator information
• Client satisfaction and contract deliverables.
The existing contract management arrangements used ad-hoc and disparate labour manual systems. We undertook a collaborative process re-engineering exercise to develop uniform, compliant processes and procedures for all contracts.
A robust reporting regime was established which produced a full suite of management information. This enabled operational and financial improvements to be made.
Following initial success in two contract areas, the processes and systems we introduced were rolled out to the remaining 12 contract areas. We assisted Kier to rationalise and transition the contracts into existing highway maintenance contracts.
TSS staff were clearly experienced, having good subject matter and a proactive and purposeful approach to overcoming the challenges that faced them, adding real value and increasing profitability to the framework.
Cadent are the UK’s largest gas distribution network, managing a network of more than 82,000 miles of pipes, most of them underground, which transport gas throughout the North West, West Midlands, East Midlands, South Yorkshire, East of England and North London.
Cadent operates five gas network areas across England. It has four reinstatement partners who undertake the backfill and reinstatement works across these five areas.
Each partner has their own works management system which update into Cadent’s core SAP system. A strategic commercial management solution was needed to ensure a consistent approach across all operational networks.
We implemented our F0CUS works management platform within two weeks. Led by our Account Manager, our technical and commercial specialists used F0CUS to provide ongoing commercial management of the Backfill and Reinstatement contract.
Scope of Works
Using F0CUS, we provided:
- Commercial management of 100,000 excavations p/a.
- Management of supplier accounts.
- High level dashboards supported by detailed reporting including: Management information, accruals and contract outturn reports.
We successfully managed and delivered the implementation process, within just two weeks. This included:
- Implementation workshops
- Data review
- Source mapping sessions
- Works activity alignment
- Cost reporting across many operational levels
Our team gave ongoing technical support throughout the life of the implementation. We trained Cadent users on the system as well as providing refresher training.
We held regular scheduled reviews with the Cadent team for any new requirements, ensuring that client users were satisfied with the functionality of the system.
We reached out to TSS to support us with a commercial project which they enabled through a short notice mobilisation. With several implementation workshops, a number of data review and source mapping sessions, works activity alignment and cost reporting across many operational levels. TSS have worked collaboratively with a range of Cadent and supply chain stakeholders. We have found Nick and the TSS team to be professional, agile, and appropriately challenging to better inform our thinking