What is our industry doing for our clients? Are our clients getting value for money (albeit in most cases less money)?
Well over a decade ago, in the early 2000s, the industry was abuzz with terms like value add, inherent value, BIM, lean methodology, IPD and digital engineering. Where are we now in this respect? Are all of our clients aware of emerging best practice and standards because the industry is pushing forward and leading the way?
Maybe in other parts of the world, but in Australia? Generally confusion abounds here amongst client organisations who embark on indefinite voyages of discovery to implement one technological advancement after another. The supply chain squabbles over which mix of definitions suit a particular description of a process or technology and for the most part those involved in the squabble are so busy in the weeds, they are missing the big picture. Those who are cognisant of the larger concerns of clients are often hamstrung by commercial convention and find it a real challenge to make any real headway.
Why? Because there’s a dollar to be made from confusion.
As a consultant, I should be dragged out to an undisclosed location, shot and dumped unceremoniously for suggesting this, but it’s the truth. We survive on the confusion, apathy or unwillingness of others to change. Shame on me.
So why is this article about a client finding success with information?
I believe we are now at a point where all those buzzwords can come to fruition, and it's the clients who can make this happen. They are generally the beginning and end of every deliverable in any sector.
Simply put, what makes your business tick? What information do you look for to make good, proactive and well-informed decisions? What information is required to manage your business, where is it sourced from within your asset base, how is this collated from ongoing operational programmes versus new assets from capital programmes?
As clients of every type understand that they alone can identify their information requirements, the industry can respond in kind by applying lean methods such as BIM and IPD which leverage ‘inherent value’ to provide a low cost ‘value add’ to clients whilst maintaining or delivering either existing or new assets.
See how that came around in the end?
Obviously, clients still rely on industry to provide expertise and resource to deliver upon their goals. And obviously, confusion is just confusion until knowledge is applied. Who has this knowledge? Generally, it's consultants and hopefully consultants with the integrity to identify a client’s real needs rather than feeding a step by step ‘just enough’ approach.
With all that said, where’s this undisclosed location? I’ll start walking.