50 is the Magic Number

AMP6 has warmed up nicely, with Stonbury involved in a wide variety of programmes and schemes across the UK As a result, we have been pleased to welcome an additional 50 members of staff since the beginning of the year. This wonderful influx of talent has presented the challenge of ensuring that we consistently maintain the high levels of service that our clients expect. Enter new staff member number 50 - Loraine Thomas, our new full time HR Manager. Loraine will be heavily involved with personal development, right from the outset. Already we have a new video-based programme in production, which will embed the core values that underline from the services that we offer. (Photo: Our growing Orange team!) 

New Appointment - Neal Judd

Neal Judd joined Stonbury as Finance Director on 1st September 2016 where he will be working closely with CEO, James Stonor Alongside the usual responsibilities of the Company FD, Neal will also be responsible for strategic development, with a strong focus on the ongoing growth of the business. Neal’s background Neal gained his extensive experience with Arthur Andersen and Baker Tilly, before founding his own successful Corporate Finance Advisory Firm over 12 years ago. Judd Corporate Finance offered strategic advice to companies and business owners, that wanted to take their company to the next level; be it acquiring another business, fundraising via Private Equity houses, or executing a management buy-out. Neal is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI). Neal has been a Chair of Governor’s at a local state school, is a keen golfer and likes watching most sports, supporting West Bromwich Albion and Northampton Saints.

The Value of Collaborative Working

As a major part of a number of our negotiated framework extensions for AMP6, we are tasked by our clients to embrace the concept of collaborative working The ethos behind the initiative is to provide better and more efficient project deliveries, beneficial to all parties. The ultimate aim is to create a closer working relationship with not only the client, but also between different framework contractors working for the same client. To operate a framework successfully, mutual trust and co-operation has always been essential. True collaborative working now requires the working relationship to be more transparent than ever before. Monitoring the value that collaborative working is delivering, we have been set by our clients various efficiency targets between 10% to 20% savings by 2020 based on AMP5 tendered rates. Eighteen months into AMP6 we would consider that we are approximately 50% of the way towards these goals. This portion has been surprisingly easy to achieve through various planned initiatives such as:  Batching of schemes such as reservoir membrane replacement. This allows us to take control of the programme, ensuring the same labour teams can be utilised. This has meant each similar project is delivered consecutively and quicker through task familiarity. This method provides programme savings and also allows reservoir assets to be out of service for much shorter durations.  Live working for reservoir membrane replacement. Stonbury has worked hard to provide a robust method of working over live reservoir assets for membrane replacement. This method allows us to carry out such work in the summer months, when traditionally assets are not taken out of service. Working in good weather reduces the risk of delay and provides the benefit of longer working hours. The increased efficiency is passed back to the client. Changes in working methods. Innovative ways of delivering work differently and more efficiently is in some respects one of the biggest challenges, but one we are completely committed to. We are working closely with material manufacturers, emphasising the importance of reducing cure times for over-coating and of applied material. The cure time for return to service with associated programme savings is an example of this. The real challenge now is to get from 50% to 100% and beyond the clients expectations of efficiency from collaborative working. Communication for better collaborative working is critically essential. Some clients hold detailed progress meetings or forums between all framework contractors, others do not. For some clients that do hold communication exercises, information sharing between contractors is still extremely limited. Unless all parties are willing to share their best practices then the true value of collaborative working will never be realised. Similarly, some clients encourage co-operation between high level framework partners and the lower tier framework contractors. However contract restrictions are imposed on getting 3 separate ‘subcontract quotes’ from both framework and non-framework companies. In reality these restrictions limit the possibility of discussing best value, as work is often awarded based on cheapest price. Collaborative working is not just about efficiency, health and safety also plays an integral part of the concept. Some clients engage all framework partners in H&S forums to discuss best practice, highlighting common issues for lessons learnt to all. Whilst other clients provide no interface between interested parties, making collaborative working challenging.  As a point, we are not aware if the UK water companies are working collaboratively. Collaborative initiatives between water companies encourages the sharing of best practices and the lessons learnt, which in time will contribute to a better industry standard of working. In summary, Stonbury has seen a huge benefit already from collaborative working, but realise that the journey has only just started. The true value of collaboration is, however, still a long but exciting road ahead.  Stonbury collaborating with material manufacturers

Stand Down Day

Following our recent changes outlined in our article 'Four Teams, One Goal’, Orange Team leader, Stuart Brooks, has arranged a regional Stand Down day for the entire team on the 14th October 2016 The Stand Down day will be in attendance of the full regional delivery team, from site operatives up to regional directors. Attendees will be updated on company progress since restructuring and the wider aspect of successful delivery and client expectation to be openly discussed.  The day will cover all aspects of project delivery, including H&S, Quality Assurance and Commercial Models. Regular Q&A sessions will be run throughout the day and a question box for attendees to post any questions or suggestions.  We hope to encourage a culture of shared knowledge throughout our teams. Creating safer and efficient delivery to the highest standards.

We're Moving!

Stonbury has proudly operated from our Southern branch in Cranfield for the past 30 years As a result of company growth, we have now outgrown our premises and are pleased to announce that Stonbury Head Office will soon operate from Chawston, Bedfordshire. The new premises will allow more space for storage and workshops, additional office space, room for training, conference facilities and hot-desking for staff and clients. The new site is based just off the A1 with excellent transport links. We anticipate the move to be completed over the next few months. West Lancashire Alongside our head office transition, we have also reserved a unit on a new development by West Lancashire Borough Council in Skelmersdale. This will serve as a local base for delivery of our framework with United Utilities, this too should be completed over the next few months. For anymore information on our move or new facilities, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

We are Hiring: Assistant Commercial Manager / Quantity Surveyor

Job Location: Bedfordshire Salary: £24,000 - £25,000 Due to continued expansion and planned future work flow’s, an excellent opportunity has arisen for an Assistant Commercial Manager / QS to be based at our Cranfield Office to commercially assist with the management of key client accounts on both our specialist refurbishment and civil schemes for the likes of Anglian Water, Affinity Water, Essex & Suffolk Water & Thames Water. Stonbury are a specialist company providing cost effective, high performance refurbishment and structural waterproofing solutions to the water industry. We manage a number of service reservoir and tower refurbishment projects throughout the UK. The Southern office operating predominantly in the M25 corridor, with individual project values ranging from £5k to £1.5million. The position will include the following: Assisting in receiving, surveying, inspecting Framework Enquiries and processing to quotations stage, including taking off quantities. Working with our Management teams on Site Surveys and Scoping new works. Tender & quotation pricing, assist in managing financial negotiations with both Framework & Non-Framework clients for both refurbishment and civil schemes. Processing sub-contract orders and payments, Internal Labour orders and payment allocations, cost reconciliation for scheme performance and monthly accounts using the SAGE accounting system. Assisting with the negotiations of variations, early warnings and compensation events under NEC contract change management processes. Internal Budgets and Scheme / Job cost control. Monthly interim Valuations & Final Account settlements including payment recovery. Assisting with managing area monthly operational accounts for nominated clients including turnover projections. Working closely within a Commercial Manager and Project Delivery team including Team Leaders, Project Manager and Site Agents. Academic qualifications are welcomed but not viewed as essential, a greater credence will be given to a proven tack record in construction and civil engineering commercial roles, particularly in the Water Industry. A level headed personality and an ability to deal with clients in a manner which contributes and builds on Stonbury’s excellent reputation as the number 1 contractor in this very specialist field. If you wish to be considered for this opportunity please send your CV in complete confidence to joannaterry@stonbury.co.uk or by post to Stonbury Ltd, 187c High Street, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0JB marked for the attention of the Commercial Manager. Stonbury operates as an equal opportunities employer.