New Skills And People For Water Sector

20 May 2014

Costain has developed new skills and brought in key new people to meet the changing needs of its water sector customers.

As Tim Cooper, Business Development Director, Water, explained, the aim is to help customers operate more efficiently in a changing industry.

“Changes to the regulatory environment and demands to reduce carbon and costs mean that water companies must connect their capital programmes and operations in new ways. They have to develop end-to-end business processes to ensure the right investment decisions are made and that assets operate to their full potential.

“For our customers this means new organisational structures, new ways of working and a need to look beyond the water sector for best practice. This creates new opportunities for competitive advantage but also increased complexity.”

Costain is aiming to support water customers in two ways.  The first, said Tim, is to help them deliver new assets more effectively.

“We have embraced lessons from the automotive and other sectors, in particular the need for standardisation, effective assembly and smooth transition into operations - an approach we call  ‘factory thinking’.

“To support this, we’ve recruited Steve Fozard from Balfour Beatty. He has been at the forefront of industry thinking in this area, in particular off-site manufacture and development of the supply chain.”

The second way is by helping customers optimize the performance of both new and existing assets.

“We are exploring new ways of using data and risk-based decision-making to optimise our customers’ operations,” said Tim. “This is a new area of focus for the business and so we have brought in John Kingdon from Jacobs to build our capability in operational support. John has more than twenty years’ water operations experience including periods with both Thames Water and Veolia Water, and will provide support to our existing framework teams.”