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Construction - connected

It contributes £90 billion to the UK economy, comprises more than 280,000 businesses and accounts for three million jobs, but analysis by the government’s Construction 2025 has identified four primary weaknesses and threats within the UK construction industry:

  1. Vertical integration in the supply chain is low and there is high reliance on sub-contracting, resulting in a lack of integration which reduces the ability to innovate
  2. Low levels of innovation and investment in R&D and new processes
  3. Lack of collaboration and limited knowledge-sharing leads to low best practice-sharing and technology transfer between projects
  4. Low training among the self-employed, and a skills shortage among trade and professional occupations inhibits technology deployment and innovation.

Many organisations in the industry will recognise these factors as they are consistently impacted by late delivery, cost overruns, commercial friction, late payment, accidents, unfavourable workplaces, and a workforce unrepresentative of society and slow to embrace change.

SafetyBank has created and developed an end-to-end supply chain management tool to help the construction industry manage all aspects of health and safety, risk management, compliance, training and governance

But the biggest challenge, bar the financing of projects, is managing critically extensive and sometimes onerous administration of projects within a complex eco system of suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors, who make up more than 90 per cent of the industry.

And this administration requirement is made more difficult, given the demographic spread of workers and projects across multiple companies within the dynamic nature of construction.

So in June, with a view to addressing this issue, Olive Communications, a business communications provider with a number of construction customers, such as Murphy and Swan Housing, made the acquisition of SafetyBank. This follows a two-year joint-development plan between the two organisations.

SafetyBank was specifically formed in 2010 to create and develop an end-to-end supply chain management tool to help the construction industry manage all aspects of health and safety, risk management, compliance, training and governance.

It provides an affordable and robust technological solution, managing interaction between organisations across the whole supply chain via a secure web-based portal. It can be accessed via a mobile application and is inter-operable across all major operating systems. It is simple to use, but highly effective.

Joining forces with Olive, who are specialists in providing enterprise mobility solutions, is a perfect fit. With software services increasingly being delivered to workforces using mobile devices, Olive can bring their expertise of delivering and managing complex connectivity contracts to large UK enterprises.

Combined with SafetyBank’s software-as-a-service tool, the approach will help to liberate mobile workers and empower the construction industry to achieve maximum operational efficiency and streamlined business processes.

SafetyBank has already made a notable impact during the past year having helped many businesses change the way they manage projects. It has significantly improved working relationships and safety throughout the construction supply chain.

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