Whole-life management from design to long-term maintenance

Amey champions whole-life asset management around the world

Eight years ago Amey, a leading infrastructure asset management company, spotted a gap in the market and bolstered their business with the acquisition of engineering consultancy Owen Williams.

Amey has since become one of the fastest growing consultancies in the UK bringing together professional services capability with the company’s contracting and maintenance services to provide a fully integrated offering that’s overlaid at every stage with asset management expertise. The company now employs more than 3,000 consultants who work closely with the rest of the business.

The company, which turns over £2.3 billion annually and employs 21,000 people, was one of the first to pioneer this new concept of “whole-life” or “end-to-end” asset management, and is now championing and operating it globally.

Traditionally, asset management involved one company scoping out the infrastructure requirement, another one designing it – be it a bridge, road, school or power station – and yet another managing and maintaining it over the rest of its lifetime. This fragmented approach significantly increased costs and the potential for errors.

Today Amey offers whole-life or end-to-end asset management to service its clients in a seamless, cost-effective way.

“We realised that we could not only help our customers to manage their assets in line with their constrained budgets, but help clients make more informed decisions about future investment into assets, ensuring they are designed with long-term maintenance in mind,” says Amey chief executive Mel Ewell.

This approach means that consideration of investment into the asset life cycle forms an integral part of the process, rather than something which is only addressed as assets begin to deteriorate.

Andy Milner, who heads up the drive for Amey’s whole-life asset management capability, explains: “We help our clients to understand their infrastructure in even greater depth so that they can make really smart long-term decisions. We support them at every stage from strategy and risk, through to decision-making, design, delivery and then maintenance. Our unique approach is one thing that stands us apart from others, by understanding the whole process of managing an asset.”

Amey offers whole-life or end-to-end asset management to service its clients in a seamless, cost-effective way

Last year, Amey continued to expand the scope of its services through the acquisition of Enterprise, a leading provider of waste, utilities, infrastructure and social housing services in the UK. The acquisition was pivotal for the marketplace, creating a business with the breadth and depth of service to respond to today’s market dynamics, more comprehensively and cost effectively.

“Enterprise was a strategic fit with Amey as we offered services across complementary markets such as transport, waste and facilities management,” says Mr Ewell. “We brought our knowledge and experience in whole-life asset management to new sectors like utilities, offering clients cost-savings and a seamless end-to-end service, through a single provider.

“There’s also a huge geographical advantage as we now have a presence in almost every area of the UK.”

Amey’s end-to-end asset management process is, therefore, not only being applied in new markets in the UK, such as utilities, but is being expanded internationally in the Middle East, the United States and Australia.

The Amey team in the UK is now championing asset management around the world through establishing Ferrovial’s Asset Management Centre of Excellence. Amey’s parent company Ferrovial is one of the world’s leading infrastructure management and investment companies.

“As a growing business the immediate challenge we face is finding talented people who can look after every aspect of an asset’s life from design through to maintenance,” says Mr Ewell. “We’re looking to create another 6,000 to 7,000 roles over the next few years across the UK and internationally. It’s an ambitious target, but I believe that the talent is out there, and we’re ready to recruit and develop it for the benefit of our clients around the world.”

CASE STUDY

WINNING RACE FOR OLYMPICS

In December 2011, the Hammersmith Flyover was closed following safety concerns. Investigations by Amey revealed corrosion of the steel tendons was worse than previously thought and that in some places entire cables had disintegrated.

The company was involved throughout the repair process. The pressure was on – the flyover had to be ready for the London Olympics in August 2012. Working closely with Transport for London, Amey developed supports that could be retrofitted to the structure so that the traffic could continue to flow. The collaborative approach adopted by Amey and their supply-chain partners created a culture where innovation and ideas were welcomed from every level of the business.

Amey had early involvement with the contractor so the project team could get a head-start while designs were still being refined. Meanwhile, also as part of the integrated process, Amey teams at their International Design Hub in Birmingham were analysing detailed research and developing exactly the right support mechanisms for the flyover.

The whole process took less than 23 weeks instead of the 18 months to two years that such a project would normally require.

Amey is the only company in its sector to hold Investors in People Champion status, and is currently recruiting for roles, including principal commercial managers, project managers (highways design and operations), principal civil engineers, senior civil engineers and water mechanical engineers.