Strategic Asset Planning 
& Sustainability

We partner with our clients as trusted advisors

to support your ongoing business requirements.

Strategic Asset Planning & Sustainability 

We are an experienced, multidisciplinary team dedicated to supporting our clients to achieve great outcomes.

High quality Strategic Asset Planning can help you minimise risk, increase service up-time and reduce costs. We take a holistic approach to integrating long-term infrastructure planning to include Strategic Planning, Strategic Asset Management (SAM) and Sustainability Planning.

Our focus is on aligning your infrastructure planning with the corporate strategy and service delivery outcomes as well as maximising the performance of your asset portfolio, environmental benefits and operational efficiency. 

We offer reliable, innovative and exceptional services:

  • We focus on delivering operational cost savings by developing practical sustainability strategies and plans that are incorporated into Strategic Asset Planning
  • Our approach enables you to develop resilience and ensure business continuity by incorporating climate change modelling in our planning services
  • We have demonstrated experience in combining strategic asset management and sustainability planning
    at an enterprise level
  • Our work aligns with best practice international standards for asset management including ISO 55000
  • We ensure outcomes align with state and territory asset management and climate change frameworks

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Banner Photograph: Kim Selby, courtesy of Exemplar Health 

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Demystifying Local Procurement

Support Local. The concept of supporting local businesses has been well publicised over the past year in light of recovery efforts made by Australian businesses and governments as a way to stimulate the Australian economy back to its pre-pandemic successes.

In the construction and property industry, support local is known as local procurement. As Federal and State governments invest billions of dollars into building and infrastructure and continued the industry operations throughout lockdowns, there is a renewed focus on local procurement to promote and focus on Australian businesses as leading choices for government contracts.

Which means it is a good time to be thinking about local procurement for your next project.

Why is local procurement important?

The Australian Government has Procurement Rules that govern how entities buy goods and services that are designed to ensure the Government and taxpayers get value for money. All state governments, with the exception of NSW, have procurement guidelines that emphasise their own “buy local” policies, supplemental to the federal rules.

If you are:
a consultant or contractor, in depth understanding of local procurement, which can comprise 30% or more of each tender evaluation, is an important part of putting together a winning strategy.

Someone who manages procurement on behalf of a government agency, being a trusted advisor hinges on your ability to provide sound advice. Not understanding the local procurement rules makes this task difficult.

A government agency looking to undertake a project in the coming year that involves procurement of significant services like capital development, local procurement guidelines, and reporting responsibilities will certainly be involved.

The problem is that local procurement rules can sometimes be hard to follow, possibly confusing, and inconsistent across the states. Which is why, as experts in handling government contracts for capital projects, we are providing this helpful summary of information on local procurement guidelines from around Australia.

Australian Capital Territory

A Local Industry Participation Policy (LIPP) is in place covering the Canberra region in the ACT. The objective of the LIPP is to ensure that competitive local businesses, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), are given every opportunity to respond to procurement opportunities offered by the ACT Government. The following are the key things you need to know:
Procurements between $25,000 and $200,000 in value have to seek 3 quotes, and one must be sought from someone in the local Canberra region, and one must be sought from an SME.

Procurements between $200,000 and $5m require respondents to complete an Economic Contribution Test (ECT) and this will be allocated a 10% weighting in the evaluation process.

Procurements above $5m in value require a Local Industry Participation Plan, and this will be allocated a 10% weighting in the evaluation process.

Find out more:
The Local Industry Participation Policy 

New South Wales

NSW is an outlier in that it does not have an overarching local procurement policy in place. However, this is soon set to change.

The NSW Jobs First Bill 2021 - is currently being reviewed in Parliament. The details of the Bill seem to be very similar to the policies in place in Victoria, however, the details are not set in stone until the Bill is passed. Stay tuned.

NSW does have a procurement policy related to bushfires. After the bushfires and 2019 and 2020, and flooding in 2020, NSW put in place a requirement that NSW Government agencies must use local businesses wherever possible for projects related to recent bushfires. 

Northern Territory

The NT Government’s Buy Local Plan includes a number of local procurement elements related to capital projects, such as:
All tenders include local content as one of the evaluation criteria, at a minimum weighting of 30%.

Tenders over $5m in value currently require the development of an Industry Participation Plan. (However, the policy is currently being revised and this may change).

Find out more:

NT Government Guide to Tendering 

The NT Buy Local Plan

Building Northern Territory Industry Participation Policy 

Queensland

QLD’s aforementioned Buy Queensland strategy emphasises a value for money approach to its tenders, and value for money in this case includes prioritising the use of Queensland businesses and creating local employment opportunities.

To this end, all significant procurement activities are required to conduct ‘a local benefits test for all significant procurement where a weighting of up to 30 percent may be applied’. The actual percentage is at the discretion of the agency in charge of the project.

Find out more:

2021 Queensland Procurement Policy 

The Business Queensland Supplier Guide to Government Procuremen

South Australia

SA’s Industry Participation Policy affects procurement beyond just involvement of local businesses, it also puts specific emphasis on key South Australian industries like steel. The following are the key points to be aware of:
Government Agencies are required to seek at least 1 quote from a business based in SA for any procurement above $33,000.

Industry participation will be an evaluation criteria in all tenders and have a minimum weighting of 15%, and this can be increased at the tendering agency’s discretion. The minimum weighting is 20% if steelwork is included in the project.

All procurement of publicly funded projects above $550,000 in value must produce an Industry Participation Plan. This can also apply to some private projects that received monetary support from the government.

Find out more:
Website for the Office of the Industry Advocate, which works to implement SA’s procurement objectives and is the gateway for much of the procurement information 

Tasmania

Tasmania includes mandatory tendering criteria that covers local economic benefits, local social outcomes, and also industry participation plans. The key points:
For all procurements over $100,000 in value, one of the mandatory criterion relates to local social and economic benefits and will have a minimum weighting of 25%.

All publicly funded projects over a value of $5m (and some private projects that have received public grants) are required to produce an Industry Participation Plan.

Find out more:

Buy Local, A Guide For Tasmanian Business

Victoria

Victoria has a Local Jobs First Policy which applies to the full range of Victorian Government projects that meet financial thresholds. The key points:
The Industry Capability Network (ICN) operates across Australia as a connection between projects and local businesses, and plays a key role in Victorian procurement. It evaluates all Local Industry Development Plans (LIDP) and can provide good advice about strategies for meeting local procurement requirements.

Industry development has a minimum 10% weighting in the tender evaluation criteria and a 10% weighting for jobs outcomes.

The Major Projects Skills Guarantee (MPSG) is a requirement that all public projects over $20m in value utilise Victorian apprentices, trainees, or cadets for at least 10 percent of the total estimated labour hours.

Find out more:

The Local Jobs First Website

ICN Victoria 

Western Australia

On 1 July 2020, WA’s Buy Local 2020 Policy came into effect, phasing out the 2002 edition of the policy. The policy includes:
Local content to be included as a mandatory tender evaluation criterion with a minimum weighting of 20%.

A Regional Price Preference, which is unique to WA. It reduces the evaluated price for tenders submitted by regional businesses and suppliers, thereby giving them an advantage over businesses from outside the region.

Find out more:

Western Australia’s Buy Local 2020 Policy

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The 4 Most Common Project Pitfalls According to ...

You may have heard the word Kaizen before.

It is a Japanese term meaning ‘change for the better’ or, put another way, continuous improvement. And it is something that is critical to success in the construction industry.

Projects that fail or encounter disruptions to the programme require lots of reflection on the problems that occurred, the source of the issues, and how to keep them from happening again in the future.

But even successful projects offer opportunity for learning and reflection.

Debriefing to understand what made projects successful so that these practices can be continued and enhanced, identifying unproductive areas that can be improved or discarded, and identifying the pitfalls that inevitably occur are all key elements of continually improving your delivery of projects.

When you reflect back on your projects, what pitfalls come to mind? Here are four of the most common ones, and some tactics as to how they can be overcome.

1. Under managing the programme

Late finishing projects are the result of a complex mixture of reasons, from procurement issues and labour challenges to unforeseen conditions. These issues and their impacts on the programme are often exasperated by reactive programme management by the Project Manager (PM). Reactive programme management refers to addressing issues after they have impacted the programme. For example; when a monthly status update reveals that the concrete contractor is two weeks behind, a problem that must now be solved after the delay has already occurred.

There are a number of ways to overcome this problem. Having a solid programme from the start is foundational. While it is normally the responsibility of the contractor to produce the construction program, working collaboratively on it from the start will assist in developing a programme that is robust, and one that the PM fully understands.

It is also important that the programme be actively managed and consistently updated and statused. Construction projects move at a rapid pace, and small incidents such as the late delivery of key materials or subcontractors missing daily or weekly productivity marks have a way of slowly building up and causing an issue that would not be picked up unless the programme is being managed.

2. Budget mismanagement

While many project budgets are set prior to PMs becoming involved, the PM can still influence project budget outcomes. One way is through value management (VM). PMs need to act as the lynchpin amongst the architect, quantity surveyors, and other members of the design team, to ensure there is a strategy for achieving VM outcomes, a plan and most importantly making sure that the plan is followed.

The PM can also work closely with the project Quantity Surveyor and Contractor to develop a number of key budget metrics that can be updated regularly and monitored over time, so that trends or issues like contingency erosion or buyout losses are spotted early and can be addressed.

3. Workflow not focused on the client

One measure of a successful project is client satisfaction, which is an important factor in earning a nod on that next project. Lack of communication and failing to involve the client are surefire ways to not be invited back.

It is understood that PMs and the rest of the project team are hired for their expertise in building, but this often results in a tendency to want to keep the client in the background while the experts do what they were hired to do. This is shortsighted. The client has the vision for the project and is deeply invested in the end product. Thus, the PM should incorporate client involvement into the project workflow from the start and maintain continual involvement throughout the project. Communications should be ongoing and transparent.

These elements combined help to ensure that even as project issues occur, they can be solved as a team and any project adjustments like contingency spend or program adjustments, are made together.

4. Communication breakdown

Construction projects are all about meeting the needs of local people and broader communities, and wherever the needs of people are involved, communication is key. Amongst all the common project issues, poor communication is often the most prevalent and sometimes plays a role in the other project pitfalls related to programme, budget, and the like.

Poor communication leads to problems being raised too late, information not being shared to those who need it, and faltering relationships.

Good communication is where plans are hatched, problems solved, negotiations hashed out.

The PM is the key link between all members of the project team and needs to act as the facilitator at the top of a well oiled communication machine. Understanding the importance of good communication to a project and being diligent about it in practice is a good start. However, a PM can go further. Face-to-face or phone contact should be prioritised over electronic interactions. Meetings should be efficient, well managed, and outcomes based. Written communications should be practiced, sharp, and always on point.

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