When we emerge from the extreme days of the COVID environment, there will be some lingering effects that become a permanent part of our way of doing business. Management of the supply chain is probably one of the most significant.
The pandemic has impacted not only our day-to-day lives but it is forcing us to reexamine long-accepted approaches to how collaborative delivery firms specify and procure materials and equipment for our projects. A global scarcity of shipping containers, skyrocketing shipping rates, clogged ports, and shortages of manufacturing components are driving firms to evolve their procurement approach to avoid long lead times and escalation charges.
Innovative Technologies Play Key Role in Gaining Winning Advantage in Competitive Collaborative Delivery Projects
The word innovative is talked about a lot in the water and wastewater industry, but as an industry we have been slow to accept technology innovation. I have been in the industry for 30+ years and participated in several industry efforts with WEF, AWWA, NSF, and EPA—like the EPA’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) program, WEF’s LIFT program, etc.—to increase the use of innovative and new technologies. These programs typically test the equipment through a range of conditions and a report is written on the testing.
Tower cranes flying materials for a high-rise in the downtown skyline. Excavators and loaders moving dirt and installing pipe along the side of the road. Bridges flying over a freeway one berm at a time. What is it that attracts people to the architecture/engineering/construction industry?
In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, maintaining critical water and wastewater operations has never been more important. Yet, ensuring continuity of operations has never been more challenging, and it will require using every tool in the utility manager’s toolbox.
Water/wastewater projects are becoming larger and more complex. Our industry is continuously innovating to maximize the productivity of existing and new plants. Recent events related to the COVID-19 outbreak may have permanent changes in the way plants are designed and built. The design and procurement process for collaborative delivery projects requires early involvement of supply chain partners to reduce risks for a successful proposal and construction.
At the end of the day, a successful design-build project comes down to working alongside people you can trust as true partners. Whether considering technical innovations, nailing down costs, or exploring creative delivery solutions, it’s essential that all players work together to achieve the project’s end goal.