Project management consultancy Turner & Townsend acquired UK-based operational consultancy Suiko last month, to position the company as the first independent construction consultancy to offer lean expertise at all stages of capital project delivery and operations.
The acquisition will broaden Turner & Townsend’s programme management expertise, and help its clients to embed lean thinking in both the delivery of their capital projects and their ongoing operations.
Suiko has, for nearly two decades, been at the forefront of applying lean management techniques across a range of industries.
Founded in 1997, Suiko takes its name from a Japanese word which means ‘performance’ and specialises in fostering operational excellence by helping its clients to increase performance and profitability.
Its innovative approach has seen it deliver efficiencies for a string of global manufacturers and household-name retail brands, as well as several leading construction contractors.
The integration of Suiko’s cross-industry experts into Turner & Townsend will create a distinctive proposition and allow clients embarking on capital programmes to incorporate tried and tested lean techniques right from the start.
“The acquisition of Suiko is a step change for both Turner & Townsend and the construction industry. The integration of lean expertise into our business strengthens and differentiates our offering, and will also drive progress in how capital programmes are delivered,” says Turner & Townsend CEO Vincent Clancy.
With UK government figures revealing in April that levels of productivity in construction have improved by just 1.4% in the past two decades, best practice has taken the industry only so far. Turner & Townsend believe now is the time to embed lean techniques into the way things are done in construction.
“Suiko’s track record in implementing lean manufacturing, coupled with its reputation for helping its clients build their internal capability to drive sustainable results, makes it a perfect cultural fit with Turner & Townsend. Our combined expertise will enable our clients to reap the benefits offered by lean manufacturing in both their operations and capital projects,” he says.
Lean manufacturing involves reducing waste from a project as much as possible. Using lean manufacturing helps to focus the project on what is important for the project and to reduce the overall costs.
Suiko built its reputation through the delivery of sustainable efficiency improvements in manufacturing and diversified into a range of sectors including construction.
“While we will continue to work with our current clients, we believe construction is now ripe for the benefits of lean manufacturing. Suiko and Turner & Townsend have a history of working together successfully, which shows the compatibility of our organisations and confirms the appeal of our combined expertise. Our decision to join forces now is about the right fit, the right product and at the right time,” says Suiko MD Andy Marsh.
He adds that the company is looking forward to being part of Turner & Townsend and building on the two companies’ strengths to deliver better outcomes for more clients across more sectors.
In March, Engineering News reported that Turner & Townsend has been appointed by oil and gas services company Black Rhino Mining Oil and Gas Services (BRM) to provide project management and project control services for the 550 km Horn of Africa fuel pipeline.
The $1.55-billion pipeline project is a critical infrastructure project being undertaken by the governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti and will transport diesel, petrol and jet fuel.
The Horn of Africa pipeline, ship offloading and storage facilities would have a transporting capability of more than 240 000 bbl/d of fuel and would include a 20-inch steel overland pipeline from Damerjog, in Djibouti, through to Awash, in Ethiopia, complete with pump and monitoring stations, as well as a buffer storage tank farm at Damerjog. This is linked to a terminal bulk storage tank farm and truck loading facility at Awash, as well as offloading infrastructure in Djibouti.
The project will help cater for both countries’ rapidly increasing demand for refined products, alleviating the huge pressure on Djibouti and Ethiopia’s current fuel transportation system by road.
“The project is now in the set-up phase, with the design and procurement processes taking place over the coming months, and [it] will address both the planned growth in demand and the short- and long-term fuel delivery problems in Ethiopia,” says Turner & Townsend energy director Mark Haselau.
Turner & Townsend will provide full project control services, including estimating; cost, schedule, risk and change management; performance measurement and reporting; and document control, in addition to contracts administration and procurement management.
“We have been guiding and supporting BRM on this project since inception and assisted with the project setup, consultants’ appointments, and engineering, procurement and construction consultant procurement and planning,” he says.
As this is a cost-driven project, the developers require an end- to-end solution delivered on time and within budget.
“The challenge in this ground-breaking project lies in overcoming the logistical, infrastructural and regulatory issues presented on the African continent, for example, the physical importation and transportation of materials to the various sites and laydown areas,” concludes Haselau.