Blog: Integration & Collaborative Working SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Smart Collaboration

11 June 2020

Sponsored by Waterloo Air Products

Integration & Collaborative Working SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Smart Collaboration (submitted by Kier Highways)

The M23 J8-10 Smart Motorways Programme (SMP) by Kier Highways has developed a 'one team' approach across their supply chain. When they have collaborative planning, daily 4C meetings, safety initiatives, team talks, training or Christmas parties, they ensure their supply chain is included. This collaboration and tapping into their specialist supplier’s extensive knowledge have contributed to the success of operations and the delivery of our SMP leading efficiency value of £46.1m.

Kier Highways has implemented the important lean continuous improvement techniques of collaborative planning and production control, and delivered tangible benefits. Discussions and commitments in collaborative sessions mitigated weeks of potential delays to the programme and their supply chain were key contributors to the process.

Delivery of their improvement ethos involved clients, designers, contractors and supply chain, who were invited to lean training and worked on lean interventions. One lean initiative example was the development of their ‘BIM Station’, a bespoke standalone pod located within the site office, where the 3D BIM model is constantly open for instant review by Kier construction teams, designers and supply chain for collaborative discussions and problem-solving. Demonstrations of BIM station collaborations have delivered significant programme savings and cross-functional teams regularly gather around it discussing buildability and feedback improvements. One supply chain foreman said, “it is great that this resource is shared across all suppliers. Every day I see people round it, sorting out issues before they become problems”.

Key project partners:

  • Chevron delivers Traffic Management and has delivered innovative solutions including the talking signs in Gatwick Airport carpark.
  • Saunders Recovery rescue stranded motorists
  • Lynch Plant Hire supply machines and have trialled Hybrid and Electric excavators. They delivered their ‘Thumbs Up’ plant training, to over 200 people helping create a safer scheme.
  • West Coast Haulage supply truck fleet, meeting the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) Gold standard.
  • Marshalls CPM manufacture and supply pre-cast concrete Modular Block Retaining Walls, an innovative product for Highways England, which has delivered efficiencies of over £16m for the Smart Motorway Programme.
  • Extrudakerb provide slipform concrete elements delivering innovative improvements to concrete casting and cutting techniques.
  • Aggregate Industries provide surfacing for Highways England, delivering significant programme critical path benefits.

All parties integrating into their 'one team' approach has resulted in the delivery of an AFR of Zero and over 1.6m hours worked without a Lost-time Incident.


  • The M23 J8-10 SMP was the first Highways England scheme to be nominated as a Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) Ultra Site for their work with the supply chain to meet their code of practice. In 2019, the M23 J8-10 SMP scheme was awarded the National CCS Ultra Site award for Workforce Wellbeing and was a finalist in the National award for Collaboration.
  • They have worked collaboratively with their supply chain to deliver safety innovations and safety training, resulting in the M23 J8-10 SMP having an AFR of Zero and working over 1.6m hours without a Lost-time Incident.
  • They have delivered improvement and innovations which have resulted in £46.1m of verified efficiency savings on their Highways England Efficiency Register.

About the Integration & Collaborative Working Award: 

Collaborative working is central to the core values of Constructing Excellence and its drive for positive change in construction.  It is most likely to manifest in the delivery of specific projects, however those who can demonstrate a culture across a series or programme of projects show leadership in a sustained approach. Integration of the supply chain, the client and end users will normally lead to a better outcome satisfying all stakeholders.

> Find out more about the other finalists here

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