Project Amber – Blackpool Council
Blackpool Council launched Project Amber to trial a collaborative approach to delivering works using new materials and processes upon their network by trusting suppliers with identifying repairs and delivering solutions with a view to reducing costs and increasing innovation. This was delivered working closely with the members of the Local Council Road Innovation Group (LCRIG).
Amberon have supported and worked with LCRIG for a number of years and so, jumped at the opportunity to be involved with an innovative approach to delivering works the opportunity also opened the door to work closely with new supply chains.
It was agreed that one Traffic Management supplier would be used to deliver all the works with a view to monitoring spend and proving efficiency. Blackpool council appointed a Project Co-ordinator to pull together a programme for delivery and to be a conduit between all suppliers.
It was quickly identified that by being involved in the safe delivery of all works, Amberon were well placed to utilise its experience and support the Project Co-ordinator to ensure all aspects of communication and delivery were being considered to ensure the least amount of disruption to the general public and ensure the safety of all affected parties.
Amberon used previous experience to help implement a communication strategy and led on this by ensuring a suitable advance warning plan was in place for residents of impacted areas and also liaised with local businesses to avoid conflict when works were underway.
In all, Amberon collaborated with 8 suppliers on Project Amber whilst working directly for the Local Authority. This guaranteed the council the security that works were being delivered as per the guidelines they set out.
Overall the project proved to be a success; all sites were delivered as planned and completed in time and on or under budget. Project Amber was a truly collaborative approach to working. It forged strong working relationships with every party focused on the end result. All purchase orders and payments were received in a timely fashion.
Amberon recognise that despite all of the success factors being reached there is always room for improvement and by looking at lessons learnt we believe focusing on a more efficient structure of requirements in particular communication levels, would be essential for future works and relevant to each specific site.
Amberon found the time frames that were placed upon delivery challenging and believe more time to plan the communication strategy and PCI information would have benefited the programme greatly.
In addition some supply chains chose to deliver Traffic Management services themselves which went against the working group’s strategy. This ultimately led to failures that would not be present under the approved guidance.
In conclusion, Amberon are very proud to have been a key part of project Amber which we are sure will continue to grow from strength to strength.