AgileAssets has recently acquired a new client in Europe, Connect Plus Services (CPS), which manages the M25 motorway around London on behalf of Highways England and in collaboration with its sister company, Connect Plus (CP).

With more than £6 billion invested in the DBFO contract, including the widening of several stretches of the M25, return on investments is a key topic for all parties.

CPS has invested in a new software management tool. Mr. Clement Leverd explains:

“CPS is an unincorporated joint venture, of Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK. We have a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways asset care from finance, through to design, build, maintenance as well as day-to-day operation.”

Clement Leverd, AMS-IT Decision Support Tool technical lead

Clement Leverd, AMS-IT Decision Support Tool technical leadClement is employed by Egis Road Operations UK and joined the M25 contract in November 2012.

The contract between CPS, CP and Highways England requires an asset management tool capable of driving asset management strategy across several categories and managing the overall production of the Asset Management Forward Plan (AMFP).

Clement is part of a team of technical experts that has developed the Decision Support Tool (DST) that improves and optimises the M25 assets across several categories, meeting the needs of the business during its 30-year contract.

“A key part of my work is to perform investment analysis to improve the Asset Management strategy”, Clement explains. “This entails understanding asset condition to ensure we do the right works, in the right place at the right time. This new tool enables us to optimise how we achieve that.

“Historically, we have undertaken whole life analysis for a specific asset or specific scheme. The previous tool did not allow for strategy amendments and it was necessary to use additional tools and applications to scope out results against solutions. With AgileAssets, we are able to do this kind of scheme-specific analysis more efficiently, and undertake analysis for the whole network.

“A key reason for obtaining a Decision Support Tool is meeting the handback requirements under the contract. This is not on an asset-by-asset requirement; it applies across all asset categories and will enable us to ensure that, when the contract network is handed back to our client – Highways England – in 2039, it will not require a challenging work plan for the 15 year period post contract completion.

“AgileAssets has enabled us to exceed our previous one- and five-year plans for asset strategy, allowing us the scope to demonstrate a plan that will last the duration of our contract with Highways England, and beyond.”

Clement is part of a team responsible for AMS-IT delivery, including technical experts, IT specialists, data analysts and Project Managers. This mixed team, comprising CPS and CP representatives, enables rapid decision making which maintains the momentum of asset strategy. This collaborative approach to information input is something that has been mirrored in the DST’s design.

Clement explains: “We set out our requirements: a flexible system that allowed us to include condition surveys across several asset categories, with a data analytics tool that runs investment modeling against constraints alongside scenario planning. This is a modular system that we have chosen to suit our business requirements, but inevitably an “off-the-peg” solution was going to need refinement to meet our exact needs. AgileAssets has worked collaboratively with us throughout the development of the tool and we anticipate that this working relationship will serve us well as we continue to develop and add refinements over the coming years.

“Of key importance is that the tool is user-friendly as it is the system’s users that add value to the system.”

In Clement’s opinion, the tools will improve strategies for asset management over one-, five- and 30-year periods.

“Key to the progress made has been the collaboration between CPS and AgileAssets. The success of this tool will be that it is not just delivered by an IT company, it has been developed for the business by the business. This demonstrates ownership.

“This is not just an IT project; this is something that will transform our business.”

DST Diagram

An illustration of the Decision Support Tool, as used by Connect Plus Services to perform iterative engineering analysis to improve asset strategies and models, as well as optimize short- and long-term planning. Mr. Leverd presented this at the AgileAssets International Users Conference, April 13-16th.

More about the Connect Plus Services please visit www.connectplusservices.co.uk

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