Climate crisis Ellis Fox Blog

How will construction respond to the climate crisis?

The British government recently announced tough new legislation is on the cards to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis. This has been welcomed in principle because most people recognise that things need to change. We shouldn’t be as dependent on fossil fuels, for example, when there are opportunities to use cleaner energy sources. We…

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Overspending EF Blog

The curse of mega projects

For contractors it’s a feather in their cap to say that they’ve worked on a particular mega project, perhaps it’s ego, or optimism, but is seems that there’s a distinct disconnect with the reality of what it takes to make a mega project succeed. No one denies that big projects are complex, so why aren’t…

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Technology Old School EF Blog

Technology – Construction just doesn’t get IT

In the last 30 years the world has undergone a massive transformation thanks to technology. Whereas in the 80’s computers were deemed a rare luxury that few people owned, now everyone uses not just computers but mobile phones to communicate on email, instant messenger and manage projects around the globe. Most people cannot imagine life…

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Profit warning project delays Ellis Fox Blog

Profit warnings and project delays, just another day in construction…

You would think by now we know the industry and come to expect the inevitable project delay or profit warning. Yet somehow the industry still manages to be surprised when they are announced. Makes one wonder which reality they’re living in. If for months and years it has been the same old story and there’s…

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Hiring Construction

Hiring – What details are most important to prevent a disconnect?

There’s a lot of talk about getting hiring right, finding the right fit, matching personalities with culture and values. As much as HR and recruiters believe they are getting this right, not all managers that they’re hiring for agree. Here are my four suggestions to overcome this: Involvement HR may be responsible for hiring but…

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CEO strategy

Hands-on or Hands-off – What’s the best CEO strategy?

There’s an interesting correlation between CEO’s strategy and business success that may not seem obvious. And surprisingly it comes down to what’s most important in an organization not who. Certainly the CEO position affords a great deal of respect, not only do they typically put in longer daily hours on normal weekdays, they’re also spending…

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Construction skills shortage

Skills – Are things about to get worse?

In recruitment, one of the challenges we are faced with daily is evaluating the skills available in the industry. As we recruit primarily for senior positions within the top 50 main contractors, the questions we ask are; Are these the right skills for what main contractors need, and will they be able to help companies…

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Is it worth the paper it’s written on?

Traditionally senior management roles carried with them a pre-requisite of a university degree, usually a MBA and preferably from one of the top universities such as Oxford or Cambridge. In recent years, however, some companies are claiming that experience and skill is more important and candidates applying for senior positions need not necessarily have a…

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Brexit – The show goes on…

If nothing else, the lead up to Brexit has been entertaining, with daily headlines screaming out the latest complication. It was never going to be a straightforward deal and while some politicians may be confident of a positive outcome, it’s fairly certain commerce and industry don’t agree. Between all the political wrangling there is a…

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Infrastructure output flagged as a concern following Crossrail delays

The announcement of a 9 month delay to the opening of the much anticipated new Crossrail project in London, not only made headlines in July 2018. It also highlighted a major concern in the infrastructure industry: Governments inability to deliver on major flagship infrastructure projects. With cost over runs in excess of £600m, it’s certainly…

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How can Tier 1 Main Contractors shape the industry for the better?

In decades past, industry performance was gauged by how the big players were performing, and since 2008 there have been few positive results. However, a new trend is emerging, with mid-size contractors showing higher margins and better productivity, despite the continuing challenging economic times. It’s been a wake-up call for the industry, and particularly tier…

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A High Speed dream that’s fast becoming an ugly reality

Back in 2009, when the idea of a high speed railway linking the north and south of Britain was introduced, it sounded like a fine idea. It would cut travel time between major commercial centres and provide much needed infrastructure and investment all along the route. However, 10 years down the line the project has…

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