DMS for Large Construction Projects – Balfour Beatty



The construction of the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, by Balfour Beatty, was a huge logistical endeavour.

DMS for large construction projects – Midland Metropolitan University Hospital

Since the announcement in 2019 that Balfour Beatty had been awarded the eagerly awaited completion contract for the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital in Birmingham, the team behind the new mega-structure project have made it their primary aim to keep the project running to a tight schedule minimising the risk of delays.  

With a 16.7 acre site in a location in close proximity to the city centre and neighbouring existing retail and industrial businesses, 80,000 square metres of internal gross floor area over 10 floors planned, the construction of a 2-level multi storey car park to factor in, more than 150 deliveries scheduled every week plus a plethora of additional site resources such as cranes and hoists to manage, it would be fair to say that co-ordinating such a complex and large scale operation on a daily basis in order to keep the project firmly on track would be no easy under-taking.  

Such complex and large-scale operations are however commonplace to the Balfour Beatty project portfolio and are certainly no stranger to experienced Senior Logistics Manager Ian Davis, who is responsible for orchestrating the seamless operation on the Smethwick site.   

A key player in that smooth logistics operation is Zone Manager’s Delivery Management System, notably its ability to adapt, the in-built intelligence, its flexibility whilst also being user-friendly as Ian explains: 

When operating such a big project as the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, Zone Manager is a hugely beneficial tool and working in partnership with the Zone Manager team, one that has been customised specifically to meet the exact needs of this project. Not only does it provide us with a central control to schedule, manage and report live on typically 130 deliveries we take receipt of weekly, its role in co-ordinating such diverse and in-demand resources such as cranes and hoists is pivotal. The system is user-friendly and whilst the sophistication of the system is apparent, this does not make it unnecessarily complicated for the user which, when time is precious, is a must.

The size of the Grove Lane site inevitably presents the on-site team with logistical challenges including traffic dense delivery points, gates and approaches to mention a few but with Zone Manager’s functionality, these hurdles which have the potential to turn into headaches can easily be overcome. And with Net Zero targets high on the agenda, the CO2/emission reporting functionality is a bonus for the team: 

The range of reporting that Zone Manager produces is an instrumental data collection resource and one that a large-scale operation cannot do without. With the specific challenges that COVID has presented us with since March 2019, because we have direct access to our own portal, we have been able to quickly update crucial information to visiting suppliers, contractors and delivery personnel which means everyone has up-to-date messages and protocols ultimately resulting in a safe working environment for everyone.

By their very nature, large and complex construction projects require adaptations to ensure that efficiency is sustained and timescales are met so the fact that Zone Manager is able to evolve and adapt was of additional benefit: 

The ever-expanding development of the Zone Manager system is impressive and because we have a close working relationship with the team there, we are able to contact them 24/7 whether it is technical support or to discuss finely tuned logistical alterations to benefit the project. The support always goes above and beyond- they are an intrinsic part of the logistical success of the project.

We have vast logistic experience, and can turn your Delivery Management requirements into a system that’s suited to your industry. Get in touch today and let’s work together!

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