Partnership with Construction Productivity Conference

7 Oct 19

GIRI have partnered with the Construction Productivity Conference (CPC) taking place on 21 November at De Vere in Canary Wharf. This article explains why it is essential for the Construction Industry to engage with the challenges of improving productivity. We encourage our Members to attend CPC. 


Tackling Construction’s Productivity Conundrum
Will Productivity Become the New Construction Currency?

Productivity is an ongoing concern for the construction sector. The product, process and people conundrum that make up the sum of many parts influencing efficiencies are not showing any significant signs of improvement. Whilst productivity in manufacturing sectors has virtually doubled over the last 20 years, construction productivity has stagnated and has not improved since the early 1990s.

The Business Dictionary defines productivity as a measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory or system in converting inputs into useful outputs. Productivity is a critical determinant of cost efficiency.

According to the Government Construction Strategy, construction output in the UK exceeds £110 billion per annum and contributes 7% of GDP. Approximately a quarter of construction output is public sector and three-quarters is private sector. Although the sums quoted appear vast, profit margins are slim and all operating in the industry have a vested interest in resolving this ongoing issue. Construction 2025 outlined the Government’s vision for the future. A key priority is faster delivery, with a target of a 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for newbuild and refurbished developments and a 33% reduction in the initial cost of construction and the whole life cost of built assets. 

The aim of the UK’s Industrial Strategy is to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the country. This strategy is underpinned by an increase in the National Productivity Investment Fund to £31bn, supporting investments in transport, housing and digital infrastructure. 

With a shrinking skilled workforce and the ongoing saga of Brexit, the cost of inputs versus the value of outputs is proving a difficult equation to solve.  According to McKinsey research, construction productivity has been flat for decades – but new systems and technologies are part of the solution. Other industries have clearly demonstrated how adopting new technologies can play a major part in modernisation, but the biggest barrier is a change of mindset from those who want to cling onto outdated construction approaches. 

The objective of the Construction Productivity Conference, is to gather together those who have the skills to tackle construction’s productivity conundrum and to create a platform for knowledge sharing and networking. With statistics finding that only 64% of the hours worked in construction are deemed productive, the event will focus on new technologies, logistics, supply chains, materials and waste management together with construction culture, developing human resources to establish a workforce and a sector that is fit for the future.

The Construction Productivity Conference will focus on the application of a ‘productive construction factory thinking’ model and change management in the key areas of: Product, Process and People. The conference has been created to inform and support clients, architects, engineers, contractors, government departments, councils, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and building technology suppliers in finding ways to address and tackle inefficiencies within the construction sector. For more information and to view the full speaker programme go to: 


What Does Construction Mean to the Conference Speakers?
Productivity can be difficult to measure and analyse. But what does construction productivity mean to the conference speakers? A few of the experts have shared their opinions. 

‘Productivity means maximising the value delivered – the outcomes – for the investment made – the inputs.’
Ann Bentley, Global Board Director – Rider Levett Bucknall

‘Productivity is the measure of output per worker over a given period. Improvements in productivity can help ease the skills crisis and help to attract new entrants to our industry with new and modern methods of working.  Improving construction productivity is a function of many things that include: skills & competencies, planning, procurement and penetration of IT.’
Mark Wakeford, Managing Director – Stepnell Ltd

‘Productivity is the ratio between the level of input resources to a process and the output results. To gain high productivity, it is necessary to follow a structured and continuous approach to achieving more for less.’
Dr Steve Ward, Technical Director of Continuous Improvement Services – WSP

‘Productivity – the test of management’s competence in making resources productive – including the balance between all factors of production.’
Eirian Lewis, Managing Director – TEAL Consulting Ltd

‘Productivity is easily referenced but hard to define and far harder to measure. In isolation, delivering results with less time and effort is a simple principle. However, making this a reality within the dynamics of our working environment can be complex. By exploring behavioural science, I would like to demonstrate that small changes can make big differences.’
Jamie Hillier, Preconstruction Director – Kier

‘Productivity isn’t just about doing the same thing better; it is also about ensuring what we do and how we do it supports wider social, economic and environmental outcomes.’
Keith Waller, Programme Director – Construction Innovation Hub, MTC 

‘Construction and the wider built environment have a major bearing on how productive we are as a nation. Better buildings and infrastructure contribute to productivity, not just through their primary function or by increasing economic output, but by making people happier, safer and healthier, benefits which are often overlooked and that help to make them more productive.’
Paul Nash, Former President – Chartered Institute of Building

‘Exploiting the opportunities to radically improve productivity in the delivery of construction projects sits at the heart of a programme to improve society by providing secure, well-paid jobs, better social and economic infrastructure, and the ultimate elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment.’
Sam Stacey, Challenge Director – Transforming Construction 


Exhibitor and Sponsorship Opportunities
Prices start from £1,000+VAT for a Standard Exhibitor Package to £3,500+VAT for the Headline Sponsorship Package. For more information on the opportunities available, contact Stuart Maunder on 01743 290050 or email 

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