9 July 2021

It is almost two years since Jason Warren was appointed Managing Director. There has been a great deal of change and the future is looking positive.

Jason Warren, Managing Director

I can honestly say that the Collins I see today is the one that I envisaged in October 2019 when I was appointed Managing Director.

Many of the decisions that we have made to get here, some propelled by recent events, have been tough, but I feel that we are well equipped to succeed in this complex and competitive industry.

We have only one focus - to be the very best at what we do; and we will achieve this by redefining our approach to programme management and delivery while challenging the industry’s acceptance of risk. This has always been a primary focus of mine.

With nearly 40 years’ experience delivering complex structural refurbishment projects within both the construction and fit-out sectors of the industry, I have witnessed how technology, the green agenda and general building complexity have compelled clients to demand greater and more complex building solutions.

Twenty years ago, refurbishment meant knocking down and rebuilding a few walls, now it means upgrading and retrofitting buildings to become fit for purpose in the 21st century.

I was a project director when the industry made a significant shift towards D&B and imposed an increased and disproportionate risk on contractors. It was clear from then on that we would all need to be better equipped and qualified in order to navigate through this new landscape.

Over the past few years, we have witnessed an increased desire by our clients and their consultant teams to engage with us at a much earlier feasibility stage and tap into our expertise and experience well before buildings are purchased.

We now find that we are much more heavily involved in the feasibility planning and pre-construction stages of structurally challenging projects, particularly with regards to budget, programme constraints and construction solutions.

To manage the changes in the role and responsibilities of the contractor, we have shifted our emphasis within Collins to focus on the pre-construction and project appreciation stage of the delivery process.

As part of our restructure, we have empowered our project teams to take the lead in focusing on a full evaluation of risk, programme and potential cost before finalising and submitting each and every bid.

After several months of change, we now believe that we have the right experience and expertise within the business. We have design managers, structural engineers, planning specialists and commercial teams right the way through to Board, all who live and breathe the pre-construction period.

These teams hold each other to account in order to ensure that our approach is well-considered and that we have thought through every aspect of each and every tender.

Our restructure places the right people together and plays to everyone’s strengths. Every action is focused on improving the programme and our mantra of everyone being the best they can be means that our teams come together in the knowledge that everyone is bringing their best to the table.

Over the past 18 months, the team has shown great determination to work differently and give an extra 10% to solve problems for our clients. The difficulties created by the pandemic have encouraged new collaborations and onsite innovation to achieve programme timetables that were placed under extreme pressure.

As the fall out in labour and material shortages continues to undermine the programmes that we create for our clients, not only will a redefinition of the programme approach benefit clients and contractor, it will ensure smaller companies and subcontractors do not suffer during these challenging times.

If today I was starting with a blank piece of paper, then Collins is looking like how I would want it to look. It has taken us nearly two years to get here under extraordinary circumstances.

We are optimistic about the future while being aware of a greater need to be mindful of the unpredictable and discoverable.

The role that Collins can play is to remove as much unpredictability as possible from our clients’ projects and deliver what is the very best for them, for the Collins team and for the people that we work with.

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