Causeway Technologies is delighted to have exhibited at the UK Infrastructure Show, held at the NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday 17th April 2018.

The UK Infrastructure show brings together a large number of supply chain industry stakeholders, providing a forum to engage, connect, and collaborate across an array of key infrastructure projects planned throughout the UK for the next ten years.

Abigaile Bromfield, Director at Arup, opened the show by addressing some of the key issues the industry is facing today, including collaboration and digitisation within the sector. She outlined the need for the industry to actively harness opportunities for collaboration across the supply chain, encouraging industry stakeholders to more willingly and effectively work together across both the private and public sectors. Interestingly, this mirrors one of the recurring themes of the recent CIHT conference which explored the growing importance of collaboration in the highways sector specifically.

Abigaile then delved deeper, both discussing the pivotal role that technology will play in the supply chain industry and detailing how the increasing digitisation of the sector will continue to revolutionise how infrastructure projects are delivered. Looking forward, Abigaile spoke of the need to upgrade IT systems throughout the industry to ensure that innovation continually yields creative solutions that will withstand the stresses and pressures of change in the years to come.

To close her opening address, Abigaile reiterated the importance of working together to deliver change across the sector. Specifically, she urged us to consider the key role we each play in shaping the future of the industry, as well as the foundation we are building for our future economy through major infrastructure projects.

In addition to the recurring theme of collaboration, the show also allowed discussions around specific projects to take centre stage. Divided into three main areas - namely Housing, Transportation and Energy - the show’s format allowed delegates to easily identify and contribute to the conversations most relevant to their specific supply chain challenges and opportunities.

One of the main topics discussed throughout the day was the HS2 project and the opportunities it is generating for the supply chain industry as a whole. Robert Salter, a Supply Chain Analyst at HS2, discussed the organisation’s vision for the project to become a catalyst for growth across Britain. Expanding on this, Robert outlined HS2’s hope that small British businesses will become a pivotal part of the project.

Continuing the presentation, Robert then touched on the essential role of technology in the project. With the project not due for completion until 2033, Robert considered the technology and developments that will be available by the time the railway is built and how these may contribute to further future-proofing and resilience efforts. His comments reflect the themes introduced by Arup’s Abigaile Bromfield earlier in the day, reiterating the criticality of innovation to future-proofing infrastructure and ensuring that it is built to last for each and every project.

Digitisation was also a central topic of discussion, with presentations sparking interesting conversations around the supply chain industry as a whole, the future of UK infrastructure, and the role digital technologies are likely to play in this. At the heart of many of these conversations was the construction and infrastructure industries’ transition towards digitisation and how this is driving contractors to move information to the cloud. Given this inevitable transition to the cloud, delegates concurred that technology must be used to develop air-tight processes that ensure compliance across the sector. This is especially important in light of GDPR and how this may impact existing processes within organisations.

As the day drew to a close, delegates were left with a greater understanding of how today’s infrastructure projects will shape the future. Given the inevitable shift toward digitisation, the way infrastructure projects are delivered is set to change, creating a number of significant challenges and opportunities. With this in mind, the UK Infrastructure Show ultimately presents a timely reminder that collectively, we must all collaborate more willingly and invest in innovative solutions that enable us to fully prepare for tomorrow’s challenges and make the most of new opportunities.

If you were unable to attend the conference or visit our stand, feel free to download soft copies of the collateral we provided on the day:

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