Reduced business management costs and improved efficiency at Atkins

Atkins is involved in the planning, design and enabling of complex capital projects across the UK and Europe. Through its Highways Services Division, the company provides consultancy for the transport sector and delivers integrated, sustainable and innovative highway solutions in the UK.

The information systems didn’t fully support the business

The Highways team wanted to improve the IT system that underpinned the commercial aspects of the business – bidding, procurement, and cost management – and selected CPC to help them further develop their system. “We were looking for someone with experience of construction industry IT systems combined with a real understanding of our industry sector,” explains Andrew Cracknell, Commercial Director of Atkins’ Highways and Transportation division. “That specific combination of specialist skills wasn’t available to us in-house.”

CPC became part of our team 

Nick Curran at CPC began by thoroughly reviewing the Atkins processes and systems. As a chartered surveyor and someone with real-life experience within the construction industry, Nick understood what the business required from its IT system, and his first-hand knowledge of construction industry software meant he was able to identify and recommend improvements. Nick quickly became part of the team and supervised the developers as they made the changes.

“Nick’s skills formed a bridge between the financial and technical aspects, and he didn’t become lost when the discussions turned technical. Nick’s analytical approach also allowed him to identify and avoid potential problems,” says Andrew Cracknell.

A more cost-effective business

With help from CPC, Atkins has developed a more robust commercial system that integrates with the company’s financial system, and the new reports that CPC helped design provide more usable data for the business. The result for Atkins is a central support system that allows them to operate a more efficient business. One of the major benefits of the improved system has been to reduce manual input, which saves operating costs and avoids keying in errors. The company is now better placed to report its financial results within demanding timescales.

CPC provides a rare combination of skills

“Nick has a very rare combination of skills for our industry. He is very switched on technically and commercially and has excellent communication skills to get his ideas across. Nick is not only very personable, but also extremely professional. He has a desired end result in mind and co-operates with everyone to achieve it,” comments Cracknell.

Extended responsibilities for CPC

Andrew Cracknell’s team have derived so much value from working with CPC that Nick’s role at Atkins expanded during 2009 & 2010 into that of highways services commercial manager.

*Note – Andy Cracknell left Atkins during March 2011