Infrastructure and transport systems
Our engagement with infrastructure and transport systems and service providers is multifaceted.
We work with project owners, managers and investors to conduct techno-economic feasibility and life-cycle analyses, provide cost estimates and risk assessments and develop budgets and business plans. We also help design RFPs, select vendors and support the contracting process, negotiations and client side project management, with a focus on the O&M process over longer time periods.
We work with asset managers and operators to improve asset performance through advanced O&M and engineering superior customer experience. We help develop and implement asset management strategies, re-engineer processes, deploy advanced practices and technology, select and train personnel and facilitate the required organizational transformation and culture change.
On the vendor side we help our clients better understand drivers of change in their industry and develop service and solution based strategies. We work with to design and implement outcome based, “infrastructure as a service” business models and offerings, assess risks and develop pricing strategies and win, negotiate and close bids. In implementation our focus is on putting in place the right organizational capabilities, structures and processes to successfully implement contracts, manage sites and meet objectives. And we help our clients implement advanced asset management and O&M strategies.
Our clients include engineering, construction and technical services companies, equipment and technology suppliers, specialist transport service providers, power and water utilities and specialist infrastructure service providers and investors.
Ageing infrastructure and rising demand necessitate better services and new business models
Physical infrastructure, from utility networks to transportation hubs and mobility systems, is the backbone of economic growth. Yet budget and other constraints make both public and private investment increasingly more difficult, leaving significant gaps between what is needed and what actually gets implemented. While governments can sometimes reduce or effectively manage demand for infrastructure services, for example by promoting energy efficiency or dynamic pricing rather than building new power transmission capacity, in many cases this cannot be done without adversely impacting growth and development. And demand for infrastructure services is both rising and changing, while the asset base is ageing and declining in capacity and performance.
Against this backdrop ways must be found for investing in infrastructure that minimize the burden on budgets, while bringing adequate returns for investors. Increasingly therefore, both public and private players have been turning to business models which aim to deliver infrastructure “as as service”, bundling assets with services into integrated solutions, as well as improving the back-end of infrastructure investments, in particular operations and maintenance (O&M). The objective is to extract full value from existing and new asset base by increasing assets’ revenue streams, extending their life-cycle, while reducing costs, risks and delivery lead times. Superior operations and maintenance coupled with ability to improve customer experience, is therefore often mandatory not only to win projects, but also to make them economically viable and bankable for investors.
Yet the reality is that the infrastructure asset base has been severely neglected. Current O&M practices are often seriously deficient, failing to maximize asset utilization or meet adequate user quality standards, while incurring needlessly high costs. As a result existing assets deteriorate much faster than necessary, shortening their useful life. According to a survey by the European Federation of National Maintenance Societies, asset management practices in the European infrastructure industry are rated below those of the manufacturing and process industries, not just in overall ranking but in every one of the key subcategories. A number of factors contribute to this situation, including insufficient funding for O&M, a lack of organizational focus and management capacity, as well as significant knowhow deficits.
Pressure for change is however increasing: Owners and operators, both public and private, need to develop comprehensive long term strategies for operating and maintaining infrastructure assets to narrow the investment gap, bend cost curves and expand effective capacity. And they need to take advantage of outcome and performance based business models, including through public-private partnerships (PPPs), to reduce risks and necessary upfront investment commitments.