Looking Back on Lockdown: What We’ve Done, What We’ve Learned and What Happens Next

It’s been an extraordinary couple of months for everyone and, here at Krol Corlett, we’ve been working hard to adjust, balancing the need to make progress on projects with the need to keep everyone safe.

Both our clients and our colleagues have been amazing. Several of our sites have remained operational and we’re proud to have been able to continue to drive progress on healthcare and infrastructure projects, helping key sectors at the frontline of COVID-19 to achieve their asset development goals.

Continuing with construction programmes during the pandemic has drawn on our 50 years of experience in project planning and safe working practices. We have considered each project individually to tailor site operating procedures to the specific demands and constraints of each site, while abiding by Government advice and Public Health England guidelines. This has involved a collaborative approach to working with clients and delivery partners to carry out a stringent review of each site. We’ve also engaged with safety consultants, Project Four Safety, to develop the most appropriate control measures for each site, ensuring they have been implemented thoroughly and maintained consistently.

Across the board, our investment in increased welfare facilities and PPE, along with the expert advice of our safety consultants, has ensured the safety of our teams, our supply chain partners and the public.

As we look ahead to the easing of lockdown restrictions, it’s clear that there will be a continuing need to adapt to new health and safety requirements and maintain social distancing protocols. As a company, we are well-prepared for this. Thanks to the number of our retained client base that remained operational during the lockdown, we’ve been able to maintain more than 80% of site resources, so we’re ready to hit the ground running as more sites open up and more projects get off the ground. We’re also now back at around 70% of our office capacity, with social distancing measures and increased housekeeping measures in place to enable more members of staff to return every week.

It’s clear that those resources will be in high demand over the coming months. We’re seeing confidence returning to the sector, with around 90% of our supply chain back in place, albeit at reduced capacity. We’re also seeing a number of clients that put their projects on hold during the crisis begin the process of kick-starting their developments again. Meanwhile, a steady stream of new tender opportunities are coming through, creating a healthy pipeline of future projects.

No doubt there will be further challenges ahead, as we continue to discover what the new normal means. However, our team has already shown that it can respond quickly to evolving requirements and approach change with can-do agility and resourcefulness. We are keeping a regular dialogue with our supply chain to ensure that all projects due to commence soon or already on site are not hindered by any supply chain issues as they progress. Our due diligence in this regard includes COVID-19 specific supply chain questionnaires and suitability assessments as an integral part of our current PQQ process.

The pandemic has been tough but it’s also been a period of inspiring resilience and ingenuity. For many of those we work with it has been a time of unparalleled collaboration and flexible thinking and we’re looking forward to embedding some of that experience in our future project delivery and commercial relationships.