David Innes is a Partner in the Surrey office. He manages CampbellReith’s venture with Tibbalds for the HCA framework. He has shared some of his views on this.
- What have you learnt from being on the Homes and Communities Agency framework joint venture with Tibbalds?
I have found it very beneficial to set up joint ventures with companies who are likeminded in their way of approaching work like CampbellReith. We have teamed up with Tibbalds who cover a wide range of disciplines ranging from architecture to asbestos management and property surveyors. There were some initial doubts on the effectiveness having nine architects on the team. However, we have put the right team forward for each opportunity that has come which has proven effective.
- How has being involved in a Partnership setting within the Campbell Reith Hill LLP Practice helped with the joint venture with Tibbalds?
CampbellReith had limited experience in joint ventures like ours with Tibbalds, although from previous experience in this way of working, we have learnt that it is important to make a decision quickly. When overthinking these opportunities, the longer you talk about them the greater the risks that something cannot be made to happen, as people focus on the negatives not the positives.
- You joined CampbellReith in 1986, how has engineering and the Practice changed for you since then?
Technology has moved on leaps and bounds since but in many ways CampbellReith still looks and feels like it used to! We have undoubtedly expanded and moved away from focussing solely on building structures and can now offer a range of disciplines including geotechnical, environmental, highways & transport and civil engineering which brings significant value to the practice. We have also made great strides in developing works overseas, particularly in Africa.
- Your engineering capabilities and expertise has seen you working in a variety of countries including Sierra Leone, UAE, Malaysia, Libya, Antigua, Kenya, Nigeria, Qatar and Oman. What are the three most important lessons you have learnt while working overseas?
Firstly, as with any work, it is important to show professionalism when meeting new people. Good eye contact and a firm handshake will take you far when meeting new people.
Secondly it is great fun and will take you beyond your comfort zone. It raises our profile and staff love having the opportunity to test them overseas and is usually keen to talk to other clients and professionals about what they are doing overseas – this raises our profile.
Lastly, look for areas where you can add value and be valued. For instance, in the Middle East the local supply chain can do things as good as us.
- How do you approach a project for maximum impact for the client and the communities in which CampbellReith serves?
CampbellReith has strong partner involvement within projects which adds significant value for clients. I like to get the team heavily involved on the early stages of master-planning projects where we can really make a difference and be treated as a consultant.
In addition, we are lucky to have partners with a wide range of skills in different areas, which means that we have the ability to win jobs in all sectors and disciplines.
- Why should a prospective client consider working with CampbellReith?
We offer quality service but we are also personable and approachable and like to become close to our clients for the projects to run as easily as possible. We have a group of partners will different skills which makes us a good mix to deal with all players in the industry.
- Why should a prospective employee consider working at CampbellReith?
CampbellReith working environment is welcoming and friendly. There is strong involvement from partners and associates at all stages of a project, but training and career development is offered throughout. The teams are a combination of experienced engineers along with younger ones learning about the industry. We have an active social schedule as well as busy work, with staff organising activities after work.