Paul Waldeck: Three ways 1+1 really can equal 3January 29, 2019 9:00 am
As Waldeck’s capabilities, relationships and expertise continue to go from strength to strength, Founding Director, Paul Waldeck, who is focused on strategic synergies for growth post-acquisition by Morson Group, reflects on how the Waldeck business has evolved over the years, and what now lies ahead.
Paul begins by quoting Aristotle; ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ before sharing:
This concept will drive the recently enlarged consultancy business which now has 800 professionals and an extensive client base in the heavy engineering and high-end, exclusive sectors. The important thought to take from this phrase is that the individual parts of something, if organised and deployed together well, can make the bigger picture entity, or task, or mission, much stronger and greater than if those individual parts, elements or components simply function in isolation.
As Waldeck has evolved and now, post-acquisition, with the addition of many new capabilities, specialisms and services, it has become ever clearer on just how ‘we’, the consultancy arm of the group, can add value to our clients’ and their business objectives through three key routes.
1. Working closely with clients, collaborating with other industrial partners and academia to create integrated solutions
Waldeck have a decade of our own Research and Development (R&D) investments, an established network of leading global digital industry partners, and academic alliances with progressive technology focussed Universities. This positions Waldeck uniquely, to be able to provide clients with an award-winning, best-in-class, integrated approach to digital and technology levered engineering solutions.
Often, from the conceptual stage of a project, we work closely with clients to understand their business, their concerns, risks and asset or facility performance requirements at both pre- and post- project stage. We seek to establish and define lifecycle data requirements and delivery strategies which align and leverage the many benefits of an integrated approach, which is a fundamental to projects being delivered on-time and on-budget; or assets performing and functioning safely and efficiently to the required output levels, for as long as possible.
Taking a holistic view of Waldeck’s services, we have been able to realise the huge potential which a well-defined integrated services strategy can offer. Looking at the many interdependencies of engineering and technologies at project level has enabled Waldeck to align and establish end-to-end project and built asset solutions which span beyond project hand-over, into the operations and facility management phase of a client’s project, asset or facility.
Data rich deliverables that are set in a competent Common Data Environment (CDE) can, with other facilitators, create intelligent ‘Digital Twins’ with huge benefits for plant, facility and system owners and managers, enabling operational efficiencies and informed and even predictive decision making during the entire lifecycle.
2. Enhancing project delivery and the lifecycle performance of assets through an alignment of engineering and technologies
Is it common practice across many industries that engineering and digital technologies are often delivered as two separate solutions, mostly in isolation to one another and with little consideration given to how wider lifecycle benefits can be derived through the integration of the two. This is further exacerbated when one considers that the operations team are often disparate and not involved with a project delivery team until the final stages of a project. The ongoing debate of CapEx vs OpEx, and the differing views of ‘internal clients’ and project delivery teams can drive a culture where end-to-end solutions and strategies are not applied, which creates risks for: schedule, cost over-runs, quality, operational out-put performance or potential regulatory issues.
Over the years, Waldeck have learned from their diverse client base across the sectors, in understanding such issues but also how to lever ‘smart tools’ to mitigate risk and enhance successful outcomes. We possess the necessary experience and capabilities to take a cradle-to-grave view on our client’s projects and enhance their associated lifecycle performance around Digital Twin, Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning solutions.
Without the initial communication of a digital project and asset strategy requirements, project completion hand-overs can result in nothing much more than graphical representations of the asset, often in the form of ‘as-built’ drawings or specifications. In the immensely competitive 21st Century, clients and competitors are continually challenged to ‘squeeze the pips’, and such traditional attitudes to project delivery models, commissioning, operations and maintenance are simply not going to be good enough in the future.
Integrating engineering and digital technologies to develop and set a data driven delivery strategy at the outset can ensure a lean but successful project delivery model. The right, data rich deliverables which are intelligently suitable are then able to drive asset / facility performance and predictability in operational use. This is what we are already doing for some of our clients, and is clearly the way forward.
3. Utilising the combined synergies of other Morson Group businesses
Following the recent acquisition of Waldeck by Morson Group, Waldeck are now one of the largest mid-sized engineering consultancies in the market, still privately owned whilst part of a group which has 14,500 people on its payroll. This combination means that Waldeck is uniquely able to be flexible and agile as a business, maintaining excellent internal communications and high levels of staff engagement at all levels, creating that friendly feel of a smaller company, whilst also possessing the strength and capability to deliver as the global players do in the market, if and when we chose to.
Waldeck have a strong brand reputation in the market as a trusted strategic advisor and a provider of excellence in engineering and technology solutions, but now by adding the consultancy parts of Morson Group and Morson Projects, together, we are much stronger and more capable than we were previously, prior to the deal. We are able to do much more, and to add more value for our mutual clients.
Hopefully, together these three points demonstrate that the 1+1 equation really can stack up to 3, when looking at the bigger picture.