Mace supports expansion of UN International School

01 April 2015

London headquartered consulting firm Mace has been selected by the United Nations to assist in the expansion of its International School in Hanoi – Vietnam. Mace will act as project manager, construction manager and cost consultant.

The UN International School (UNIS) in Hanoi (Vietnam) was founded in 1988 with the support of the United Nations Development Programme in Vietnam (UNDP). The school was set up to provide education to the children of UN staff and schooled around 12 students in the first year. Now, 27 years later, the school educates around 1050 students from more than 60 nationalities and 40 mother tongue groups.

With the programme continuing to grow, UNIS is experiencing an increased pressure for space. To address this issue, shared spaces will be added to each of the schools, as a result of which more curricular space will be available for each level as well as a centralised location for language programmes. In addition to this, UNIS plans to improve its campus security and sporting facilities.

UN selects Mace for development UNIS l in Vietnam

To assist it in the development of the expanded premises, UNIS appointed international consulting firm and construction company Mace* as project manager, construction manager and cost consultant for phase 3 of the campus development. According to Mace, the appointment follows its good relationship with the UN, established during the Green One UN House project – soon to be occupied in Hanoi.

Chris Stainton, Senior Project Manager at Mace, comments: “Mace’s Vietnam team are delighted to have won this prestigious project in Hanoi and look forward to delivering a world class educational facility for the school and local community. We are especially pleased that our fantastic existing working relationship with the United Nations has allowed us to add to our local portfolio, and we very much look forward to working with them to deliver a project that all can be proud of.”

* Mace is an in 1990 established construction and consulting firm specialised in programme and project management, cost consultancy, construction delivery, and facilities management. The company is headquartered in London and has over 4,300 employees working in over 70 countries.



How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.