Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Reversing the decline of small housebuilders: Reinvigorating entrepreneurialism and building more homes

The Home Builders Federation has recently produced a report detailing the barriers in which SME house builders face in developing housing. Some of the key facts outlined in the report are:

  • In 1988 SMEs were responsible for 4 in 10 new build homes compared with just 12% today
  • Delay and risk during the planning stage has influenced lender attitudes to house building meaning that terms SMEs borrow on are restricting growth opportunities
  • Between 2007-2009, one third of small companies ceased building homes
  • Returning to the number of home builders operational in 2007 could help boost housing supply by 25,000 homes per year
  • Measure to remove blockages in the planning system, reduce red tape and bring about fairer finance for SMEs would enable more companies to realise their ambitions, reinvigorating the entrepreneurial spirit of previous decades

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How can you improve your safety?

An article by JELF Group lists 8 ways in which safety in the construction sector can be improved:
  1. Ensure equipment has been correctly assembled and installed*
  2. Make sure that all equipment is properly maintained and regularly checked*
  3. Avoid working at height where possible and find ways of decreasing it*
  4. Keep all walkways, stairs, and work areas clear of debris and obstructions*
  5. Make sure that all materials are stored away safely*
  6. Provide staff with protective equipment and make sure they can use it correctly*
  7. Ensure all employees are appropriately trained
  8. Ensure all workplace tasks are risk assessed

Sources: 
*Zywave Risk Insights: Construction Site Safety Inspections

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How risk management can save your business

An article on 'mybusiness' (Australia) discusses the importance of small business owners devising a Plan B in case things go wrong. They explore some risks that are commonly faced by SMEs, the ways that businesses can benefit from this kind of foresight and how to keep businesses functioning should disaster happen.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Green light for construction of thousands of new Starter Homes (UK)

2017 will see the first Starter Homes being built on brownfield sites across the country, Housing Minister Gavin Barwell has confirmed.
Thousands of new homes backed with financial support will help more first time buyers into home ownership.
They will be built exclusively for first-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old at a discount of at least 20% below market value. 
Central to this will be getting small and medium-sized (SME) builders delivering more new homes. For instance, the announcement of 14 ‘garden villages’ and more garden towns needs to be backed up by implementation plans which provide opportunities to SME builders as well as the large companies, said Housing Minister Gavin Barwell.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year, New Secondments!

Members of the RiMaCon secondment would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

As we go into 2017 several secondments will shortly take place. Craig Smith (Computors) will travel to the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Daniele Pretto (Vetto) will travel to the University of Wolverhampton, and Chike Oduoza (University of Wolverhampton) will travel to Computors in Wolverhampton to undertake their next RiMaCon secondments. 

The focus of the work will be on finalising work package 4 and looking ahead to requirements for work package 5.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Project Management in Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises: Matching Processes to the Nature of the Firm

An interesting paper in International Journal of Project Management 28(8):744-755 · December 2010 looks at how project management can play a significant role in facilitating the contribution that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) make to the economy. Research was undertaken to identify the nature of project management required by SMEs, and the results of the qualitative stage of the research are reported in the paper available here:

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Secondment News

Craig Smith (Computors) recently commenced his latest secondment to the University of Wolverhampton (UniWolv). The focus of Craig's secondment will be to update the user interface of the RiMaCon software prototype, create a test version of the software on a web-server, provide a functionality document for users on the basic functions of the software, and to improve the responsiveness of the software on mobile devices.

Chike Oduoza (UniWolv) will be travelling to Vettorazzo Costruzioni (Vetto) next week for his latest secondment. During this time, Chike will undertake site visits, provide updates on work package 4 and work package 5, and agree with Senior Project Managers from Vetto which live and past projects could be used to test the RiMaCon software.