In Episode 21 of Construction Talk, Peter has a conversation with Tanya Morris, Business Development Director at Causeway Technologies. They delve into Causeway's recent acquisition of Reference Point.

Throughout the episode, it becomes evident that Reference Point has made a significant impact, with 3.5 million people utilising solutions. The episode also underscores their noteworthy collaborations with industry giants like Network Rail, National Highways, and Kier.

Moreover, Reference Point's systems facilitate targeted communication within the supply chain and incorporate virtual smart cards for immediate updates and sustainability. Tanya provides valuable insights into how these innovations are reshaping the construction sector in this episode.


Time-stamped highlights:


Peter introduces this episode’s guest Tanya Morris.


Tanya talks about her background in sales and business development


“We continue to be centred on people in everything we do in our business.”


3.5 million people have used one of the Reference Point solutions.


Reference Point has worked with Network Rail, National Highways, and Tier 1 contractors like Kier.


Tanya talks about how she and her team wanted to break away from this traditional approach and create a system that allows individuals to maintain and transport their records across different projects and clients.


“So going back in terms of history, when we first actually started developing systems, they were physical smart cards.”


Tanya is talking about the challenges and opportunities in the construction industry, particularly in relation to implementing a system that involves smart cards and database management. She highlights the difficulty of introducing such a system into construction sites, which are often targeted for theft.


Tanya mentions that the success of introducing smart cards for the workforce was crucial for change management within the industry. The smart cards could be checked in the field using handheld clamshell devices, which generated interest and led to discussions. This system was implemented with the help of a big rail contractor and soon expanded to projects with organisations like the British Airports Authority and Thames Water.


Reference Point supports businesses to keep consistency in the records, even though the contents may vary from worker to worker, it helps eliminate duplication and ensures uniformity in the measures used across the workforce


Tanya talks about the challenges of onboarding and induction processes, particularly for workers moving between projects. She mentions the Highways Common Induction, which is designed to provide a common set of information for workers in the highways industry. Before this system, workers had to undergo lengthy inductions at every new project location, even if the information was redundant.


Tanya explains how different industries have varying requirements for individuals regarding having records and cards, and how the system can be introduced to newcomers or those undergoing retraining in the industry.


“We've got massive skill shortages in this country.”


Virtual cards open up a new communication channel, especially for situations where communication needs to reach individuals along the supply chain who may not be direct employees of the primary contractor. Messages and important information can be delivered directly to these individuals through the virtual card system.


Contractors can send targeted messages through SkillGuard to individuals with specific information, such as updates or alerts related to health and safety concerns. These messages can include links, response buttons, and images.


The discussion shifts to the idea of targeted communication and parallels with data-driven dashboard information. Tanya mentions how specific data, such as carbon emissions on a project, can be shared with only those who need it.


Tanya discusses the quality and importance of sharing information.


“… what you're doing is you're investing in the pot, the skills pot that the industry has. And if you are one of those businesses that is investing in their people, and those people can see what that brings to them, well, actually, you're more likely to retain them in the first place.”


“… right now, we're looking at further integration with existing Causeway products.”


Tanya notes that Causeway acquired Reference Point for reasons beyond just the opportunities. One of the key reasons for this acquisition is the cultural compatibility between the two organisations.


Tanya expresses her excitement about what lies ahead in the digitalisation of the construction industry.


Tanya shares her closing thoughts.


“It's about, like you said, helping individuals actually get more, not only from the system and their qualifications but actually get more out of their working lives as a result of taking ownership in these areas.”


“We continue to be really passionate about all of this. And we look forward to doing

a lot more of it in the years to come.”


Peter wraps up the podcast.


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