NEWS / ACE News / Identifying and understanding a client’s needs

ACE News

05 JUN 2019


Report from Emerging Professionals event in Manchester.

For our clients to manoeuvre through the ever-changing environment, trusted advisors are required to bring their products and services to market. The subject on “Identifying and Understanding a Client’s Needs” was tackled at their recent event on 23rd May 2019.

The ACE Emerging Professionals are noticing that change is happening. The world is changing, our governing legislation is changing, our project delivery is changing and our individual industries are changing. As change occurs, our clients require increased assistance bringing their products/services to market. For our clients to manoeuvre through this ever-changing environment, trusted advisors are required to see them through.

Our latest event on 23rd May 2019 focussed on “Identifying and Understanding a Client’s Needs”. The event was organised by Ramone Johnson (Arup - Project Manager - Advisory Consulting), sponsored by Ove Arup & Partners and held at their office in Manchester. The event was hosted by the ACE Emerging Professionals North West Regional Chair, Hamish Dunlop (Bridge Engineer - WSP). During the event, delegates were treated to an evening of presentational gold by Gerard de Villiers (Arup - Senior Consultant - Logistics and Operations Advisory) and Athena Livesey (WSP – Design Manager – Integrated Project Delivery & ACE Progress Network UK Past Chair).

Gerard covered amazing elements of his vast personal and professional experience in operational logistics, which have taken him around the globe. His entertaining and insightful understanding of trucks & trains and boats & planes tied seamlessly to Athena’s presentation, which covered her experience as an international Geotechnical Engineer and her fledgling career as a Design Manager, which enabled her to realise WSP’s wealth of capabilities to offer. The presentations touched on:

  • Listening, listening and listening again;
  • Knowing and understanding your client;
  • Looking beyond your circles to gain an understanding of your business and its service offerings;
  • The importance of speaking to the right people within an organisation and what it means to be a trusted advisor;
  • Working with international clients, considering how differences in culture and contract can change a client’s needs;
  • Thinking beyond the norm - Disaster relief cases;
  • Client’s differing needs through the project life cycle;
  • How to share your experiences with clients to build a relationship;
  • Practical common sense and sharing lessons learnt as stories.

During an engaging Q&A session, Ramone raised the importance of understanding the context of a project and being aware of what the project impacts, as well as what impacts the project. He highlighted a great model to follow, PESTLE, which is an acronym (yes, another one!) for Political, Environmental, Societal, Legal and Economic. Having a high-level understanding of these, will enable you to spot risks and opportunities for your client and position yourself in becoming a trusted advisor. 

Both presenters worked seamlessly together, creating engaging discussion and a truly memorable evening, which is already receiving very positive feedback from delegates.

ACE's Progress Network is now known as ACE Emerging Professionals. The group is sponsored by Mott MacDonald.
Find out more about ACE's work in the North West. Find ACE members based in the North West.