The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) today launches a robust plan to deliver transformational impact across 30% of the UK’s economy through a smarter, long term and sustainable approach to the built environment.
ACE’s Future of Consultancy campaign is recommending six potential business models for consultancy businesses in future and an ambitious exports strategy highlights ten key global construction and engineering markets for UK consultants to target as a priority.
Robust domestic and exports strategies, developed by and on behalf of ACE’s membership of more than 400 businesses, were launched at an industry event today in London. The strategies are intended to significantly enhance the built environment and protect the professional standing of UK consultancy into the next century.
The Future of Consultancy campaign has identified three key drivers of change, which will impact on how tomorrow’s built environment will be shaped:
- Data: Effectively harnessed, the plethora of customer and performance data could deliver annual benefits of £15bn across the UKs infrastructure sector.
- Demand: Society’s expectations of the built environment are changing, reinforced by government commitments to net zero by 2050 and an increasing influence of ethical investors.
- Devolution: The devolution of both spending and decision-making powers will bring closer alignment between the customers and users of the built environment. Consultants must adapt to meet the needs of these new clients.
ACE and its members are recommending that consultancies to embrace these drivers and adopt one of six future business models, to form a pathway from volume to value. Each business model is underpinned by a commercial and supply chain structure based on ‘five capitals’ to help the industry define its value more effectively - natural, social, financial, manufactured, human.
The report also sets out a ‘golden thread’ for the Future of Consultancy - a whole life-cycle approach which redefines value, with operation, policy, and delivery working hand-in-glove to create a truly virtuous circle.
By investing in this new approach and bolstering the capability of British consultancy, ACE says that there will be strong export opportunities for the consultancy sector to help nations adapt to shifts in climate, technology and social change across ten key markets as follows:
- United States
- Saudi Arabia
The first outputs for the Future of Consultancy were shared at the industry-wide event, following the conclusion of an intensive 12-month research period. The project has been spearheaded by Hannah Vickers, ACE’s chief executive. Speaking ahead of the launch, Vickers said: “We’re committing the sector to a major step-change in productivity performance by fully embracing the fourth industrial revolution. This means better defining the value that consultancies bring beyond just built assets and construction.
“It also means embracing change, especially technology, to ensure consultancy as a profession can also support the supply of infrastructure services and the transition to a cyber-physical system. With emerging fast-paced technologies alongside a growing population and 2050 net zero targets for carbon emissions, now is the time for consultancy businesses to diversify, establish a new role and demonstrate their true value at the heart of British society.”
The programme is encouraging the entire industry and its clients to embrace seismic change to protect the professional standing of UK consultants and engineers into the next century. It is part-funded by UK Research and Innovation as part of the Transforming Construction Challenge.