Quantity surveyor develops computer application to plan and execute major clients’ investment strategies

Project and cost management consultant Faithful & Gould has launched a database tool that could change the way that major clients invest in construction work.

The system, which works like a “wizard” computer program, is called prioritisation modelling. It takes a client’s business needs and helps to decide the construction projects that are required. It then organises them into a database, which can be reprioritised to reflect changes in the client’s budget or programme.

The system was launched to a group of Faithful & Gould’s clients, contractors and consultants in central London two weeks ago. Martin Dancy, Faithful & Gould’s director, said he had received interest in the system from two clients.

Dancy, who developed the tool, said the idea was to help clients decide on what schemes were needed in the first place rather than just advising on live projects.

He said: “We assist in doing the right projects instead of the wrong projects really well. A lot of clients say to us we are really good at project delivery but not so sure on deciding on them in the first place.”

Dancy said the system was suitable for a firm that was restructuring or making acquisitions, or for post-merger property strategies.

We assist in doing the right projects instead of the wrong projects well

Martin Dancy, Faithful & Gould

The firm drew up the system while working for pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, which was established in 2000 as a merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham. The tool was developed to bring together their research and development facilities. It is now an embedded system at the company.

The system starts off by converting clients’ business needs into three investment categories: do nothing; need for expenditure, which means purchase, construct or lease; and consolidate, which means refurbish, reconfigure or outsource.

These solutions are then translated into individual projects and prioritised using a tool created by F&G called SMART, which compares the benefits of each project before sequencing them.

Dancy said that the system was intended for big construction programmes. He said: “It’s about work on a scale beyond that with which one human is able to cope.”