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Collins Construction takes advantage of Powerproject to make smarter and more sustainable decisions


Leading refurbishment and fit out company, Collins Construction, is driving efficient and waste-conscious tendering, planning and programme management with the appointment of a Principal Planning Manager with extensive Powerproject experience.

After making initial improvements to its planning and project management processes using Powerproject, Collins Construction has enlisted new expertise to extract greater value from its investment, with immediate results.

Key advantages to using Powerproject:

  • All tenders and project plans are centrally managed and validated for a quicker, smoother sign-off progress
  • Project Managers can make live updates whilst on-site using the Site Progress Mobile app
  • Critical pathway mapping and visualisation enables Collin Construction to increase cost efficiency and sustainability of current and future programmes
  • Using the advanced features of the software Collins is creating more robust programmes with a greater awareness of risk, enabling their teams to move forward in confidence with the delivery of programmes.

Building on the foundations of standardised programme management

With over 65 years’ experience, Collins Construction is an established leader and highly-respected refurbishment and fit out company that delivers projects from £5m to £35 million within the office, retail, leisure, education and healthcare sectors across London and the South East.

Recognising the need to improve and standardise its planning and management processes, Collins Construction invested in Powerproject several years ago.

To get the most value from Powerproject, Collins Construction also hired Dan Townsend as Principal Planning Manager in 2021 to fully realise the potential of the investment and to bring greater awareness of the importance of good planning to the business.

Dan is a career-long Powerproject advocate, having used the software in site manager, project manager and consultancy capacities to run major new build and fit out projects such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, Battersea Power Station Phase Three and One Nine Elms.

“I really wanted to show Collins Construction how you can use Powerproject to produce programmes that result in a better quality product, safer environments for on-site staff, increase collaboration between Collins, its clients, and supply chain. All of this means that we ultimately become more efficient by having a fully coordinated de-risked programme.”

Dan Townsend, Principal Planning Manager, Collins Construction

Extracting greater value from Powerproject, the project management software

Dan has been upskilling employees on Powerproject’s key features which has enabled Collins Construction to embed the software firmly into its tendering, planning and execution processes. The team uses Powerproject as part of a new set of processes to critique every tender before submission.

On-site, Powerproject supports clear and accurate communications between project stakeholders. Dan regularly undertakes site visits, using the software to make sure the critical path has been identified, create checklists, and ensure tasks are progressing on schedule. Other project stakeholders use Powerproject’s Site Progress Mobile app to share updates in real-time, significantly increasing the time they can invest on site managing the works.

“Onsite collaboration is key for Collins and Powerproject is supporting our drive to work effectively and collaboratively with the wider project team. Using Powerproject, each team member can work on their own specialism and develop the timescales they need, which ties into the master programme.”

Powerproject also facilitates greater visibility and integration of off-site design and fabrication activities, with teams able to upload photos and documents as proof of progress.

Using planning and project management software to analyse risk

One capability that Collins Construction has found invaluable since enhancing its use of Powerproject is the risk analysis feature.

Global events like the pandemic and the Russia/Ukraine conflict have caused major disruption to construction programmes. Powerproject supports Collins Construction in measuring the potential impact of these risks.

“In July 2021 our supply chain couldn’t hold quotes for commodities (such as steel and copper) any longer than 24 hours in some instances, but we were being asked to hold our quotes and programmes for 12 weeks. Using the Elecosoft software allowed us to immediately implement systems and approaches that safeguarded Collins against this risk.”

Making smart, sustainable planning decisions

With Powerproject now fully utilised within the planning and programme management process, Collins Construction’s next step is to use the software to support smarter working processes, which aims to generate cost savings and enhance sustainability.

For example, Collins Construction uses Powerproject to manage material maintenance, tracking material usage and waste volumes for each project. This empowers the company to make decisions that reduce wastage, such as working with our sub-contractors and vendors and reviewing how the products used on site are packaged. If we can accommodate larger deliveries with a lower level or protection we will. If the materials need to come to site on a drip feed basis we will look at sending the protection back to the factories for reuse.

The company also recently encouraged a client to retain and store existing raised floor tiles that were removed during the strip out phase so that it could be reused after the cut and carve phase of the project had been completed. By reinstalling the old (but perfectly functional) raised floor pans Collins Construction were able to reduce their carbon emissions by not having trucks collecting and delivering raised floor components to site.

In addition, Collins Construction is using Powerproject to visualise potential construction models and make stronger strategic planning decisions. For example, in a recent tender to fit out a large student accommodation block, Dan and his team demonstrated that they could install a prefabricated bathroom pod wall to reduce programme durations for bathroom installations by 25% per unit. Considering there are 370 units in the project, the economies of scale for the Client master programme were recognised as a major factor as to why they were engaged on the project.

Ensuring continued knowledge transfer

With Powerproject facilitating smoother, smarter, more sustainable decisions for Collins Construction, Dan’s priority is ensuring continued knowledge transfer between staff members.

The next step towards increasing Powerproject’s long-term value is identifying “superusers” within Collins Construction, who will participate in an advanced training programme with Elecosoft’s Powerproject experts. These superusers will then train other employees to ensure everyone uses the planning and project software correctly, continuing to maximise its commercial value to the company.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Powerproject. I couldn’t imagine being a planner without it, and I haven’t found anything it can’t do.”

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