Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Society of Construction Law: Mark Woodward Smith

The Society of Construction Law has issued a draft second edition of the Delay and Disruption Protocol, 14 years after the first edition was issued. Back then, its aim was ambitious. It was that, in time, “most contracts will adopt the Protocol’s guidance as the best way to deal with delay and disruption issues”.

 It stated that the number of disputes could be reduced if there was a transparent and unified approach to the programme and the site records. It contained a great deal of detail about the way a programme should be prepared and gave a preferred method of delay analysis - time impact analysis - identifying the shortcomings with other methods. Although it stated this would only work if network programmes and sufficient records had been maintained throughout the project, as recommended by the protocol. On keeping records, it recommended agreeing up front what these should be: differentiating between small and medium to high value/high complexity projects.

It was subject to some criticism at the time as:

 A charter for programming experts (with its preferred (considered to be expensive) method of delay analysis)

Administratively onerous and unrealistic regarding records and
Not worth the paper it was written on as it was not and should never be a contract document.

Has its aim to reduce disputes been realised?

Much has changed in the world of construction claims since 2002. There appears to be no fewer disputes but the method of resolving them has changed dramatically. Adjudication is firmly embedded as the forum of choice. In 2002 it was in its infancy. It is therefore arguably cheaper to deal with disputes on delay and disruption now than it was pre-2002. Have parties embraced recommendations on transparency and detail of programming and records? Contractors remain suspicious as it is not often apparent what the upside is for them. The idea of agreeing at the start of a contract which records will form the basis of a claim may not start the project on the right foot.

The protocol has not changed the atmosphere of “claim and defend” in certain standard forms of contract, although much has been done with different forms of procurement involving a more collaborative approach.

In fact, as well as giving that guidance, the protocol stated general legal principles of delay and disruption claims in relation to concurrent delay: global claims, ownership of float; relevance of tender allowances in assessing compensation, to name just a few. It also contained a good glossary of “claims terminology”. 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Find out about a typical day for Senior Contracts Consultant

What work do you do for Systech?
Looking at change is a big part of what I do - what changed (if anything), why it changed, what the effects of that change were. Once that’s done, the next step is to be able to explain the change to someone else, sometimes with an analysis of the contract, sometimes with a Gantt chart, sometimes with a table.

What is your typical day?
No such thing really - an assignment might last a while, but you never know what you are going to be presented with which is quite exciting.

What are the interesting aspects of your work?
 Problem solving - working out how to get someones trust, how to validate evidence you’ve been given, how to deal with with a change, how best to tell the story that explains how you are, where you are and where you’re going next.

What are the challenges?
We tend to be involved in some quite difficult projects, and working out the current status can sometimes be hard work - particularly when you’re also trying to manage things that are still happening.

What training and support has Systech given you?
Working with Systech has given me exposure to all sorts of projects and assignments that I would never have had working somewhere less dynamic. Additionally, Systech puts a lot of effort into developing in house resources from experiences from past projects.

What words of advice would you offer someone thinking of working for Systech?
If you like to be challenged, you won’t look back.

What is the culture like?
Friendly and professional. Everyone wants to do the best job possible, but there’s time to talk and to have a personal life too.

What makes working for Systech different from the competition?
Systech has all the knowledge, skills, resources, and expertise that a main contractor might need. Importantly, Systech can help main contractors in many ways, for example by seconding someone to work for them full time on their project, or just providing an individuals expertise when needed from the team in the Systech office, in the UK or internationally.

What has been your greatest achievement working for Systech?
The most satisfying one was drafting an extension of time narrative where the end client had staunchly refused to accept any responsibility for delay. On collecting and validating evidence from a number of sources, I was able to present an explanation of the main way in which the client had caused overall delay whilst backing this up with a number of other delays to bolster the main argument. The main contractor got the extension of time if needed.

Tell us about a project where you have learnt a key lesson?

I was working as Project Controls Manager on a project in Siberia, in an organisational structure where project resources were shared across departments with multiple priorities. I saw the subtle need for ensuring that there were sufficient, properly aligned resources available to every level of the project team.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Mark Woodward-Smith, Group Managing Director UK & Europe

Systech International Strengthens Management Team

Systech International is pleased to announce two senior management appointments;

Jason Palmer in Manchester and Louis Cointreau in Paris.

Jason Palmer

Jason joined the business in March 2015, has been promoted to an Associate
Director and he will take responsibility for the development of our services
in the UK north, based from our office in Manchester. Jason previously held
Commercial Director roles at Galliford Try and Balfour Beatty.

Louis Cointreau

Louis joined the business on 11 January as our Deputy Country Manager for
France. Louis was previously with Technip, Alstom Grid and Areva, where
he was Contract Manager on a number of oil and gas and nuclear power
plant projects. He is bilingual in French and English and has a good working
proficiency in Spanish.

Mark Woodward-Smith, Group Managing Director UK & Europe, says
 “I am delighted with our appointments of Jason and Louis and I look forward to working with them in their new roles. The experience and expertise they have gained whilst working for contractors on major projects will benefit our clients as well as our consultant teams for which they will be responsible. They join our strong management team which is ideally placed to grow the business over the coming years offering a range of co-ordinated services to our contractor client base”.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016


Claims Consultant and Contract Manager Cillian O'Connell talks about relocating from London to Canada to work on a major power transmission project, and the opportunities the country has to offer. Click here! https://www.academia.edu/26948011/Cilian-O-Connell-Canada-markwoodwardsmith.pdf

Friday, 3 June 2016

Group Managing Director Mark Woodward-Smith

PRINCE'S TRUST: Group Managing Director Mark Woodward-Smith, former Young Ambassador Tomas Dirse and Systech's Angela Baker and Richard Gayton recently attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace to mark the 40th anniversary of The Prince's Trust, continuing our support for the charity.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Systech International | Prince Trust | Mark Woodward Smith

Today is very important to keep up with everything, especially in the business world. Time changes almost everything; therefore, if you are step up in front of the others, the success will be there. But, today, beside the good work of the company, there are many other things which are so important to pay attention to. The great rating as a company, the relation with the employees, the attention on upgrading their skills, care for the environment and others are critical to being one of the best companies in the country, region or even better, internationally.

There are many funding organizations that are a good start that may help your company to be a socially responsible company that will take care of the environment and improvement of social factors in a country where it is located. And belief me; this is very important because companies that enjoy this rating is desirable companies. An organization that is worth mentioning and to say something more is The Prince Trust, an organization that has her origins ever since 1976 when The Prince of Wales decided that he must do something that will help the young people in the United Kingdom to improve their lives and get the opportunities they need so much. Therefore, to fulfill his commitment he founded the organization that even today goes after his steps.

Today, forty years after, on their anniversary this organization is happy to say that over than 825 000 young people are living a happier and fuller life due to the help they give to them in the moments when they needed at most. This organization manages to fulfill all this thanks to funding from donations the good people and companies are given as a contribution to this whole process.
This year, on the occasion of the forty anniversary of the founding of this company, is part Systech International, a company that is aiming to raise additional 1 million pounds and help the organization to reach her aims. One of the founders of the company, Mark Woodward-Smith, along with the director Richard Gayton attended the traditional lunch, hosted by Systech International, of the years Prince Trust “Million Pound Challenge”.

Systech International is a company that is international leader specialized in civil engineering, commercial management, power, oil, planning and scheduling, legal, visualizations, training, claims management, risk management, transportation and nuclear areas. The very good thing about this company is the opportunities they give to the young people, which are why, are very appreciated by the Price Trust organization, since that is what they are fighting for. The new technology they are using is helping them to add value to everything they do. The very appreciated is, of course, the visualization team which is part of the company since they are preparing high impact animations that are helping to have a perfect flow of the project delivery.

In this company, there is a team of professionals in each field that guarantee that every project they work on will be done by care, by budget and most importantly, on time. Linking Systech International with this organization is a pretty good job and certainly is something that makes the company more coveted and valued by society. Young people will receive will and hope that there is justice in the world and that one day they will get what they deserve. A number of talents will get the opportunity to break out of the area and contribute to creating a better environment. So if you have an opportunity, follow their example and donate.

Monday, 21 March 2016

5 amazing tactics that you never know....- Mark Woodward Smith

Here are some tips that will help you grow:

Focus well
The focus is always a good thing because it helps you keep an eye on the details and find amazing solutions that can lead to business growth.

Distinguish between traction and growth

Many entrepreneurs equate growth with traction, but actually, we are talking about different stages of the life of a company. What you need to do first is to do something that will make your name well known. However, beware, you must not allow this to be in the short term and to cheat your customers because only quality will provide sustainability.

Carefully select your team
The team that will work is one of the tactics that will lead to the growth of your business. To have beside you, people who will be committed to working at least approximately, how much you are, is a huge success. Well-educated workers who have experience and are experts in their field contribute much to the success and growth of the business. With creativity, they find new solutions for each project and help the results to be positive, with lower costs and of course, satisfied customers who would return to cooperate with you. Mark and Stephen are extremely satisfied in this regard because they have an exceptional team of top professionals in their area of work.

It is unable to start a business and expect that it will only be settled and all of a sudden, you will become successful. To excel, you must follow the trends, technology, and can customize any changes in your setting and market. So in the end and growth is change, so it would be good to get used to it, isn’t it?

Analyze risks 
The risks are always around, so better to take care of them and not leave anything to chance. Many times, Stephen has mentioned them that as a good thing in any business, although sometimes it may burn us. Nevertheless, thanks to them, we are always awake, monitor the market and developments on it, and achieve success.

Find the above recommendations of  Mark Woodward Smith and Stephen Rayment and use your ideas and creativity smart, and the results will be inevitable.