Whereas the economic news is almost universally poor, the news from the ToolKit customer base is consistently upbeat. And that is very good news for both us and our customers generally; we must be doing a few things right.
We found over the past year or so, since the introduction of our Enhanced Support Package, that customers have taken more and more training and consultancy from us. This has led to better CDM management processes in the larger accounts with better management information. The integration of project work into 'structure' based assets has led to a far better 'organisation' of management information. Authoritative audits across departments (from ToolKit data) have led to significant 'revelations' that can now have targeted attention.
The integration of the health & safety file between disparate internal and external parties can be easily achieved. We have a lot to celebrate with the joint successes in some very prestigious companies. Joined Up Working is beginning to move forward at last.
Speakers will include Fred Robinson our resident 'consultant' and former assistant director at the London Borough of Hounslow. Fred brings a wealth of experience to the discussion including the purchasing and implementation of ToolKit for the local authority.
We hold our MARM approximately annually to allow major users of ToolKit - CDM and Asbestos - to meet with us to discuss our product development plans and customers' wish lists. With so many changes taking place in our major accounts, we have the opportunity to pass on our experiences to the user base so they too can benefit from them. Major users are aware that our current development cycle is due to be completed over the next months with new product and many new opportunities for users. The June 09 meeting is therefore important in that it will allow us and our users the opportunity to flesh out any issues that need to be addressed.
We look forward to a good turnout of senior managers and senior ToolKit administrators to gain their views on how we should direct development to meet their changing recessionary needs. This is a topic which is unlikely to go away in the short term and one where we believe we can help. So please, book your place early, because we have limited accommodation and want all the main players to have the opportunity to attend this free event.
It is with great regret that we have decided to postpone our Annual Conference scheduled for 12 May 09. The economic downturn has apparently had its effect; the pre-bookings at the end of March were too low to justify the event. We are considering an alternative option for the Autumn and will let you know accordingly.
I have had the opportunity of meeting and speaking with a number of senior HSE staff over the past three months. One of the responses I have received is from Emma Davies who, as you may be aware heads up the CDM Policy Unit. She makes two references which we have been involved in; the competence issue and the strategic forum that we attended earlier in the year.
"You [Ai Solutions] raised the issue about HSE's approach to CDM 2007. Continued implementation of CDM 2007 is central to our Programme for delivering target improvements in construction health and safety. A considerable amount of work, particularly in delivering the key messages, has been carried out since the launch of the Regulations in April 2007 and work continues in this area.
Of particular importance is co-operation and co-ordination (see page 4 of the CDM 2007 Approved Code of Practice (ACOP)) and competence (see chapter on Competence and Training on page 45 of the ACOP). A lot of the principles that underpin CDM 2007 are mirrored in the Strategic Forum's Construction Commitments."
The competence issue is of material interest to Ai Solutions in that we have developed a number of innovative modules in our ToolKit CS product to help managers manage this issue. We have been discussing this with our customers and the HSE since before the 2007 iteration of CDM. We have reported on meetings here with Richard Boland when he held Emma's current post in 2007.
More recently, Richard has highlighted the continuing need for competence management to "ensure that contractors are performing to standards laid down in their contracts at the start of projects". Sharing information across organisations - through Joined Up Working - is just one of the very important mechanisms available to all parties involved in CDM Management and a constant theme from the HSE, our successful clients and ourselves. How else can managers ensure their objectives are being fulfilled?
While Ai Solutions endeavour to join up working across London, one of the team will endeavour to run across London on 26th April 2009. Nick Clay from the customer support and training team takes part in his first marathon since year 2000.
Not content with just taking part, Nick has set his goal to break the three hour barrier. Lesser mortals would have settled for four hours. Nine years older and maybe wiser, Nick is optimistic. He is raising money for two charities, Macmillan cancer support and Help 4 Heroes.
Please help Nick raise money for these charities, where your donations large or small are all greatly appreciated. Please use the links below to make a donation to the charity of your choice, thank you.
For Help 4 Heroes: http://www.justgiving.com/nicklondon2009
For Macmillan cancer support: http://www.justgiving.com/nickclaylondon2009
We regularly receive updates from our customers and contacts about changes to legislation, the latest rumours and so on. We try to be selective with what we pass on and acknowledge our sources as appropriate. If you have information of general interest in the Health & Safety, and particularly, CDM and Asbestos Management arena, then please let us know by e-mail if possible.