Ladies and gentlemen
1. Good Morning and welcome to today’s SCAL Productivity Conference with the theme “Managing Construction Productivity through Better Planning”.
2. First of all I would like to welcome our overseas speakers. I understand that you all are no strangers to Singapore, nevertheless thank you for making a special trip back for this conference and the masterclass tomorrow.
PRODUCTIVITY IN CONSTRUCTION
3. The construction sector has often been singled out as a low productivity sector, lagging behind other industries. However in recent years we have managed to raise our productivity, with annual site productivity improving from 0.3 percent in 2010 to about 2 percent per year from 2014 to 2016. This is on track to the government’s goal of 2 to 3 percent average annual growth by 2020 under the Construction Productivity Roadmap.
4. The government’s push over the past few years is for the adoption of new construction methods such as pre-fabricated, pre-finished volumetric construction, or PPVC, and mass engineered timber, or MET. The tightening local workforce and foreign worker policies have also driven industry to adopt time saving processes, for example the use of biometrics for site assess, new machineries and equipment, and adoption of infocomm technology, or IT to enhance efficiency and safety, with lesser reliance on manpower, particularly foreign labour.
SCAL PRODUCTIVITY REPORT
5. Last year, SCAL initiated a study on construction productivity in collaboration with the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or SCCCI. The objective was to deep-dive into the key drivers for productivity in the construction sector, and see where new and valuable dimensions for productivity improvements could be addressed. With that, we hope to be able to provide practical recommendations for construction firms, government and stakeholders across the construction value chain to raise productivity.
6. Today, we are pleased to present the report of the study as a commemorative publication in celebration of SCAL’s 80th Anniversary this year. It is quite a comprehensive report and has
some wide-ranging recommendations. We are also pleased to have the principal author of the book, Professor George Ofori, to give us more details of the study, findings and recommendations. In particular, Prof Ofori will highlight the importance of effective measurement to facilitate productivity improvement.
RAISING PRODUCTIVITY THROUGH PROJECT MANAGEMENT
7. The emphasis for today’s conference is project planning and project management. The productivity study has recommended that construction companies need to enhance the quality of project management systems and procedures, using advanced project management software, identify good productivity-enhancing practices and share them among their project managers.
8. We are privileged to have Mr Alan Midgley, who chaired the development of the excellent book “Guide to Good Practice in the management of time in complex projects” published by the Chartered Institute of Builders, or CIOB, UK, to cover key aspects of project management, and also conduct a masterclass tomorrow.
9. Also sharing with us his perspective on work readiness to maximise productivity, a concept called workface planning, is Professor Stephen Kajewski from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. We also welcome Dr Nguyen Thi Qui to tell us all about lean construction.
10. I sincerely hope that you will gain valuable insights and leave today’s conference full of ideas, enthusiasm and passion for better project planning and management to improve productivity in your company. For those of us who are attending tomorrow’s masterclass, it is a unique opportunity and I trust you will find it beneficial.
PRODUCTIVITY AND INNOVATION AWARDS (PIA) 2017
11. Last year SCAL launched the Productivity and Innovation Awards, or PIA, with the aim to generate fresh ideas from the ground-up to raise productivity through innovation. We attracted close to 30 entries of which 10 finalists were showcased during the Singapore Construction Productivity Week, or SCPW, in October. The top 3 winners were decided through assessment by a panel of judges and public voting during SCPW.
12. I am pleased to announce that applications for PIA 2017 is now open. We call upon our members to encourage their employees to submit their applications and stand a chance to showcase their innovative creations during SCPW 2017 to be held on 24 to 26 October this year. The top 3 winners will be awarded trophies and attractive cash prizes. Closing date for applications is 15 August 2017.
13. Before I close, I would like acknowledge and express my heartiest gratitude to our Sub-committee on Productivity and Technology, chaired by Mr Dominic Choy, SCAL’s Second Vice President.
14. My special thanks also go to SCCCI and other supporting organisations, the Building and Construction Authority, BCA, and the Construction Industry Joint Committee, CIJC. I am also grateful to our supporting partners, e2i and Workforce Singapore, WSG, as well as our sponsors.
15. This year, SCAL celebrates its 80th Anniversary. It is timely for us to play a greater role leading the industry to the future. Productivity is a key factor. While we adopt new technologies and construction methods, we also need to address how processes can be improved, and minimise duplication, rework and delays. We need to work with government and other stakeholders, and only then will we have a holistic approach to productivity improvement in construction.
16. On this note, I wish all of you a fruitful and enriching time at the conference and masterclass.
17. Thank you.