I recently attended the UK road industry’s event, Traffex Seeing Is Believing. It had a great mix of supplier stands, conference and transport technology demos.
I enjoyed meeting customers and suppliers alike, and listening to the speakers. When reflecting on the themes I heard on the day, a quote from one of my all time favourite books repeatedly came to mind:
“There is more to you than this, if you have the courage to write it.” Those were the wise words of Friedrich in Little Women.
Neil Gibson, ADEPT and Buckinghamshire County Council, said that the UK road industry is “at the foothills in the development of technology”. By comparison and as an example, the retail industry is streets ahead (no pun intended!) with capturing and intelligently using data.
Neil went on to say that “we are not using technology creatively. It’s a cultural issue. We are not looking at how technology is used in other sectors and applying that knowledge.”
So, what can we do differently?
At CCS, we guide users of our commercial arrangements to focus on the outcomes they wish to achieve. Prescribing the technology to be used can limit innovation.
We suggest making sure that suppliers are aware of what you are trying to achieve before the procurement process starts, so they can think about innovative approaches. Suppliers can span several industries and public sector buyers can draw on this experience.
To use technology to get more for less, courage is required to write a different style of specification.
“There is more to you than this, if you have the courage to write it.”