Case Study : Dawnus Construction

Dawnus Construction is an international civil engineering and building company, established in 2001 and operating in a range of sectors including Nuclear New Build, operations and decommissioning, particularly on Anglesey.

Dawnus employs approximately 50 fulltime equivalent workers in the UK nuclear sector, which Kevin Lucas estimates accounts for a relatively small amount of their total business turnover – around 5%. His initial motivations for getting involved in NSAN were commercial, as he describes:

“We were being asked quality questions when we tendered for jobs and it kept coming up – client requirements were a major factor. We could see that it was a growing requirement so we got in early to make sure we were on board. The theory was that it would help us to win some business.”

Since joining NSAN, Dawnus have engaged fully in the Regional Steering Groups and have regular engagements with ther Operations Manager Alli Hunt. They have also put staff who are used on nuclear sites through the Triple Bar (Existing Sites) qualification.

The Benefits of Membership

Commercial Benefits

It is possible to identify direct commercial benefits from membership of NSAN; at least one of Dawnus Construction’s major Site Licence Company clients scores 1% of their Pre-Qualification Questionnaires to Skills Academy membership, and based on this proxy we estimate 0.5% of their nuclear turnover could be attributable to that relationship. Based on the value of that one relationship, Skills Academy membership appears to have contributed approximately £45,000 to Dawnus’ turnover over the last 12 months.

Productivity Benefits

Kevin also believes that use of the Triple Bar (Existing Sites) product will lead to time savings for workers going onto different sites.

“The current benefit is that with Triple Bar under your belt you don’t have to go through full induction on a number of sites – in theory it could save you two hours of a person’s time whenever they go onto site…you only need a host brief telling you about the particulars of a specific site.”

So far the situation Kevin describes above has arisen once, and could lead to savings of approximately £60 every time a worker who has previously worked on a Triple Bar accepting site accesses another such site (though this could be either as little as £30 or as much as £100). Presently Dawnus are able to access Triple Bar courses for free through the Site Licence Company, but they may in future have to pay for them. In the latter case Triple Bar would be cost neutral with the cost of courses roughly the same as the time savings. Kevin comments:

“Depending on workload and assuming our current turnover is maintained, we’d be benefitting from this at least twice a month.”

Assuming (conservatively) that half of the courses are free to Dawnus and the other half are paid for by them, this would be a future productivity saving of £720 per annum.

Insight Benefits

Kevin believes that:

“There’s indirect benefits of engaging with NSAN it’s hard to quantify… our clients expect us to be engaging with NSAN and our competitors do it – it’s a way of engaging with our clients at the level they want and need.  Much of that insight there’s nowhere else we’d be able to get it – for example the networking, masterclasses, and training opportunities.”

Kevin has observed that the Operations Manager has provided valuable marketing insight which has catalysed Dawnus to bid for work they would not have found for themselves – in some cases successfully.

In total, Kevin estimates that Alli makes a similar contribution in terms of sourcing tenders as 0.05 FTE of a senior member of the marketing team and the value of her sector insight has been calculated on this basis. In reality, this also means that the value of sales attributable to NSAN may be very conservative, as some of Dawnus’ nuclear turnover would not have been identified without NSAN insight.

Kevin believes that there are a number of areas where NSAN has provided insight which have not yet impacted on their bottom line or capability:

Membership of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear appears to be associated with real commercial benefits for its members which can exceed the costs of membership substantially.

While the amount of time invested by this business is already substantial, they believe that as they understand and can utilise their relationship with NSAN more, the returns will increase.

Costs of Membership

Dawnus make an investment in membership of NSAN, both in terms of cash, and in terms of officer time attending meetings both with Skills Academy staff and with other Skills Academy member organisations. Time spent reviewing information from Regional Manager Alli Hunt and speaking with her comprises approximately one day per month of Kevin’s time and another day of the HR Manager’s time.  In assessing the ROI for Dawnus these costs have been taken into account.  For more detailed information on this case study, please download the Value of a Long-Term Relationship report.