CW Expert Interview | Samantha Rowles on Serco's one operator model

The growth operations & enablement director at Serco Middle East talks about the adoption of one operator model for projects

In this episode of CW Expert Interviews series, Construction Week's digital editor, Ranju Warrier is joined by Samantha Rowles, Growth Operations and Enablement Director at Serco Middle East.

Rowles talks exclusively about the one operator model to both consult and deliver a project, as she explains the significance of its adoption.

In the post-COVID world, construction stakeholders are looking at cost-savings, while maintaining similar levels of quality and services for their projects.

Explaining the model, Rowles says: "A client might hire a consultant to do a piece of work where they review their organisation and look for ways that they can potentially find efficiencies, and a consultant would put together a plan on a set of recommendations."

However, she adds that the client would separately procure an operator such as Serco Middle East, to come on board and move ahead with the plan and deliver on those sets of recommendations.

Now there are three major benefits of the one operator model. Rowles explains: "The first one being that you get a solution that works and will deliver on its promise. [Secondly] you hold the same party to account, giving clients certainty of delivery and success."

She adds: "And [finally] you also drive operational time cost efficiencies, using just one party because it's only one performance cycle and the knowledge that has been gained in the consultancy stage, drive seamlessly through to delivery. So it is a much better [and] more efficient model to use one company for both consult and deliver."

Samantha Rowles, Growth Operations and Enablement Director at Serco Middle East [image: Supplied]

Talking about the significance of having one company to both consult and deliver a project now more than ever due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, Rowles explains: "It really does come in out of COVID-19, [where] clients are absolutely looking for cost savings and efficiencies and they need them delivered quickly."

Talking about Serco Middle East work during the pandemic, Rowles says: "Throughout COVID-19, we have been delivering consultancy work for some of our key clients in both the UAE and Saudi Arabai using what we call our Serco maturity assessment model. This delivers a review of our clients' organisation's policies, procedures, and sets off in their operations and maintenance space."

She adds: "What we produce for our clients have been robust reports and recommendations of areas for improvement and tangible identification of where savings can be made [for] those quick wins and transformational. We have been able to drive efficiencies for our clients, and also improve and adapt customer end-user experience of facilities and experiences at the same time. So that's been really key."

According to Rowles, the impacts of COVID-19 has "hurt" the sentiments of the construction stakeholders, which has created a lack of "time or the money to pay a consultant to do an expensive piece of work and produce a set of recommendations and a plan".

She concludes: "This model allows operators to do a consultancy piece of work to achieve a real plan and a real set of recommendations by the experts that can then be delivered, seamlessly achieving the client's objectives much more quickly and efficiently in a post-COVID world."

For more details, watch the interview on our YouTube channel under the Expert Interview series. 

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