Building and public works sector is not deemed to be the epitome of marketing tools, uncharacteristically often still an approach based on the simple filing of marks and logos. Former subsidiary construction group Amec Spie took its independence last September in a LBO (leveraged business resumption) involving 78 executives to Barclays Private Equity France investor, Spie Batignolles is figure of exception. In its strategic plan five years accompanying the takeover of its own destiny, the fourth French actor of the BTP Vinci, Bouygues and Eiffage table on a new approach to its relations to the customers to achieve its objective of turnover of EUR 1 billion in 2007, compared to EUR 800 million of taken orders in 2003 and 730 million in 2002.
To do this, the Group has created two brands totally "packaged": Concertance for the conduct and implementation of projects and Présance with an "a" instead of the "e" in the maintenance of sites and buildings (see box). This policy was born of a reflection on a wrong committed site on behalf of CERN, the European Organization for nuclear research in Geneva, who hunts the elementary constituents of matter in its laboratories located straddling the Franco-Swiss border. The construction of the future LHC (Large Hadron Collider), the powerful Proton Collider which inherit the physicists in 2007, Spie Batignolles was responsible for redeveloping parts of the huge underground tunnel of 27 kilometres in circumference, previously used to accelerate electrons and positrons (for electron of antimatter). Before you install new scientific equipment of the LHC, needed particular expand two huge caves which contain the particle detectors and break into new sections of tunnel. However, the June 1998 contract provided that some civil works should start before even the completion of previous experiments on the electron and Positron. Quickly, physicists and the MGB men came to interfere, 100 metres underground. In addition, CERN made very many changes to the contract, on time and the volume of work.
The concept of "cost-objective".
"We then proposed to redefine the project from scratch in creating a team gathering all stakeholders", says Olivier Colin, General Manager of the subsidiary Spie Batignolles TPIC, in charge of major projects. After a year of negotiations, a rider to the contract is signed in September 2000, introducing the concept of a "cost" end-of-site established by common agreement between the contracting authority and the company. To quantify, the latter decides to play total transparency detailing the client costs, overhead expenses and even its profit margin, and giving it access to its accounts, so that it can control spending. At the same time, has implemented a system of bonus/malus: If for example end-of-site, the actual cost is less than the cost, 70 of the gain amounted to Spie Batignolles and 30 at CERN. The site, which has just ended, finally generated savings of 12 on the objective price.
Now sold under the brand name Concertance, the method, since, been industrialized. "In the conduct of a project, the maximum potential for value creation is very up tender", during the design phase by the offices of studies or architects working for the client, says marketing director, Jean-Claude Bailly. Where the proposal of Spie Batignolles to help the client to design the best book at the best price with its own analytical tools, participating at this stage in the definition of the project. Important: the company obtains for this first work, because once the completed definition phase, the client is free to place the order... to a competitor.
But if Spie Batignolles is selected, its project leader even one led by the first step event, this time to perform the contract of implementation based on the rules of transparency, including accounting, initiated with CERN.
"Since 2000, we signed 53 projects Concertance representing a turnover of EUR 250 million," reflects Maurice Guillou, Deputy Director-General of the construction group. Clients (l ' Oréal, Renault, PSA, Schlumberger...), "get with our method a decrease in the cost of at least 20 and a reduction of the time." "As for us, identifies margins higher than 3.5 or 4 of turnover, either double or triple that what we do in our traditional approach and we don't do it on the back of the subcontractors since our approach means that we work in partnership with them."
The reluctant public sector
This first Fort success and thanks, inter alia, the use of tools of exploration in support of the mark (guide of sale, film based on testimonies of customers, commercial segmentation for targeting the likely to be interested, prospect survey conducted by the independent firm Drucker Research Europe...), Spie Batignolles intends to achieve 200 million euros of turnover in 2007 under the banner Concertance, against 100 million last year.
The group is aware of some limitations, however: on the diplomatic front, the project leaders must explain to architects and design offices that it is not to evict them, particularly in France where these professions jealously defend their prerogatives. If industrial customers quickly understand the message they already have often used to work in partnership with their main suppliers , the public sector is more reluctant, having the habit of choosing the lowest after tender rather than associate a group of construction as early as the design phase. Maurice Guillou however note an evolution: "grooming of the public procurement Code authorizes a competitive dialogue process." In addition, Concertance will be perfectly adapted to future public-private partnership contracts.