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Construction industry

Jacobs: Gaining a new standard for repeat business.

ISO 44001 certification services for truly collaborative client relationships

Key facts

Jacobs is one of the largest, most diverse providers of technical, professional and construction services

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  • 02.


    Technical, professional and construction

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    Long-term client relationships

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Client challenge

Located in over 400 locations globally, with more than 77,000 employees, Jacobs is one of the largest, most diverse providers of technical, professional and construction services. This covers all aspects of architecture, engineering and construction, operations and maintenance, as well as scientific and specialty consulting.

With some 95% of the company’s work being repeat business, Jacobs focuses on developing effective, long-term relationships with its clients, rather than short-term, transactional contracts, which are often typical in this world. Jacobs saw the ISO 44001 standard for collaborative business relationships as an opportunity to continue to do the right thing for its clients, employees, communities and supply chains. The company asked us to support with certification assessment as a technical authority. Jacobs was keen to find new ways to work openly, improve innovation and manage business risks, while delivering value for money.

How we helped

Our support built on solid industry knowledge and experience of our client’s world. Jacobs had already appointed us to assess its operations against quality (ISO 9001), environmental (ISO 14001) and occupational health and safety (OHSAS 45001) management system standards. This helped us to better understand Jacobs’ challenges in effectively implementing the ISO 44001 requirements. We worked alongside the global leader to put the standard’s requirements into context, before carrying out the necessary assessment for certification.

ISO 44001 provided us with a recognised framework to enable us to strengthen our approach and gradually re-shape attitudes..

Andy Brechin

Head of Quality, Jacobs, Buildings & Infrastructure Europe

Client insight

Jacobs shares some tips for organisations looking to implement ISO 44001.

1. One-size doesn’t necessarily fit all

No two projects are the same. Translate the standard’s requirements to align with your organisation’s values and needs.

2. It’s more than business-as-usual

ISO 44001 challenges organisations to re-evaluate how they approach delivery in the context of collaborative working. It imposes requirements on organisations that go significantly beyond business-as-usual activities, driving them towards performance excellence … What we were required to do was reshape and reinforce existing practices, rather than reinvent the wheel on how we operated.

3. Don’t review the superficial costs

For our significant projects, the benefits – both hard and soft of applying ISO 44001 – far outweigh the superficial ‘cost’ of supporting and developing collaborative working principles to achieve and maintain certification.

4. Choose the right certification body for you

Make sure they have experience of your industry and are recognised as a reputable provider. The  right body is key to helping you put the requirements of the standard into context so they can meet your organisational needs.

Business benefits

Jacobs’ collaborative business relationship (CBR) management system and ISO 44001 certification provides:

  • a framework for building longer-term relationships, with clients as valued partners and people at the heart of the business
  • a formalised, consistent approach to collaboration, shaping a level of consistency across project delivery
  • a differentiator when bidding for contracts
  • a means to helps drive organisational strategy
  • a way to continually improve in pursuit of performance excellence.

By implementing long-term framework arrangements and agreements with its stakeholders,

Jacobs is ensuring the principles of ‘joint working’ and the requirements of the standard are applied. These agreements help Jacobs to:

  • shape effective governance structures on key projects
  • clearly identify objectives, needs and outcomes of the project for the parties involved
  • define value for the project and for the parties involved
  • apply shared systems, procedures and controls.

Other benefits encompass the areas of value creation, knowledge and communications, business continuity and exit strategy.

Powerful results

Jacobs can build a role as a trusted advisor by adopting joint delivery structures, selecting the best people regardless of employing organisation and driving the development of innovative, less conventional solutions, improvement techniques and value-enhancing practices.

The Queensferry Crossing, spanning the Forth Estuary in Scotland, was one of the first projects to optimise the new collaborative principles. The approach brought together Jacobs with joint venture partner Arup, Transport Scotland and the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) consortium, who needed to deliver against a highly challenging construction programme. Common goals and targets were always identified and worked towards. The completed scheme was delivered significantly under budget, incorporating innovative solutions across design and construction phases. The scheme’s success and its collaborative approach was recognised as a Notable Entry in the Chartered Quality Institute Awards.

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