card shuffleBWB Consulting's 'BWBie's have moved into first place. If our records are accurate this is the first time the company have sponsored a team in MERIT so this is very commendable performance with no historical experience to draw on. KBR's 'Highwaymen' stay second, 'Not That Team' slip to third from first, Jacobs' 'CH2M is now Jacobs' slip one to fourth, Atkin's India's 'INSIGNIA' rise three to fifth and Atkins UK's 'Famous 5' stay sixth. But only 131 points separate these top six and the next twenty or so are not that far behind. Given that the average improvement in this round was 13% with a standard deviation of 6% there are still great changes in scores taking place.

Head office staffing is important for company capability. Have you enough marketing effort to secure bid invites? Have you enough measurement staff to recover all you're due from each contract? Have you enough quality, health and safety staff to run efficiently? Have you enough estimators to prepare accurate bids? Are your project managers' experiences well suited to the jobs they are managing? Is your own labour or subcontractor staffing optimum?

These are all construction management issues.

But it is not only the construction side of marketing, estimating, running and completing projects that determine a successful company. The financial side is equally important.

The ratio of turnover to company capital is an important indicator and at a level of 9 times the company capital the questions start to be raised as to whether your company have enough assets to support its work load. If your work load is growing you may need more capital to support the bigger company. More capital comes from retained profits or borrowing. High levels of turnover to capital indicates that the company capital is working hard, as it should be. If the ratio is much lower, it indicates that the company capital is not working hard and your Finance Director needs to consider how to respond. Grow the company's turnover, invest the capital outside the company or reduce the capital. Your Finance Director is just as key a contributor to company success as the construction directors. Don't forget the shareholders, they own the company and are looking for their share of profits.

Teams that have won jobs with low bids will see the effects ripple through their accounts and their score will not rise as before and might even fall. The market may tighten and bidding success may become more difficult. Teams will make inappropriate judgements especially as the leaders start to defend their position and the chasers get more aggressive. So we expect changes. MERIT 2018 is far from settled. There are four more rounds left, and it's still all to play for and plenty of time for the top places to shuffle.


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The Sponsors Award rankings are Atkins India, KBR, Sweco, Fluor, AECOM, Kier, Mott MacDonald, Arup, Atkins UK, Taylor Woodrow/Vinci, Wood and Capita


Click here for the Full Sponsor's award table