Strategic Asset Management – How it works

Ellie went on the road with SAM to Modern Schools Exeter last week to see Lifecycle in action and talk to the team about their roles, the new structure and more. Mark O’Shea explains how his region operates and gives an insight into his role as a Strategic Asset Manager in the south.

Hi Mark, nice to catch up again after a few months. Can you tell us about how the new regions work for the SAM Team?

Mark O’Shea– My Region is 3. The SAM Portfolio is geographically spread. From the North Pole to Leeds you have Region 1 with Dan Earnshaw and Albert Roberts; there is Region 2 with Wayne Drury and Joanne Addis in the Midlands and the southern Region is 3 with me and John Matthews, covering healthcare and education projects.

East to West we cover Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich; that’s a 500-bed acute hospital with one of the busiest A&E departments in Britain. I’m the full time Strategic Asset Management lead on that one.

Next we have a mix of education projects, two school projects in Birmingham, one of which will move into Wayne’s region eventually. Next Swindon Schools is coming on stream pretty quickly, albeit with a slightly different scope to a healthcare site; more financial lifecycle planning oversight. Finally Modern Schools Exeter in the south west.

That’s operationally, but we look after Strategic Procurement too, working with partnered chiller, lighting, flooring and other companies to procure the best portfolio level replacements for our projects.

What is happening right now in your region that you can tell me about?

We’re about to commence the lifecycle planning works for two of the schools’ projects, which is quite significant. It must be financially accurate and risk averse. The project co is responsible for producing the lifecycle plans but we offer guidance, strategy and technical oversight. We go to the FM for their opinion on matters but ultimately, we perform the work.

Ideally this needs to be done by the end of the year. There are certain nuances about the contracts which we need to have an in-depth view of. We are doing the financial planning for Swindon Schools for the next 12 months. I’ll be going there shortly and have until October to get that box ticked with our M&E guru, Rawlings Simon. HCP Project Management have been delivering some lifecycle works there.

We have just finished the lifecycle annual planning for Transform Schools Birmingham. And then there is Queen Elizabeth, there’s always something going on there, very busy in general with lifecycle planning and variations, as well as preparing for a giant infrastructure project which the trust is going to be doing in the next 2-3 years.

You’ve taken on an Assistant Asset Manager, how is that going?

It’s good, John is smart and works hard. Our skill sets compliment each other well, he’s analytical, likeable and comfortable working autonomously, but at the same time we collaborate well on works between sites. I’m really pleased he’s come on board.

What are your own development plans now you’ve taken someone on?

I’m an engineer, about to submit my Incorporated Engineer accreditation, hoping that goes through. After that I’ll work to Chartered status which I want to achieve in the next three years. I intend to do more work with the Institute of Asset Management too. We need to attend their events and get ourselves out there. The learning curve since I joined HCP has been significant. I want to improve replacement strategies. We have a portfolio of schools’ projects of a similar age, with similar kit in them nationwide. We should be able to strategically procure and have an effective, uniform, replacement strategy.

For example, we have a relationship with a reliable lighting contractor, we use them to organise free design and plan replacement of entire schools at a time. Because the warranties are so long on the new lighting systems, we won’t need to in theory replace them again.

Best of luck with it all Mark, thank you for sharing.

 (Interviewer Ellie Rowland-Callanan, Marketing and Social Impact Lead)

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