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Strategic estate partnerships insight

2014 marks a 15 year strategic partnership with Sewell and BAE Systems, providing integrated project management and construction services at the Brough site. Over the course of the partnership, Sewell has delivered a range of projects with a value in excess of £40m. As the longest serving site manager currently at the Brough site, John Crichton shares his thoughts and experiences…

I joined Sewell Group as a joiner, 16 years ago, as part of the Construction Services division. I came to the Brough site initially to support the site activity with a small Sewell team. I worked  mainly as a Quantity Surveyor in addition to supervising the administration of the day works. 

As part of my annual performance review usual peer feedback, I asked staff at BAE to feedback on my performance; I was working as part of their team so it seemed the right thing to do. One comment really stuck in my mind, I suppose it sums up the way we deliver our estates services at BAE:

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with someone who I value as a colleague, a friend and someone you can trust.”

Peter Fish, MIET, Brough FM Engineering Manager, BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd.

This is why, in my opinion, we’ve continued to deliver a successful service partnership for 15 years for BAE. We deliver on our promises and we’re trusted. We’re not perfect, but we’re honest about what realistically can be achieved, how and within what timescales.

BAE is completely different to working on a standard construction site – its an aircraft factory after all, but some of the principles remain the same; health and safety is critical, as is working with your customer to keep them in the loop. Like the maintenance technicians in Sewell Facilities Management and the refurbishment works we carry out in Sewell Construction, at BAE we’re working on a live site, we’re working in and around people who have day jobs, so communication is key.

Commenting on the long term partnership with Sewell, Pete Fish said:

“Our partner contract base feels like part of our ‘extended family’ here at Brough, some of them having worked here for as many years as the BAE Systems staff. I hope that the Sewell team and its members such as John become as appreciated by their next clients as they have been here, not only by our FM Department but the vast array of site-based customers they have liaised directly with over the many years.”

“I think back to some of the more unusual works Sewell has helped us with and wonder where we’d get the support we’d need to do them again. To name a few; re-commissioning an airfield to fly jets, setting up 10,000-people family days with fun fairs and factory tours, community projects like the Goodwin Community Centre children’s playgrounds, factory and office refurbishments, and the response to night time service interruptions.”

“You never know, over the years Sewell may have learnt a few things from us here at Brough, so it could have been a true two-way benefit. Some of our corporate values are very similar leading to the same ideals and approaches.”