Creating an open innovation platform for Amey
Amey are the largest infrastructure services company in the UK. They work for public and regulated sector clients including local councils and transport providers to create better places for people to live, work and travel.
Amey’s clients were demanding more efficient services and reduced costs in response to public spending cuts. Our background working with both private and public sector clients made us the perfect partner to facilitate and meet these needs, resulting in an open innovation programme delivered for Amey.
How we helped
We started the project with an audit of existing services to identify where digital innovation could provide additional value or increase efficiency. From this we identified over 40 opportunities to optimise services through either better use of existing technology or to revolutionise the service being offered where data led innovation could be introduced.
When identifying these innovation opportunities, we were looking for both short term cost saving gains for Amey’s existing clients but also longer term opportunities to provide service improvements across the company as a whole. By meeting both of these requirements we were able to fund a series of open innovation challenges with both internal account and board level funding as well as additional buy in from infrastructure and public sector clients.
For projects that required larger scale infrastructure led solutions, we reached out to Amey’s key suppliers who were able to provide their invaluable knowledge and experience in implementing digital technology to help create innovative solutions. For smaller challenges which needed the most cutting edge technical innovation we reached out to the startup and SME community.
We worked on building internal processes and skills so that Amey could sustain an innovation programme independently in the long term. We also included a range of internal stakeholders in the initial round of challenges to ensure that teams knew the value which continuing the innovation would provide.
Opportunities to innovate
The challenges we took forward varied in both scale and budget from multi partner smart cities platforms encouraging collaboration in public works to small scale trials with SMEs improving public engagement with infrastructure services.
Amey went on to run successful SME trials through two of their clients Network Rail and Plymouth City Council with innovative tech companies Design for Social Change and JMG.
Off the back of the success of our initial trials Amey created a smart data and technology department headed up by the former IBM Head of Smart Cities, Rick Robinson, which continues to deliver digital innovation driving cost and efficiency savings across Amey’s services, and has become an integral part of their CSR policy.