‘Proud to deliver as promised to clients and BAM colleagues’
My name is Wendy Stewart, and I’m the head of Operational Finance for the UK and Ireland of BAM PPP. In that role I am responsible for managing the team that looks after the PPP projects that we build and then operate and maintain for the next 25 years.
We manage finance for a complex organisation
When I first joined BAM PPP in 2005, public-private partnerships (PPPs) were fairly new to the market and to myself. At the time, we were a team of four. Now we have grown to a ten-strong team and manage 50 entities, which include 20 PPP projects, 24 associated companies across the roads, education, justice and health sectors, two investment companies, two local education partnerships and two bidding companies.
On top of the day-to-day responsibilities related to running projects, our team produces the figures for the quarterly and annual financial reports. These figures are produced for reporting at the level of the business unit and operating company, and these go to the Group for consolidation in the annual report they produce for the shareholders.
Team spirit and dedication pay off in reliability and client satisfaction
For us, predictable performance is about doing what you said you would do, whether that is in terms of delivery for BAM PPP’s clients or our colleagues in the Group and our shareholders. Our colleagues in operations rely on us for the information that allows them to have their relationship with the client. I’m proud to say that customer feedback in the UK recently showed that 90% was happy to recommend us and would work with us again. The ability to understand what they need and to deliver what we promise was an important part of that.
Similarly, our colleagues in the Group need to be sure they can rely on us. Our success here depends largely on good organisation – everyone knows what is expected of them – and team spirit: we all know the deadlines and if one of us should be struggling for some reason the team will pick it up and help out where necessary.
Digitalisation and knowledge sharing take us even further
At the moment the business is looking at putting in a whole new accounting system that will make consolidation easier and information more reliable. Less of our work will be done manually, so the margin for error will be smaller. In terms of choosing such systems of automation, I believe we should work closely with other operating companies. By sharing knowledge and learning – in other words, scalable learning from each other – we can take predictable performance even further.