‘I sincerely believe that One BAM is the right way forward for BAM’
‘I sincerely believe that One BAM – which for the Tender Desk means an integrated and structural approach to tenders – is the right way forward for BAM.’ Saskia Gambon, legal counsel at Royal BAM Group isn’t one to beat around the bush. Which ties in perfectly with the proactive ownership she likes to display. ‘My aim is to add value in identifying and controlling risks in our tenders.’
How long have you been working for BAM?
‘I started as a legal counsel in May 2008 and spent the first seven years working on tenders at BAM PPP. After that I moved on to the Group, where I am now mainly working for the Tender Desk.’
What is your role at the Tender Desk?
‘Our focus is on the integral assessment of tenders within the stage gate procedure. In other words: we want to ensure the different disciplines look at projects from a broader perspective than just their own specialisms. Risks may vary from one project to the next and control measures may be contractual, but also technical or organisational. This is how the Tender Desk looks at tenders as we work towards a weighted decision and an advice to the Executive Board.’
‘We like to be as close to the business as possible and for this reason we have recently visited the operating companies. This “meeting of minds” has allowed the Tender Desk to further optimise the stage gate procedure. This has been a series of intensive, highly valuable and very energising sessions, which have helped me forward in the discussion with the operating companies about how we can do things better.’
More similarities than differences
‘One part of the One BAM process involves taking steps towards a uniform tender process in all BAM countries and making improvements where necessary. People are often quick to assume there are cultural differences, but once you get down to business, the similarities between countries easily outnumber the differences.’
Saskia’s involvement with the construction industry stems from her background: before she took up law, she studied civil engineering at TU Delft.
Why the switch from technical to legal studies?
‘Making that choice is something I have always been on the fence about, and in fact I began studying law even when I was still in Delft. During my graduation I began with an internship in an engineering firm. Then, after my graduation, I worked for a project management agency, where I discovered how much I enjoyed construction law. And so I ended up specialising in that field. Practical experience in many disputes and arbitrations has since then given me an insight into how things can go wrong – valuable experience that I could then put to use for BAM. At the Legal department we work from the premise that “prevention is better than cure”. This is something we keep in mind with every tender we assess.’