Tom Andrews – ENS
John Davy – IFS
I first met Tom a few years ago when working with Eve Trakway (a temporary Road company) see EVE Trakway for detail. I would like to use Tom as an example of what the IFS ethos all about. The relationship started when Tom came over to take a look at the Eve operation and see if it would convert over to working in Australia. The principle was good and there was no reason that this could not be turned into a success. There was even a potential contract in place with Australian Railways that would kick start the project straight away. A lot of work got done that in the end was to come to no end. The downfall came as a result of internal politics within Australian rail and nothing to do with the enthusiasm of the players concerned to get the project working.
There then followed a period of three years when other items were tried and pushed forward, that once again for various reasons were unable to get going. The relationship though remained strong with a determination on both sides to do something at some time. It was not a matter of living in one another’s pockets, more a case of the odd gentle tap on the shoulder to keep in touch and aware of each other’s surrounding’s. Always in mind was to seek the opportunity that would bond the arrangement.
In 2010 Tom came across an interesting new technology that fitted with his core industry of telecoms infrastructure and installations. A new system called Geostrut was emerging from US Company ACTR. Tom made some enquiries and began a testing programme with ACTR dealing with Craig Barker. Tom and Craig worked with a view to launching the system in Australia and Asia. The Geostrut system is a carbon fibre mast construction that competes head on with current monopoles standardly made from Steel or Concrete. Just one of the advantages Geostrut has against competitive systems is the logistical saving on costs of install. A 6m section of Geostrut can be lifted by a single man, which clearly would be impossible in Concrete or Steel. It does not take too much imagination to realise the reduction in transport and plant required to put the Geostrut masts in place. Tom believes it offers up to a 90% saving against traditional methods.
Was Geostrut to be the acorn from which the Oak tree might grow?
Our conversations began to address Geostrut at the end of 2010, but the timing and circumstances we not right for IFS in the UK. A year later on the situation has changed. Life is like that you will understand! The Acorn is indeed now a sapling. More details will follow soon on this exciting new project that will bring together IFS in the UK, MEFAS in the Middle East, Entire Network Solutions Australia and most importantly ACTR the manufacturer of the GeoStrut Carbon fibre Mast System
I think this is a great example of what International Facilities and Sourcing is all about. We make connections and try to understand the full value of the people we work with. We are patient, but active at the same time. We always keep in touch and communicate. The aim is always to make the best of the opportunity as and when it arises. It may not be the first possible option, but we will stay with it until we either find it or agree with our partners to take another course. Keeping in touch…. It’s what it’s all about