A weatherproof tent to enable meter operators to beat the rain; a new safety system for working at height and a pedestrian-friendly site signage system were among the winning ideas in Amey’s Dragons’ Den style challenge.
Teams from the network of contract improvement groups in the company’s utilities & defence division were invited to develop their own innovative solutions to their everyday challenges.
More than 60 ideas were submitted, ranging from software solutions to reduce the amount of paperwork used on site; devices to detect the presence of electricity in flooded cellars; through to energy saving ideas.
A dozen ideas were then shortlisted and presented to a panel of ‘Dragons’ headed up by Dan Holland, managing director of Amey’s utility & defence division, and Denise Massey, managing director of the Energy Innovation Centre.
After a day of presentations, three ideas were shortlisted for immediate development.
Amey’s energy metering team developed a pop-up tent that will enable meter operators to continue working in the rain and avoid the need to cancel customer appointments.
A team from Amey’s Severn Trent Water account developed ‘SAM’ the safe access manager – a system of signs that feature ‘life-sized’ images of real Amey staff to direct pedestrians safely around work sites.
The team from the power major projects division developed ‘the base’ – a system to keep operatives safe when working at height on sub-station projects.
Dan Holland said: “Our network of contract improvement groups meet throughout the year to drive innovation from the grass roots up. I never cease to be amazed by the quality of their ideas so we wanted to give them a chance to take these to the next level.
“The results on the day were outstanding and although we chose three projects to prioritise, we are looking at how we can develop all of the ideas presented, whether we do that in-house or with the help of partners from industry.”
Denise Massey from the Energy Innovation Centre added: “I was astounded by the quality of ideas and the amount of development that had already gone into them. Teams had looked at how to improve safety, customer service and quality as well as how they can operate more efficiently.
“It is really exciting to see such a level of enthusiasm and commitment to drive continual improvement. The Energy Innovation Centre will be working with Amey to develop these ideas with our partners.”