Knowledge and innovation key to Access Business Excellence Award wins

Friday, 9 December 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Having collated three awards at the prestigious National Business Excellence Awards 2011, Access Engineering created yet another record by being conferred the Gold award for the second consecutive year as the ‘Best Knowledge Integrator’.

The NBEA, held annually, is organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) and hails businesses that have uplifted stakeholders and their businesses on the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental facets, while developing the nation in the macro concept via socio-economic platforms.

“What is evidenced by being adjudged ‘Best Knowledge Integrator’ for the second time is that Access Engineering has unwaveringly continued to etch its promise of ensuring that the best knowledge, innovation and IT is integrated into our projects, most of which are mega infrastructure projects that have a larger permeating impact on the citizens of Sri Lanka,” said Access Managing Director Christopher Joshua, who accepted the esteemed accolades.

Joining him to accept the three awards that evening were COO Rohana Fernando and Director Shevantha Mendis of Access Engineering.

“If you just observe the projects we have completed in the recent past, like the Batticaloa Integrated Water Supply Project, the Southern Highway Project, Sangupiddy Bridge and the dredging of the Dutch Canal, the impact is on larger segments of the community, where we have integrated some of the most sophisticated knowhow, knowledge and skill in the country.”

Access Engineering has undoubtedly etched an indelible mark in the construction and engineering sectors, retaining its vision of being ‘The Foremost Business Enterprise in Value Engineering,’ pioneering innovating engineering solutions and construction methodologies and processes that have surely given the Sri Lankan industry fillip and upped the benchmarks in standards and quality excellence. This is yet another reason for the company winning consistently in the last four years in the construction sector.

“Undoubtedly the construction industry is seeing a boom and we are extremely proud to be a part of it. The massive development projects that are underway have given us avenues to showcase our prowess, by pioneering and driving construction initiatives that infuse world class inputs, competencies and specialty,” explained Joshua. “Being awarded the Runner-Up award in the Construction Category in 2011 therefore allows us to cascade what we have done even more into the future.”

Employing nearly 1,500 within a highly specialised and knowledge-fuelled team comprising over 150 professional engineers who thrive in a milieu of pioneering innovation, Access Engineering was also rewarded with a Merit award in the Extra Large Category, which fetes entities employing capital in excess of Rs. 2.5 billion and turnover for the year of more than Rs. 2.5 billion.

The comprehensive evaluation criteria included business and performance in 2010/2011, with Access posting Rs. 3.5 billion in turnover and profit after tax of Rs. 936 million, global reach, knowledge integration, corporate governance, technological investment, performance management, capacity building and CSR.

“We’ve always espoused the highest standards prevalent in governance, ethics, accountability and environmental consciousness,” stated Joshua, adding that that Access is acutely aware of the impact some of the infrastructure projects have had on the adjacent communities and hence, the company works with these communities extensively to minimise the impact and create awareness.

“Development always comes at a price, but that price must be beneficial to the communities we work with,” he opined pragmatically, giving kudos to his team, who he says comprises some of the best knowledge pools within the country.

“Winning these awards and being able to undertake some of the most challenging yet rewarding projects that will develop the infrastructure of this country considerably, is all due to this dynamic team, which we are extremely fortunate to have within our framework. Our team of engineers truly remain at the forefront of the civil engineering industry, giving us the expertise to venture into diversified areas including turnkey engineering solutions that encompass the entire gamut from design, to procurement, construction and commissioning of multi-disciplinary engineering projects.”

The NBEA, which recognises among other criteria the capacity created for economic growth and employment generation and well as building market competitiveness, infusing best practices and business excellence, judged Access Engineering on its myriad projects that encompass an expansive portfolio

Besides the Batticaloa Integrated Water Supply Project, which included a water treatment plant, storage facility, transmission and distribution network for over 250,000 people in post-tsunami settlement, being associated with Sri Lanka’s first expressway, the Southern Highway, is yet another example of pioneering initiatives.

The landmark Sangupiddy Bridge, a joint venture with Mabey Bridge Limited UK connecting the Jaffna Lagoon with Pooneryn, eases commuting between the peninsula and the mainland, while the dredging of the Dutch Canal, a facet within the Airport Expressway Project to mitigate flood risk and improve water flow, was completed using the company’s very own cutter suction dredger, a first in the local industry.

Current projects include the Dayata Kirula Road Project in the Anuradhapura District, Henamulla Housing Project comprising five 12-storey buildings housing 1,137 units in conjunction with the UDA to provide housing for underserved settlements in Colombo, the Mattala Airport Buildings and Road Project, renovation of the Unity Container Terminal in the Colombo Port, rehabilitation of roads in the Jaffna Peninsula and construction of the Grated Salinity Barrier across the Walawe River, which will supplement the Hambantota Water Supply Project that caters to 115,000 people.

Dialog Axiata remains one of Access Engineering’s larger private sector customers and currently the company has completed the backbone optical fibre network from Wadduwa to Matara to spur the introduction of NG telecommunication.

“What is synonymous with Access is that we are constantly looking towards improving our benchmarks and standards. To us, while we strive to maintain our status as the best in the industry, we also ensure that our product and service delivery are beyond the best. This makes us break boundaries, seek new horizons and fuel pioneering initiatives that obviously will benefit the Sri Lankan industry and our communities that remain highly integrated into the work we do. Excellence remains the foundation to our work.”

This is further augmented with the fact that Access Engineering, an ISO 9001 and 14001 certified company, possesses an unprecedented seven accreditations from ICTAD in various gradings of construction, is a major and specialist contractor for NCASL and has been conferred the status of an institute relegated with training engineers in the engineering charter for disciplines in design and construction by the Institute of Engineers of Sri Lanka.