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PERIOD 13:  "Already a Titanic battle at the top, but who will stay afloat the longest ?"

After 8 intensive and competitive Preliminary Rounds, an international line up prepared to do battle in the Enginuity 2022 Final, with teams from around the globe, and less than 200 points separating the teams going into the 6-round Final. Past champions AECOM and WSP USA were represented, along with Jacobs, Stantec, Network Rail and WSP New Zealand, who were all hoping to become first-time winners.

During the early years (periods 5 to 12) the teams pitted their management skills in competition against computer-simulated rivals, but in the final, known as the later years, they were in direct competition for work against each other, with just one additional simulated rival. Only the team able to cope the best under the increased pressure, and with the most effective and robust strategy for competing in this challenging global environment, would eventually emerge as the 2022, and 13th Enginuity Champions. Who would it be ?

And so to the action in the first round of the Final, and period 13 saw the immediate impact of the increased competition, as growth rates and procurement margins were generally down across the board, but there was movement throughout the table, and encouragingly every team were able to secure some new work, and just 14 points separate the top three teams. The leaders at the end of the Preliminary Rounds "Babble Royale" (Jacobs, UK/Ireland/USA/Saudi Arabia) slipped to 3rd, but moving in the opposite direction were the "Ministry of Wopus" (WSP New Zealand), who surged throught field and up 4 places to second with 9% growth, the best in the round, and only 3 points off the new pacesetters, "Whatever it takes" (Stantec, Italy), who put a big smile on the face of Uncle Stan as they fianally took top spot with 2,351 pts.

Further down the table there were other significant positional gains with both "Euston we have a problem" (Network Rail, UK) and the "The Wolves of Milano - The Return" (Jacobs, Italy/USA) both climbing 4 places, but the management team of "Stantogether" (Stantec, Australia) may need to rethink their strategy as they slipped back 5 places. However, it is still early days, and there will be lots more twists and turns in the 5 remaining rounds before we know the identity of the 2022 Champions.

A new dilemma being faced by the management teams during the later years is the level of dividend to pay their shareholders. In the early years there had been more certainty in the affect of paying particular levels, but the increased competition has seen shareholders looking around to see what others were receiving, and this was causing fluctuations in the dividend affects on share price as expectations went up and down. However, it is not just a matter of paying huge dividends, as this could put company finances under threat, and the key was to find the right balance between keeping shareholders happy, and what the company could afford.

Individual League Table after period 13
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 13
Share prices at the end of period 13
Bidding results for period 13 (PDF) (XLS)

PERIOD 14:  "'AECOMplete Shambles' they are not!"

The major movers in period 14 were "AECOMplete Shambles" (AECOM, UK), whose 11% growth was the best posted in the quarter, and it catapulted them 6 places up the table and into second place, and within just 18 points of the leaders. The lead changed hands again, with "Babble Royale" (Jacobs, UK/Ireland/USA/Saudi Arabia) returning back into pole position with 2,400 pts as previous leaders "Whatever it takes" (Stantec, Italy) slipped back 3 places after missing out on several key contracts, with "Stratagem" (Jacobs, India) moving up one place to 3rd. It is getting even tighter at the top with only 56 points now separating the top 5 teams, and as the rollercoaster begins to get into full momentum more changes are certain to be on the cards in the next round.

Further down the table "JBD3" (WSP USA) had an excellent period, 10% growth that lifted them up one place, and if it is tight at the top it is even tighter at the bottom with a mere 4 points separating 3 teams, and at this stage every teams is still in with a chance of becoming the Champions with less than 200 points between all the teams, reenforcing the quality of the finalists.

Those of you who were following the predictions of the Enginuity Crystal Ball in the Preliminary Rounds may be wondering why the sage of all things Enginuity has kept quiet so far in the Final. The simple truth is that the oracle never offers a prediction in the final because experience has shown that the final is always unpredictable, although he/she (we are not sure which) does apologise to his/her many followers for not offering any guidance at this stage, and says 'its nothing personal'.

With margins under pressure, progressing work as profitably as possible takes on added significance, and one key element of this is an effective risk management strategy. This can take a number of forms, firstly by building sensible risk contingencies into the original bids based upon the likelihood and cost of the risks occurring. Secondly, and just as importantly is mitigating the affects of any risks that strike through targeted investment into risk management companies, using a BIM model if available, and employing the most suitable project managers to jobs in progress.

This approach was demonstrated perfectly in period 14 on the upgrade to the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago for Chicago City Developments in the United States. Structural defects that had been highlighted as a medium potential risk struck in the second quarter of the planned 3-period job. This was unfortunate for the contractor, "Whatever it takes" (Stantec, Italy), and should have inflicted around 140k of additional cost. However, the contractor had taken some of the effective risk management actions outlined above, and this resulted in the final cost of the risk being reduced substantially by 60%. A source from the marketing and publicity department at the Company commented that the company devotes a great deal of effort to mininising costs and delays to their contracts, and that risk management was a key tool in the company's management armoury.

Individual League Table after period 14
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 14
Share prices at the end of period 14
Bidding results for period 14 (PDF) (XLS)

PERIOD 15:  "'Babble Royale''s tower holds firm, but the pack are chasing hard"

Period 15 was another good one for the majoriuty of teams, both in terms of new contracts awarded, and growth, and particularly for "Stantogether" (Stantec, Australia) as the team from Down Under kept the faith and responded in style from two rounds of marginal decline with an impressive 8% growth that saw them make a strong 6 place move in the table, and still well in contention should those above them slip up.

At the top of the table "Babble Royale" (Jacobs, UK/Ireland/USA/Saudi Arabia) held onto top spot with 2,538 pts, but there was movement beneath them as their colleagues from India, "Stratagem" (Jacobs, India), continued their ascent up the table as they climbed one place to second, with "Whatever it takes" (Stantec, Italy) dropping back to 3rd, and the "Ministry of Wopus" (WSP New Zealand) moving up one to 4th. None of the leading teams can relax as the Final enters its second half, and only 39 points still separate the top 4, and every decision, good or bad, will have a dramatic effect on the final outcome.

There are inherent risks in all construction work, and during period 15 this became apparent once more, and one example stands out in particular. The management team of "ABC-Always Be Constructing" (Jacobs, UK/India/Poland) will not be feeling quite so fortunate about the contract they won with SA Power in South Africa to complete phase 5 of the Hydro electric power plant near Bungeni, Limpopo. In period 3 of the job supplier problems and site contractor co-ordination issues created additional costs of around 400k. Fortunately the company's effective risk management strategy saw the final cost come in 50% lower, but still a blow to both job and company profits.

Individual League Table after period 15
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 15
Share prices at the end of period 15
Bidding results for period 15 (PDF) (XLS)

PERIOD 16:  "'Babble Royale' still on top, but their lead narrows!"

As the teams entered the second half of the final there was growth across the board, and encouragingly every team were able to secure some new work, with the "Electric Magic" (Jacobs, Poland/France) particularly impressive with a whopping 4 new contract awards, and they also posted the best results in the round with an 8% improvement.

As all eyes looked to the top of the table, still out on top are the multi national "Babble Royale" (Jacobs, UK/Ireland/USA/Saudi Arabia) with 2,611 pts, but their lead has been cut to just 20 points by their colleagues from India, "Stratagem" (Jacobs, India). The "Ministry of Wopus" (WSP New Zealand) moved up one place to 3rd, and what a battle is occurring between the two Stantec finalists as "Stantogether" (Stantec, Australia) continued their climb up the table as they leapfrogged "Whatever it takes" (Stantec, Italy). However, only 70 points still separate the top 5 teams, and anything is possible in an intriguing final two rounds ahead before we know the identity of the 2022 Champions, and a new sponsor name on the trophy is looking a distinct possibility.

At this stage an effective procurement strategy is critical to securing profitable work, and growing the business. As a result of previous marketing decisions, targeting marketing effort into particular countries and sectors can enable a company to find a NICHE MARKET, with potentially very few rival contractors bidding for the work available, and if the company has built up strong client relationships this can also increase the chances of winning the work where the bids are close. In period 16 one example of nich bidding really caught the eye involving "Stantogether" (Stantec, Australia). The Tender Report for the quarter reveals that the company were bidding for a large industrial contract in New Zealand to redevelop a meat processing plant NAMCO Meat Products, and were only bidding against CNS-Mevalin, and they were able to secure the job, and guarantee further workload for the company's workforce because they had a better client relationship than their rival bidder after the bids were very closely matched. If there had been more companies submitting bids it could have been a different story.

Individual League Table after period 16
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 16
Share prices at the end of period 16
Bidding results for period 16 (PDF) (XLS)

PERIOD 17:  "What will it take to win this year, 'Whatever it takes' perhaps ?"

After a dramatic penultimate round, with changes aplenty throughout the leaderboard, Enginuity Historians have been forensically trawling through the last 13 years, and cannot find a previous Competition which it has been so close amongst so many teams going into the final round. Incredibly only 27 points separate the top 4 teams, and unless there is a seismic shift in the league table, one of them will be crowned the 2022 Champions.

After 3 rounds at the top of the table, but with their lead diminishing each round, "Babble Royale" (Jacobs, UK/Ireland/USA/Saudi Arabia) had to finally relinquish their grip on the top as they slipped back to second. The new leaders, who briefly led the final in period 13, are "Whatever it takes" (Stantec, Italy) with 2,667 pts, but have they peaked too soon, or do they really have whatever it takes to win this year ? The team from Wellington, looking to bring the title back to WSP, "Ministry of Wopus" (WSP New Zealand), stayed put in third, with "Stratagem" (Jacobs, India) dropping back two places to 4th. Someone is going to be ecstatic at the end of the next round, and the chasing pack will be disappointed, but even the Enginuity Oracle cannot predict the ultimate outcome to what has been an exhilarating final so far.

Further down the league table a number of teams failed to pick up any new work in a very competitive bidding environment, but there were exceptions, and none more so than "Enginuity State of Mind" (Jacobs, United States) who were awarded 4 new contract awards that helped them to post the best results in the quarter, impressive 10% growth that moved them up 2 places, but for previous highflyers "AECOMplete Shambles" (AECOM, UK) it was the opposite story as they fell 5 places.

Individual League Table after period 17
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 17
Share prices at the end of period 17
Bidding results for period 17 (PDF) (XLS)

PERIOD 18:  "Jacobs go crackers as 'Babble Royale' are crowned Champions!"

There is an old saying that timing is everything, and "Babble Royale" (Jacobs, UK/Ireland/USA/Saudi Arabia) demonstrated this to perfection in the final round to leapfrog "Whatever it takes" (Stantec, Italy) to be crowned as the Enginuity 2022 Champions with a finishing score of 2,869 pts, and in the end after a titanic tussle in the final, with a convincing 140 point margin of victory, and in doing so they ensured that Jacobs as a sponsor won the title for the first time. Congratulations to the team which comprised many of the team that finished runners up last year, so their perseverance, and management skills, were finally and deservedly rewarded.

Commiserations go the valient "Whatever it takes" (Stantec, Italy), the only other team to top the table in the final, and they also ensured that Stantec finished runners up for the first time. "Stratagem" (Jacobs, India) climbed once place to finish 3rd, and only just short of second spot, with the team from Wellington, "Ministry of Wopus" (WSP New Zealand) just falling short in 4th. All the way down the final table the teams should be proud of their performance, finishing in the top 12 of another large international field of starters, a superb effort, and they would all be a sound long term investment if it was the real world.

The journey has certainly been a long one for the finalists, involving three and half simulated years of management through the early and later years, both in the UK and globally. The global nature of the challenge opened up numerous strategies that could have been adopted, and the teams will look back at their own, and whether they would have done things differently if they could start all over again. In the end there can only be one winner, but they have all demonstrated that they have developed exceptional management skills, combined with effective team dynamics, both essential drivers to success.

Individual League Table after period 18
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 18
Share prices at the end of period 18
Bidding results for period 18 (PDF) (XLS)

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