Procurement guru Steve Rowsell this week finally left the Highways Agency and officially launched the Rowsell Wright consultancy with former Agency sidekick Gary Wright.
The new venture, Rowsell Wright, aims to spread the Agency's advanced procurement thinking into other clients in the UK and overseas. Local authorities will be a particular focus.'You do see some pretty poor quality advice going into some organisations,' said Rowsell. 'I've been at the receiving end for quite some time and there is a shortage of advice that really adds value. You get consultancies coming in, charging thousands of pounds a day, and telling local authorities to change the whole organisation and bring in extra resources. It just isn't going to happen,' he says. 'There is a lack of people willing to advise in a pragmatic way.'Rowsell is widely known as the creator of the pioneering Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) procurement method that was vindicated in last month's Nichols report (NCE
22 March). Many in the industry expected Nichols to advise scrapping the method following cost overruns on the Agency's major projects programme but instead he advocated sticking with ECI and reviewing it in 12 months.Rowsell left the Agency after 31 years, latterly as procurement director, to set up a practice with former Agency supply chain manager Gary Wright - known for his work on the Agency's Capability Assessment Toolkit.The partnership will also be offering advice to contractors seeking to better understand how clients work and also plans to help smaller, specialist consultants unite in alliances to allow them to punch their weight with the major players.