Align is the joint venture between Bouygues Travaux Publics, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick, a subsidiary of VolkerWessels. Its combined experience, both in the UK and worldwide, in delivering high-profile infrastructure projects safely, on time and on budget, has long established a strong reputation. In July 2017 the Align joint venture was awarded the C1 package of the UK High Speed 2 line (HS2). C1 consists of 21.6km of high-speed rail infrastructure. This includes a 3.37km viaduct, 16.04km twin-bored tunnel and five vent shafts handling both intervention and tunnel ventilation facilities.
In December 2022 Align JV chose the next generation procurement delivery solution from VJ Technology, the VJ iStore® which can result in up to 70% reduction in carbon emissions previously caused by daily deliveries to site, as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting sustainability and innovation in the sector.
Inspired by the Amazon Locker solution, the secure by design VJ iStore® (patent pending) is located at Align’s site in Rickmansworth and consists of a 40 ft high bespoke modular shipping container which acts as a vending machine. It helps ensure that Align’s contractors can be fed a constant supply of their most used products that can be clicked and collected in a matter of minutes directly on-site at the point of need.
Over 30 different Align contractors are authorised to procure and collect from the VJ iStore®, a unique solution from VJ Technology. There are almost 300 sperate items within the store ranging from bolts, washers, nails, sealants, hand tools, paints, lubricants, mechanical anchors, locks, foams and brooms.
Products are available 24/7 which in turn increases productivity significantly and are only paid for once they have been collected, positively impacting cashflow. It is replenished once every 10 to 14 days as managed by the active stock control system resulting in an up to 70% reduction in carbon emissions previously caused by daily deliveries to site.
Electra Thanopoulou, Buyer at Align, said: “As an early adopter of this solution we were able to work closely with VJ Technology to help them refine the offering which we believe is an exciting development which helps address a number of challenges we face. Perhaps most importantly though the reduction in daily deliveries that reduce our impact on both the environment and the local communities we operate in.”
Peter Mckeown, Cross Passage Superintendent, Align said: “We use the VJ iStore® 24/7 and so far 25% of our orders have been out of hours – before 8am or after 5pm – and 15% have been on weekends. Previously this could have resulted in project delays and or rescheduling but this solution enables us to continue.”
Andrew Mobbs, CEO at VJ Technology said: “These are challenging times for the sector and we are on a mission to de-risk the construction and infrastructure supply chain, playing our part to help projects finish on budget and on time. Everything we do revolves around how we can make things easier and better for the customer and
The VJ iStore® is just another step in this journey and is absolutely a part of our long-term growth strategy.