QUALITY, CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT, AND INNOVATION

Customers are at the heart of Ferrovial's activities; for that reason, the company's sustainable development principles include quality and continuous improvement of its products and services as well as innovation. Ferrovial's actions in this field are aimed at maintaining customers' trust, exceeding their expectations of quality in products and services, and innovation, scientific research and development projects as basic factors for our competitive success and the creation of differential value in the market.

QUALITY

Every business area of Ferrovial has a Quality Management System that is standardised and certified in accordance with the ISO 9001:2000 standard by the principal certification bodies, such as AENOR (The Spanish Standards and Certification Association), SGS, BVQI (Bureau Veritas Quality International) and BSI Group. Additionally, municipal services subsidiary Cespa has the Madrid Excelente accreditation.

In 2005, 79% of revenues were obtained under certified quality systems.

During 2005, Ferrovial was the subject of 50 external audits by certification bodies. In addition, all systems are internally audited by teams of qualified auditors who are independent of the business area in question. In 2005, there were 262 internal audits and 1,100 on-site visits.

Main initiatives

System of indicators in the corporate area:
• Identification and management of production processes that are relevant to the quality perceived by customers and users, to enable their critical factors to be monitored and measured:

INCA project: managing the quality of delivery of homes:
• analyses the main types of issue or defect (seriousness and impact on finish) and the home's habitability (construction and after-sales phase);
• system implemented at twelve development projects in the Madrid region;
• in 2005, the architects and site managers started using this system;

SIC (Integrated Quality System):
• a new system in the construction area which enables all production sites to update their Quality Plans on-line;
• The SIC will be used on all new projects and will be implemented on a widespread basis in 2006.

Computer-assisted maintenance management:
• application for supervising the activities at water treatment plants: maintenance, data capture, analysis logging, parameter calculation, etc.
• it has been implemented on nine contracts and will be rolled out generally in 2006.

Planning and on-line management of service incidents:
• on-line monitoring, logging and management of incidents detected in the municipal services area;

The INFOROUTE project, for planning resources and routes for street cleaning, has also been completed.

CUSTOMERS

Managing customer expectations

Ferrovial Inmobiliaria conducts annual satisfaction surveys among potential customers who visit its sales office and among home buyers. The last survey included 866 computer-assisted telephone surveys with questions about satisfaction and overall meeting of expectations, scored from 1 to 10.

The municipal services division (Cespa) conducts similar surveys: the 2005 survey revealed that the average customer is "quite satisfied". The survey identified areas susceptible to improvement, and solutions were implemented in 2005 and will continue in 2006.

Cintra, the transport infrastructure subsidiary, surveyed 2,740 users of its off-street and on-street car parks.

After-sales and customer care

The Real Estate area has a Customer Care Department which handles queries received by any means and has a call centre which provides full information about any development, from the moment of purchase up to signature of the title deeds. The Department received over 26,000 calls in 2005. The After-Sales Department handles customer complaints and handles repairs after homes have been handed over to buyers.

Cespa has a Citizen Care Department for users of its municipal services in Barcelona to respond to complaints and queries about waste collection and street cleaning. The Department handled over 31,000 calls in 2005.

In 2005, Cintra created a Customer Department to handle queries and complaints from users of its off-street and on-street car parks. The Sales Department also handles queries and complaints connected with the construction and assignment of spaces in private car parks.

The main toll roads have their own customer care units:
• 407 ETR in Toronto (Canada) has a call centre (which handled over 800,000 calls in 2005) and other innovative services to provide a personalised response to users' suggestions and complaints: 'Customer Center' and the 'Customer Carer Team';
• the Spanish toll roads directly handle users' queries and complaints via a 902 call centre.

INNOVATION

Construction

As part of its policy and under its Framework Innovation and R&D Plan, Ferrovial Agromán, the group's construction subsidiary, is committed to promoting opportunities and innovations in its various areas of activity; developing and applying new technology and methodologies to improve technical capabilities and productivity; implementing and maintaining a Research and Development and Innovation (RDI) Management System; providing training to foster innovative initiatives and increase the company's technical capacity by disseminating new solutions and knowledge.

The plan defined and implemented a number of initiatives in 2005, notably certification of the Research and Development and Innovation (RDI) Management System to the UNE 166002:2002 EX standard; management of RDI projects; presence in RDI forums and improvements to the RDI documentation to be presented when bidding for projects.

As a result, Ferrovial Agromán was the first Spanish construction company to certify its RDI Management System to UNE 166002 EX.

During the year, the company also processed the certification and applied for subsidies for four projects worth a total of 2.3 million euro in connection with the new floating dock system; a new technology for building stayed, post-stressed viaducts; a project using modified bitumen with pulverised post-consumer tyres and the design and modification of modified and thermoadhesive emulsions. A total of nine new ideas for forthcoming projects were generated in 2005.

Ferrovial is also active in SEOPAN's R&D Commission and the Spanish Construction Technology Platform and it will be joining the European Construction Technology Platform in 2006.

Innovation and leading-edge technology applied to technical solutions for engineering projects, combined design and execution projects, execution of contracts and optimisation of concession designs are other goals in this area.

In 2005, over 700 projects were improved along these lines, including most notably the M-203 toll road (Alcalá-Mejorada, Madrid); the bid to expand the M50 ring road in Dublin (Ireland); projects with latest-generation high-performance concrete, such as the use of self-compacting concrete for making arches; the design of the arch bridge on the Arlabán project, involving the manufacture of over 1,500 units; the Vicaría arch (170 metre span), using a construction method consisting of lifting a section of arch and deck measuring 120 metres in length; the Prat pier (phase II) project in the Port of Barcelona; the design of the Campo de Cartagena desalination plant; the Marqués de Riscal hotel in Elciego, designed by Frank Gehry; assistance in the development of the Córdoba Conference Centre, designed by the Rem Koolhaas studio; participation in the Bradford schools PFI, the group's first construction project in the UK; development of the Pajares high-speed rail tunnel and the Arlabán tunnel (Vitoria-Eibar road) and the Somaconcha tunnel (Molledo-Pesquera road); the M-30 southern bypass tunnel in Madrid, built with a 15.30 metre diameter tunnel-boring machine, and the Andora San Lorenzo railway project in northern Italy, which involves the construction of nine tunnels.

Infrastructure

One of the principal examples of innovation in infrastructure, particularly toll roads, by Cintra is the application of fully automatic free-flow tolling systems such as that in use on the 407 ETR in Toronto, which is the world's most advanced tolling system.

The most notable projects in 2005 included implementing standard and automatic tolling on the N4/N6 toll road in Ireland, with capacity to interoperate with all the transponders issued by all toll road operators in Ireland; at the Chicago Skyway, improvements were made to the toll system and tolling equipment and antennas were installed that are compatible with the I-Pass and EZ-Pass systems already in use in Illinois and other states. In the area of innovation, Cintra developed a pilot project to detect and manage queues at toll plazas, which will be operational on Ausol (Málaga-Estepona-Guadiaro) in spring of 2006.

(More information on ecological restoration initiatives on infrastructure and studies and conservation of biodiversity in the chapter on Mitigation of the Environmental Impact).

A noteworthy development in the car park business is the ‘FREE’ centralised system for off-street car parks owned by different companies in Madrid, which provides real-time internet-based information on free parking spaces. The CAPACK system was installed to optimise parking space management at the Long Stay Car Park of Madrid Barajas airport. A data and image transmission system was implemented for on-street car parks in Pamplona to enable the local police to check and approve parking tickets on-line; the Toledo tow-away service commenced a GPS-based fleet management system coupled with a PDA-based fining system.

Municipal services

In 2005, the municipal services area invested 1.1 million euro in RDI initiatives and received 189,052 euro in subsidies for projects in cooperation with public research centres and universities dealing with use of regenerated water for irrigating green areas, reducing the environmental cost of processing leachates, and reducing H2S and siloxane (the most problematic components in biogas use) using biological processing.

RDI PROJECTS IN MUNICIPAL SERVICES

RDI PROJECTS IN THE WATER TREATMENT DIVISION (CADAGUA)

INVESTMENT IN PROJECTS ENVIRONMENTAL RDI

 

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