2018 - Present
Senior Cost & Commercial Manager
Transport for Greater Manchester, UK

Metrolink Capacity Improvement Programme (MCIP) (2018-Present)
MCIP is a five-year £100 million programme which aims to increase the capacity of the Metrolink network. It includes the procurement of 27 new trams and associated depots expansion, power upgrade works, and park-and-ride expansion at Radcliffe and Whitefield tram stops. My commercial role is to manage the whole programme from the initial development stage to post contract delivery stage. It requires a highly experienced and motivated individual with excellent commercial skills and working knowledge of various NEC3 contracts such as PSC and ECC, and bespoke contracts such as Light Rail Vehicles Supply Agreement, Transport Professional Services (TPS) Framework, and Metrolink Renewals and Enhancements Programme (MREP) Framework contracts. I have maintained a healthy and professional relationship with the consultants and contractors. I have worked closely with Programme Manager, Senior Project Managers, Project Managers, Project Engineers, Senior Project Control Engineers, the Finance team, the Legal team and the Procurement team.

I have been responsible and involved in the contract and commercial activities listed below.

Programme level

  • Assessing the affordability of the whole MICP programme regularly as the programme undertakes tremendous cost and time constraints, and reporting to Senior Programme Manager and Commercial Lead
  • Preparing staff resource planning/forecast and monitoring actual staff costs against approved forecast
  • Preparing various board papers, gateway submissions, and programme change requests with Senior Project Manager to comply with internal governance
  • Providing project costs benchmarking analysis to ensure projects within the programme are value for money
  • Preparing budget cost plan, baseline/re-baseline cost plan and quarterly forecast for the whole MCIP programme
  • Ensuring commercial compliance and internal governance are achieved at both programme level and projects level

Projects level

1. Procurement of Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) and associated spares (circa £74m)

  • Managing variation and negotiating payment terms of the variation order
  • Working with the Legal team to assess claims and liquidated damages for the delay as a result of various complex issues such as supplier’s production issues, the impact of Brexit, and the impact of Covid restrictions in other countries
  • Assessing milestone payments and producing monthly cost forecasts for reporting
  • Ensuring outgoing payment does not exceed the supplier’s liability under the proposed incentivisation agreement

2. Trafford depot and Queens Road depot expansion projects (circa £6.5m)

The project involves the provision of new stabling spaces and associated facilities for the new 27 trams. I provide valuable commercial support and contractual advice to overcome several challenges, such as challenging the consultant’s cost estimates for various value engineering options (gold, silver, bronze options), determining the sum of delay damages for construction works within an operational depot which involves out-stabling existing trams during the blockade, and assessing contractor’s claims as a result of the consultant producing outline design based on as-built drawings only with no reference to any Topographic survey results.

3. Design and construction of power upgrade works (GMI and feeder cables) at Radcliffe and Timperley and three new substations at Hagside, Heaton Park and Collyhurst project (circa £6.9m)

I provide valuable commercial support and contractual advice to overcome several challenges, such as value engineering/reducing the scope of works due to budget constraints, repeat revisions on the budget provision, and scope of works due to numerous iterations of changes on Metrolink service patterns, and provision of an option price mechanism within an NEC3 ECC contract due to uncertainty around the affordability of the whole programme.

4. Design and construction of expansion works at Radcliffe and Whitefield Metrolink Park and Ride and Temporary Car Park at Spring Lane, Radcliffe (circa £5.3m)

The project involves the construction of an additional deck in existing Radcliffe and Whitefield Metrolink Park and Rides, a bus turning circle in Whitefield P&R and temporary park and ride facilities. It is a single-source tender. I benchmarked and challenged the contractor’s site costs and preliminaries to ensure the project is value for money. I have also provided contractual advice to complex issues around CCTV integration into the existing network and new fire alarms attracting anti-social behaviours. The project was delivered under budget with a total value of the compensation events less than £100k.

5. Changes to the Metrolink Tram Management System (TMS) (circa £0.6m)

The project involves a feasibility study to identify the constraints on the tram management system when introducing additional 27 trams and solutions to address these, and the design and implementation of solutions to the network. It includes the increase in the Set Numbering System from the current 1-99 configuration to three digits numerical identified 1-999, increasing the Fleet Numbering System from the current 3001 to 3145 to allow up to 3250, including the provision of IP addresses.

I have been involved in the activities below for the infrastructure projects (items 2-5 above).

  • Preparing tender documentation such as pricing documents, pre- and post-tender clarifications, tender evaluation, and contract documentation for the design and survey consultants, and main design and construction contracts
  • Engaging in various value engineering workshops for the power upgrade project (to decide the scope of works and location of substations), depot project (to determine stabling spaces for each depot) and temporary park and ride project (to determine the scope of works and specifications)
  • Assessing monthly payment due, and variations to the consultant contracts
  • Leading contract terms and contract sum negotiations with Senior Project Manager. For example, for the P&R single-sourced contract, I challenged the contractor’s construction and preliminary costs. I managed to secure a £250k reduction and eliminated the risk of the steel price increase. For the Power contract, I rejected the inclusion of NEC3 ECC X2 Changes in the law clause. I also eliminated the increase in National Insurance as an Employer’s risk. I also introduced Fixed Priced Option within the Contract to allow the Employer to instruct new works with price certainty at the outset. I challenged the contractor’s request to include the National Insurance and Fuel duty issue as the Employer’s risks for the Depot contract.
  • Presenting contract and commercial requirements in the main contract start-up meeting
  • Providing contract management support, including ascertaining the NEC option clauses, assessing the sum of delay damages to be applied under the contract, assessing monthly payment and compensation events
  • Providing contractual advice to Senior Project Managers and Project Managers
  • Reviewing company checks and health scores before acceptance of sub-contractors/suppliers to minimise commercial risks to the Employer
  • Managing minor works contracts by other contractors and network maintainers
  • Participating in risk management review meetings
  • Preparing budget change controls and purchase orders
  • Producing monthly cost reports, accruals and forecasts, cost and contract performance commentaries feeding into various functional board reports
  • Participating in the monthly Project Reporting Review (PRR) reporting to Senior Programme Manager
  • Assigning tasks to Assistant Commercial Manager and Apprentice working on MCIP
  • Preparing final accounts and project closeout
  • Participating in project lessons learnt

Cornbrook and Shudehill Stop Improvements Project (2018-2021)

The project was part of the Growth Deal Additional Priorities programme and cost circa £2.7 million. It involved works at the Cornbrook tram stop including enhancements to the stairs/entrance area, a replacement lift, new passenger shelter and lighting, CCTV, and equipment upgrades. The works at Shudehill stop included replacing shelters with larger and more modern units, a new crossing point and improvements to lighting, CCTV, and equipment upgrades. The project was highly complex and involved working in operating stops in Manchester city centre, blockades, and proximity to the Network Rail railway line. The design contract used was TfGM Transport Professional Services (TPS) framework contract. The main construction contract used was NEC3 ECC Option A. Despite numerous issues during the blockade delaying the completion of the works, the project was delivered under the budget. I challenged the contractor’s assessment of various compensation events. As a result, it achieved circa £235k in saving in the agreed final account. I provided full contract and commercial support as below.

  • Assessing payment due, and variations to the Design consultant contract
  • Preparing post-tender clarifications, tender evaluation, and contract documentation for the main construction contract
  • Leading the contract terms negotiation with the Senior Project Manager
  • Presenting contract and commercial requirements in the main contract start-up meeting
  • Providing contract management support, including assessing payment and compensation events
  • Providing contractual advice to Senior Project Manager
  • Managing minor works contracts by other contractors and network maintainers
  • Participating in risk management review meetings
  • Preparing budget change controls and purchase orders
  • Producing monthly cost reports, accruals and forecasts, cost and contract performance commentaries feeding into various functional board reports
  • Participating in the monthly Project Reporting Review (PRR) and reporting to Senior Programme Manager
  • Preparing final accounts and project closeout
  • Participating in project lessons learnt

Temporary Mortuary Trafford Park reinstatement/decommissioning projects (2020-2021)

As COVID-19 cases were found exponentially across Greater Manchester, a temporary mortuary was built at Trafford Park. The project involved reinstating the facility following an incident of vandalism (Contract value circa £130k). The other project involved decommissioning the temporary mortuary facility as it was no longer required (Contract value circa £62k). The contract used is NEC3 Engineering and Construction Short Contract. I was involved in both projects and provided contract and commercial support to the Project Manager and the Facilities Manager.

  • Preparing a budget cost plan for both projects
  • Reviewing project staff resources and setting up purchase orders for external consultants
  • Leading in single-source contract negotiation with the Project Manager
  • Preparing main contract documentation
  • Providing contract management support, including assessing payment and compensation events
  • Preparing final accounts and project closeout

People management and pastoral support

I have been responsible for the activities below.

  • Managing a small team of Assistant Commercial Managers and Project Management Apprentice such as allocating tasks and providing 1-to-1 mini-sessions to demonstrate how various tasks can be completed efficiently and to promote good practice
  • Providing line management and pastoral support for Apprentice, including objectives setting, appraisal and performance management
  • Supporting Apprentice for its learning progress to achieve APM Project Fundamentals Qualification (PFQ) and Project Management Qualification (PMQ), signing off competencies and reviewing its end point assessment for Apprenticeship
  • Providing periodic updates in the Apprentice Line Manager meetings for any progress or performance issues
  • Performing recruitment and selection activities within the Projects Group (e.g. recruiting Project Information Controller) such as the selection of candidates for interview, conducting interviews, assessing candidates and providing final recommendations to the Human Resources team

Senior management and support within the Projects Group and Commercial team

I have been involved in the activities below.

  • Implementing new NEC Contract Management suite CEMAR to replace the existing system Conject for use within the Projects Group. It includes managing project migration, discussing draft processes and procedures for managing contracts on CEMAR, and providing feedback on any improvements in using CEMAR.
  • Appointed as a Superuser and provided user support for CEMAR within the Projects Group
  • Presenting projects and programme updates and commercial challenges in the Projects Group Core Brief
  • Providing peer support to Cost Managers who newly joined the company
  • Participated in the Workplace Improvement Group. I was the Lead in the Leadership sub-group for two years.

2015 - 2018
Pastoral Worker
The Methodist Church, UK

Working closely with the Methodist Minister, my responsibilities include providing pastoral care and support to the Newcastle Chinese Methodist Church congregation. I was involved in visitation, leading praying and Bible study groups, and leading worship and preaching in the Sunday Service. Furthermore, I was the Local Preacher ‘on trial’ and circuit representative to the synod district within the Methodist Church. I strengthened my core interpersonal skills, such as active listening, presentation and effective communication skills. I was also trained to work under pressure to meet tight deadlines, build relationships, and show empathy to others.

2011 - 2015
Co-Founder & Business Partner
Gifty, UK

As a Business Partner for my family-owned retail business, my responsibilities include all the commercial aspects of business, including preparing business development plans, annual budgets, cash flow forecasts, drafting financial accounts, negotiating deals with suppliers, and operation management. Under my leadership, the business has grown from strength to strength. The volume of sales has increased significantly in four consecutive years.

2009 - 2011
Commercial Manager
Network Rail, UK

I was responsible for the contract and commercial management of the Track Renewal design and project delivery (circa £20 million) in London / North West (LNW) and West Coast regions. The job requires a highly competent individual with comprehensive quantity surveying skills and working knowledge of the Network Rail RT24 / IChemE Cost Reimbursable contract. As part of the Integrated Management Team (IMT), I worked closely with the Programme Planner, Contractor Quantity Surveyor and other production team members. I reported directly to Senior Commercial Manager (SCM) and Project Manager (PM).

Contract & claims
My responsibilities included reviewing Contractor target cost submissions and providing commercial input to the project optimisation review, preparing valuations for permanent way survey and design, trackbed investigation and all associated site support costs, preparing valuations for Contractor Site costs, Project Specific Management costs, Contractor Overhead and Profit, preparing claims with detailed cost breakdown for any delay on site caused by Freight Haulier, reviewing draft Final Accounts with cost substantiations submitted by Contractor Quantity Surveyor.

Change & Risk
My responsibilities included reviewing Change Control Request Forms (CCRF), identifying Changes/Risks in relevant Registers, and providing budget estimates for any Programme Change controls.

Cost Reporting & Reconciliation
I was involved in reviewing billing/cost of work done (COWD) to date against agreed target costs for cost control purposes, preparing cost reports with COWD and Anticipated Final Cost (AFC) to date with future periods forecast, providing advice to SCM and PM for any AFC movements, and overspent against agreed target costs/internal budget.

Other commercial support
I was involved in reviewing bulk materials (e.g. sleepers, rail, and ballast) and haulage billings submitted by National Delivery Service (NDS), preparing third-party and minor work billings, including internal off-charges to Track Maintenance, and providing advice, recommendations, and analysis to SCM for any “ad-hoc” commercial issues.

2007 - 2009
Quantity Surveyor
EC Harris LLP (now known as Arcadis), UK

Walsall Maintenance and Safety Training Centre – Network Rail (Nov 08)
I provided procurement support for the construction of the training centre. I was involved in compiling design and build contract documentation based on NR 10/JCT Design and Build contract.

Benchmarking OPEX for Waste Water Treatment Works – Welsh Water (Sep – Oct 08)
I collated and analysed cost data, including labour, chemical, power, maintenance, bought-in service, and management costs for over 20 treatment worksites. I prepared draft reports to facilitate benchmarking exercises for operating expenditures among various sites and other water companies.

Mersey Gateway – Halton Borough Council (Aug 08)
I provided Quantity Surveying services, including producing cost planning for a second Mersey crossing scheme within the Halton Borough Council catchment area. I was involved in detailed measurement and pricing of the road works element.

Bubny Re-development (Rail infrastructure) – Bubny Development, s.r.o., Czech Republic (Jul 08)
I was involved in the initial master plan costing for the re-development of Bubny, Prague, Czech Republic. I prepared a high-level estimate for the track, civil works, signalling and overhead line equipment packages to facilitate developer costings.

Station Roof Renewal – Network Rail (Jun & Jul 08)
I worked with the Project Manager to provide procurement support for roof renewals in Victoria and Paddington train stations. I was involved in compiling tender and contract documentation and coordinating responses to tender queries and clarifications.

Plain Line Track Renewal – Network Rail (Jan 07 – May 08)
Through the secondment to Network Rail, I worked as a Commercial Manager to manage the Track Renewal Framework Contract (Year 3-5) design and project delivery (circa £4 million per annum) in London / North West (LNW) and West Coast regions. I provided both pre and post-contract commercial support to the Senior Commercial Manager.

2003 - 2006
Quantity Surveyor
First Engineering Limited (now known as Babcock Rail), UK

FE is part of the Babcock Group in the UK. In its Consultancy division, my responsibilities include assisting Commercial Manager in managing Consultancy contracts and sub-contracts in Midlands and North West regions, preparing and submitting interim/final accounts to internal divisions and rail clients such as Network Rail, Edmund Nuttall, Rail Properties Limited, preparing Cost/Value Reconciliation (CVR) and cash flow forecast with the aid of different information systems such as ‘Mentor’ and ‘Frango’, managing periodic debt management and cost control. Rail projects include Outside Party Asset Protection, Track Renewal Site Investigations, Permanent Way Designs, Civil and Structural Designs, Construction and Project Management, VERSE Testing, and Environmental and Acoustic Assessment.

Assistant Quantity Surveyor
Dickson Construction Company Limited, HK

Through the training scheme provided by Dickson, I am involved in various departments such as Tendering and Subletting, Purchasing, and QS. I performed different duties such as preparing tender documents for sub-contractors/suppliers, analysing tenders/quotations and attending post-tender meetings, preparing contract documents for awarded tender and preparing monthly cost reports and final accounts for various construction projects.

Research Assistant
City University of Hong Kong

I am associated with the research for “Developing a Web-based Construction Contracts Resources Center”. In addition, a web-based management tool is developed for measuring the partnering status in a construction project.

2001 - 2002
Quantity Surveyor
Kin Wing Construction Company Limited, HK

My responsibilities include letter writing, filing and copying, site meeting, tendering and estimating, interim payment to main contractors, payment to subcontractors, contractual claims, and acquisition of ISO9000 Quality Management System.