Q&A: Tackling the big questions with our Director Alan Saunders.
What drives successful transport outcomes? How does Impact produce 'Inspired Possibilities' for some of the industry's largest organisations?
This year, we're sharing the inner workings of our practice through our 'Inside the practice series'. We'll speak with our founding director Alan Saunders, asking what it takes to produce innovative, effective, stand out outcomes in a constrained environment.
1. How do you help creativity flourish at Impact?
Our behaviours are centred around a single clear, relevant and distinctive idea. To provide our clients with Inspired Possibilities.
We do this in ways that balance complexity and simplicity and we challenge convention to achieve extraordinary outcomes. To achieve this I encourage each member of the team to develop a clear sense of purpose, to use their imagination when solving problems, and constantly listen, learn and grow with the times.
2. What differentiates Impact from other practices?
We are the only practice in our field that leverages current technology to provide our team with the unencumbered choice of where and when they work. We see this as an important enabler that allows our team to balance life and work responsibilities.
Our team has embraced this flexible work culture, the outcomes we are seeking are a team that is delivering greater output, with focus directly on achieving the best for our clients. We have also ruled out silos and encourage combination engineer / designers. We are able at all levels to efficiently deliver solutions that are clear and distinctive to the benefit of our clients.
3. What is one unexpected way you gain inspiration for work?
To actually see the safety benefits that we design into the numerous construction sites and road works around the country. This provides immediate inspiration for me to continue to strive to be at the forefront of this industry.
4. Which project at Impact stands out as having been the most challenging, and why?
Two months after opening our doors we were awarded the transport management services package for the Melbourne Metro Tunnel early works. This required the reduction of St Kilda Road to one lane in each direction, something that had never been done before, whilst new tram infrastructure was built.
Our total staff at the time consisted of the 3 founding directors, but we were determined to do 'whatever it takes' to deliver.
The traffic management strategy worked even better than anybody expected, with major authorities Yarra Trams, VicRoads and Melbourne Metro Rail Authority delighted.
5. How do you define success? Is it notoriety, achieving success for our clients, influencing trends, or something else altogether?
As our name IMPACT defines, we strive to influence positive outcomes for our clients by developing traffic and transport engineering strategies that provide efficiency benefits whilst also providing safe and convenient solutions for all road users.
When we achieve this, we are also achieving success for our clients and happy clients keep coming back or referring us to others. Success is being the trusted advisor to all our clients.
6. How do you maintain Impacts vision while keeping your clients involved in the process?
Our vision is to be the best in the business at what we do. To achieve this, we seek to carefully listen to client requirements and preferences for a project, before we advise clients of options, timeframes and likely outcomes.
By being upfront with clients they can decide how they wish to proceed to match their expectations.
Keeping clients informed through the design and approval process is also a vital part of the way we operate.
7. How do you feel transport could be used to influence larger culture and create change in community?
With major changes to our current transport modes imminent, now is a very exciting time to explore alternatives.
Australia has always been an early adopter of new technology, and it wouldn't surprise me to see autonomous land and aerial vehicles accepted in the mix by many in the community.
Public transport has seen a massive resurgence in recent times and a sustainable model would be to continue to improve heavy and light rail to community centres whilst encouraging pedestrian, cyclist and short shuttle facilities to these hubs.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring traffic and transport professionals looking to join a company like Impact?
Aim to be the best in the business at what you do. Think outside the square and don't be limited by convention.
For more information, contact:
Impact delivers Traffic and Transport Engineering solutions through a unique 'Inspiring Possibilities' approach. Impact brings you a premium service that is delivered through three specialist offerings: Land Use Planning, Construction Management and Event Management. Impact's offer is extended to built environment professionals and delivers better outcomes and longer term partnerships.