PA Consulting Group has won the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) Award for the best overall project for its work with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). PA also won the Innovation Award for this project at the ceremony in London on Thursday 19 April 2012, adding to PA's long-running collection of MCA Awards.
The winning project involved PA working with the MOD to urgently develop a vital new capability to protect UK troops in Afghanistan from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), hidden below road surfaces. Working with the MOD and key industry partners, PA developed 'Panama', a ground-breaking unmanned vehicle-based explosive device detection system that has been saving lives in Afghanistan since early 2011.
The main challenge was to find a middle path between bespoke and off-the-shelf options. Complete off-the-shelf solutions existed but were manned, however customising an unmanned solution within the required timescale of under a year looked impossible. PA's solution was to use obsolete 'Snatch' Land Rovers, 200 of which were awaiting disposal by the MOD, together with a proven IED detection system.
The unmanned Panama keeps the crew out of harm's way and is saving the lives of UK forces in Afghanistan. A route can now be searched for IEDs at least ten times faster. Panama took just eleven months to move from investment decision to operational use and will achieve £17M of savings.
Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Parker OBE, Senior Requirements Manager, Manoeuvre Support Team, UK MOD said of the project: "Together we have achieved results that many, both within and outside of the team, thought impossible at the outset. PA helped us to execute the role with confidence and convert scepticism amongst key stakeholders to commitment. Perhaps most importantly, PA has helped to make Panama a source of pride within the MOD as we continue to ensure we fully support the needs of our soldiers in Afghanistan."
David Walters, defence expert at PA and responsible for delivering the assignment, said: "This was an exciting and challenging programme, both for PA and the MOD. Working closely together, the joint team together delivered not only a key capability for the MOD and UK troops, but also demonstrated that through commitment and innovation, it is possible to change and significantly reduce acquisition timescales in defence at a time of intense scrutiny and pressure."
About PA Consulting Group
We are a firm of more than 2,000 people, specialising in management and IT consulting, technology and innovation. Independent and employee-owned, we operate globally from offices across Europe and the Nordics, the United States, the Gulf and Asia Pacific.
We work with businesses and governments to anticipate, understand and meet the challenges they face. We have outstanding technology-development capability and a unique breadth of skills, from strategy to performance improvement, from HR to IT. Our expertise covers energy, financial services, life sciences and healthcare, government and public services, defence and security, transport and logistics, telecommunications, consumer goods and automotive.
PA has extensive experience working closely with our clients in both the public and private sectors at the forefront of cyber security. From world-leading energy firms to major government departments, we help organisations significantly strengthen security and reduce risk - and ultimately, improve business performance. We take an integrated and practical approach to cyber security, bringing together people, organisational and technical elements to create an effective strategy for protecting business assets.