Reframing the story of local impact


Ellie Jenkins


Akerlof first met Mansell Building Solutions (MBS) at an industry event, where the offsite framing contractor was intrigued by our social value approach. While MBS was already making a positive local impact, they were grappling with the complexity of social value more holistically and sought guidance to streamline their approach. As a small business, they were not in a position to recruit a social value specialist or to commit to a costly piece of consultancy work, so we worked with MBS to develop a tailored solution that aligned perfectly with their needs and capabilities.

What we did

Drawing from MBS’s extensive data repository, we gained insights into the core values of MBS, their specific areas of impact for local communities and the environment, and how social value initiatives resonated with various stakeholders.

Leveraging this information, Akerlof took steps to both define MBS’s overarching social value themes and articulate the benefits of social value for a diverse range of stakeholders, to create a compelling business case for social value. We then crafted a comprehensive action plan for 2024, mapped against these themes, and populated it with proposed initiatives alongside actions already underway or in progress.

Akerlof also provided a detailed budget outlining the anticipated costs associated with social value activities, enabling MBS to integrate their social value initiatives into their broader business plans.

The impact

  • A business case for social value, demonstrating the benefits for the business, employees and communities
  • A set of social value themes, mapped against a clear action plan with owners and timings
  • Staff coaching for improved confidence around social value, including the use of consistent language, whilst acknowledging and celebrating MBS successes to date
  • Simplified social value data management processes, including amalgamated data for 2023 as well as stretching yet achievable targets for 2024

Don't just take our word for it...

We were looking for someone to take a fresh look at our strategy to ensure that we focus on the right things and fully understand the impact we are having. The team at Akerlof provided us with a social value structure and framework for us to operate under. This framework promises benefits not only for our clients, employees, and supply chain but is also helping us to be clear and consistent in the way we talk about social value. We envision this work being scaled up to benefit other SMEs as well. Penny is lovely to work with, knowledgeable and genuinely cares about our success and the impact on our communities.

Angela Mansell, Managing Director, MBS

Jamie Hillier


With a penchant for tweed and jackets with leather arm patches, Jamie began his career as a quantity surveyor, before climbing the ladder to lead major projects for a Tier 1 contractor.

Eventually expanding his book collection beyond copies of SMM7, Jamie has interest in a broad range of subjects linked to delivering better outcomes for society and the environment.

His strategic insights on MMC and behavioural science have made their way into numerous government, industry and academic publications, including the Construction Playbook, Transforming Infrastructure Performance Roadmap to 2030, the Platform Rulebook and the RIBA DfMA Overlay.

John Handscomb


Construction is in John’s blood. Learning from his father who was a planner and project manager, John began his career by working on some iconic projects in both the public and private sector.

As a procurement expert and integrator of new ways of working, John has pioneered the integration of platform principles, DfMA processes and supply chain within over £5bn projects in the last 15 years, for some of the largest building programmes in the UK. Despite his considerable expertise, John keeps it simple, communicating complicated ideas with ease and helping to equip the industry with new knowledge and skills.

Outside of Akerlof, John enjoys his executive role with technology start-up ScanTech Digital, spending time with his family, taking trips down the football, playing a bit of golf with friends and the odd pint. 

Our name is shared with George Akerlof, a Nobel Prize-winning economist.

His seminal paper, Market for Lemons, demonstrated the devastating consequences of making decisions under the conditions of quality uncertainty and unequal information between buyers and sellers, increasing the chance of buyers ending up with a ‘lemon’.

This 50-year-old concept continues to retain parallels within the construction industry.

Through our insight and experience, we can rebalance this information asymmetry on behalf of our clients, levelling the playing field to deliver better outcomes.