Infrastructure Client – Public Sector

  • Marcus Pendlebury
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Our client had previously awarded a significant regional development framework with 13 construction suppliers awarded a place.

As part of this award, there was a commitment from all partners to work as part of a sustainable supply chain group where suppliers would collaborate on areas such as strategic sourcing, innovation and knowledge share/ transfer. Collaborative initiatives developed by the clientincluded a virtual training and development facility funded by tier 1 contractor and the development of a category forecast tool designed to develop a more detailed pipeline of work.

Barkers supported this approach with guidance, strategy setting and project prioritisationto deliver savings, a collaborative approach and a long-term vision.

The client required support to help them define and develop individual projects within the Regional Delivery Partnership which they had initiated in 2019. Their primary objectives were to:

  1. Implement improvements in the supply chain that could be cascaded across the partners. Examples included running collaborative procurements that all partners could benefit from, running innovations as either a trial, or rolling out a proven innovation across supply partners.
  2. Ensure the suppliers were working together to identify areas that would provide significant benefits both to the supply base, the client, and the wider community.
  3. Confirm suppliers were taking ownership of individual projects and driving through improvements and change.
  4. Encourage suppliers to work together as a team for the benefit of all, despite, in effect, being competitors of one another.

To support the client to achieve the collaborative initiatives within the Regional Delivery Partnership, we provided seniorprocurement and commercial transformation services. This was focused upon guidance and leadership, strategy setting and project prioritisation.

We supported regular Task and Finish Groups, settingterms of reference for the groups, such as strategic sourcing and innovation. The regularity of the meetings ensured that they remained task and outcome focused, and Barkers supported indriving the projects forward where necessary.

It was necessary to take a balanced approach to achieve defined outcomes. We were mindful that resource levels of the Design Integration Partners were limited given they have additional priorities and workloads in other areas. To assist with this, we worked with senior management to secure resource allocation for the group.

The group is dependent on the Design Integration Partners taking the lead and ultimately managing all the key priorities themselves. To help them achieve this, Barkers engaged in a programme of mentoring the various supply chain partners, many of whom are in early stages of their careers. The result of this has been excellent, and we have witnessed fantastic individual development.

An inherent challenge to this group is that all members are in effect competitors, so naturally do not wish to work together. To alleviate this fundamental barrier, we have spent time with the group to build relationships and encourage collaborative behaviour. We have been able to demonstrate the benefits to them in doing so. As an example, within the strategic sourcing element, 11 suppliers came together to achieve a significant deal. The group are now collaborating on 3-4 other categories, having witnessed the benefits of this approach.

Barkers supported the client to achieve the following:

  • Sustainable strategic sourcing

Successful groups working on strategic sourcing and innovation, meeting monthly and chaired by the suppliers themselves with Barkers’ support. By setting up the groups in this way, the groups are sustainable due to strength in depth within the supply chain, mitigating against risk when individuals change roles or leave the business.

  • Collaborative approach

Bringing in client representatives to the group has created a collaborative environment rather than a silo mentality. Examples of this include Category Management, Innovation and Designated Funds teams within the organisation actively working in the group.

  • Innovation

Ten innovation strands are being worked on actively within the group with the intention of driving them through the supply base to ensure they become standard practice.

  • Results

Savings of between 7-20% are anticipated. In addition, there have been substantial benefits in areas such as R&D, social value and carbon reduction.

  • Long-Term vision

A successful template has been created to allow the client to run another 3 similar collaborations in FY23/24 driving a long-term vision and leaving a legacy.

  • Recognition

The client was shortlisted for a national award in recognition of the best practice developed in supply chain integration.

Delivering social value was fundamental to the process. On strategic sourcing collaborations, we utilised a total value of ownership model that not only looks at price but considers key commitments from organisation’s tendering based on areas such as social value and carbon reduction.

Barkers: Infrastructure Client Case Study

Author: Marcus Pendlebury