In fewer than 18 months, a world-class procurement team was pulled together and a bespoke system created to manage £1.5bn of spend, saving £39m and enhancing the reputation of procurement and supply chain. This was all for the UK’s largest road construction project, the A14 upgrade, being delivered by five major construction and engineering firms and a network of supply chain businesses. The procurement team of 25, recruited from a diverse set of backgrounds, gave behaviour weightings to £250m of contracts, including labour, earthworks and traffic management, showing the supply chain the importance of its impact on the community. It also pushed a collaborative approach that encouraged competitors to work together to reduce logistics costs.
“This tackles an issue that procurement sometimes ignores, the behavioural requirements of commercial activities,” judges said, adding: “The key to its success was having a procurement director on the senior leadership team reporting directly to the project director and not through the commercial lead.”