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Supply Chain Excellence: Winner

Winner: A14 Integrated Delivery Team

The A14 Integrated Delivery Team (A14 IDT) behind the £1.5bn Huntingdon to Cambridge upgrade triumphed after demonstrating comprehensive collaboration between contractor and client.

Led by Balfour Beatty, Costain and Skanska, designers Atkins and CH2M and client Highways England, the project also involves a huge number of other suppliers and is underpinned by the philosophy of, ‘You’re only as good as your supply chain’.

The judges heard that a behavioural approach to procurement and supply chain management has been fundamental to the selection process, with more than £250m-worth of supply chain contracts procured via a behavioural assessment.

These included labour, earthworks, pavement and demolition deals, all of which was procured through blind scoring of PQQs to eradicate unconscious bias.

Weekend behavioural workshops encouraged feedback on common industry issues, such as clients not listening, overreacting and resorting to blame games.

It’s an approach that has increased awareness of organisational behaviours for everyone working on the scheme.

The inclusive environment this has produced enables stakeholders to openly challenge each other, helping to strengthen working relationships and encourage a no-blame culture.

An example of the benefits of this approach is the work of HW Martin, which was chosen for a £12.5m traffic management contract.

The specialist embraced the project’s behavioural workshops, and its collaboration with other teams produced savings of more than £600,000 on its package.


“This is a team that is really doing something different in dealing with big industry issues, showing a genuine commitment to driving behavioural change in the supply chain and removing conflict”

Judges’ comment

The panel was pleased to hear that enhancing the behaviours of supply chain partners has helped those organisations build stronger relationships internally and externally.

Another example was the joint effort of four competitors from the labour market, which pooled their resources to supply the right people for the project and mitigate the risk of labour shortages in the process. 

Labour suppliers went on health and safety tours of sites together to create integrated teams, while the IDT also incentivised firms to hire equipment between themselves rather than off-hiring to other sites.

To capture the learnings from the scheme, best and worst practices have been recorded online so they can be taken from project to project as an ongoing resource.

Grilled by the judges, the team freely acknowledged that best intentions had not always translated to changed behaviours and hard decisions had to be made, with at least one supplier having to leave the team.

But the panel recognised the team’s commitment to its approach, praising its determination not only to continuously improve its entire supply chain but to raise the bar for major project delivery.


  • BNM Alliance / Severn Trent Water
  • DataScope Systems / Munnelly / Canary Wharf Contractors
  • Jackson Civil Engineering / MWay Comms / Connect Plus Services
  • Midland Metro Alliance
  • Supply Chain Sustainability School
  • The Sovini Group

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