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Supply Chain Excellence: Winner

Winner: UK Power Networks – Principals’ Group

UK Power Networks formally launched its ground-breaking Principals’ Group in 2013 to ensure contractors’ values and priorities were aligned with its corporate aims of being an employer of choice, a responsible corporate citizen and being sustainably cost-efficient. 

Around 65 per cent of the energy distributor’s turnover goes through its supply chain and UK Power Networks realised its performance could only be improved if its contractors were aligned to its goals and aims.

The group is chaired by UK Power Networks and includes senior directors from 20 top contractors.

These leaders meet quarterly to understand the business plan and current performance and to share ideas, experience, innovation and best practice.

The first year was spent on developing the group’s vision and roadmap, as well as the creation of the first sub-group, focusing on health and safety.

UK Power Networks needed to reduce injuries. Every meeting begins with incident reports from the previous quarter.

The senior director from the contractor involved must stand and explain to members – his competitors – what went wrong and what he will do to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“UK Power Networks has clearly put a mechanism in place to drive improvement. And from a low starting position they have very good stats to prove that they delivered what they set out to. The results are impressive”

Judges’ comment

The results have been dramatic. In 2007, there were 77 lost-time injuries (LTIs) of one day or more (contractors and client); in 2012, there were 35.

But following the group’s launch, this dropped to 13 at the end of 2014.

Working days lost plummeted from 1,240 in 2012 to 640 in 2014.

And UK Power Networks expects the Energy Networks Association to confirm that the combined AFR of 0.06 (including the supply chain) is the best in the sector.

Another focus is customer service: a collaborative approach has reduced customer complaints and moved the firm from the bottom of the Ofgem league table in 2013 (by ownership group) to second in 2014.

Judges were impressed by the results, but also how the initiative has fostered a genuinely collaborative spirit between direct competitors who all reap the benefits of each other’s experience.

This new collaborative atmosphere certainly came into its own when a huge underground cable fire broke out in Holborn earlier in the year – shutting down power across swathes of London’s West End.

The supply chain pulled together in the crisis, with the power distributor able to do one year’s work in five days – and get London’s lights back on quickly.

Highly Commended: Morgan Sindall – Setting the Standard

The judges were extremely impressed with this simple but highly effective concept which provides products, solutions and services to 40,000 people working across Morgan Sindall Group’s sites.

The main contractor is promoting safety and efficiency through a unique collaborative plant hire desk consisting of 12 plant family members.

“Morgan Sindall has taken a simple idea and made it work financially.  It’s not been driven by contractual necessity but by the principle of achieving proper collaboration”

Judges’ comment

Morgan Sindall’s dedicated team handles more than 22,000 transactions a year, achieving an average rate of 90 per cent perfect deliveries to Morgan Sindall staff and their supply chains.

The operation helps improve safety by ensuring cultures are aligned – if there is a problem with a piece of equipment all sites are automatically alerted.

In addition, staff are automatically checked to ensure they are qualified to use the equipment.

Sustainability performance and training are shared across plants suppliers, while losses and damages have been substantially reduced.


Bam Ferrovial Kier joint venture – Crossrail C300/410 western tunnels and stations and C435 Farringdon main station works

Cemex – Customer Focused Solutions

Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies GB – London Bridge station redevelopment

Skanska UK – Collaborative procurement

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