New approach shortens Thames Water’s procurement cycle by 14 months UK

Posted: Monday 15th July 2013

Thames Water has reduced its procurement process from 18 months to just four for its £3bn+ contract to upgrade deteriorating infrastructure.

Working with procurement specialists JCP, the company has moved the focus away from a purely commercial approach to a collaborative and supportive environment with partners across the supply chain.
Simply by circumventing the need for a costly bid process, Thames Water has used the new approach to secure the best experts in the industry to carry out the refurbishment programme, which is anticipated to take 12 years to complete.
Tim Coles, Head of Capital Procurement at Thames Water, said: "We have procured an option to offer the longest contract term ever awarded by Thames Water. Rather than taking a purely commercial and technical approach, we have focused on behaviour by putting our people and our partners’ people through interviews, site visits and workshops. This process has reduced the procurement process from up to 18 months to four and has significantly lowered the cost of bidding for the bidders involved."
The move comes as the water regulator and the government have called for greater efficiencies in procurement for large-scale infrastructure projects, aware that the public now expect projects to cost more and take longer than promised.
Simon Vaughan, Director at JCP said that adopting a collaboration approach to procurement was the way forward for companies working on long-term, high cost projects. “For over 20 years, we’ve been helping companies to dramatically and consistently reduce time and cost on capital projects. We devise flexible models that companies can apply to individual procurement projects so that they can deliver on both time and cost, often ahead of projections.”
The approach has been acknowledged by the UK Cabinet Office as one which delivers savings to the taxpayer and Tim Coles said that Thames Water is keen to take advantage of this new approach in the long term.
“JCP have helped us deliver a behavioural procurement process that met this challenge as well as being both robust and speedy. Working collaboratively with us they quickly produced a process that was rated as excellent by both ourselves and the bidders. We look forward to working with JCP in an on-going way as they support our alliance in a way of working that has collaboration at its heart."




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