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Collaboration Key To Supply Chain Success

22 May 2014

A company’s success relies on the effectiveness of its supply chain, whether it’s in promoting collaboration and technical innovation or by improving customer satisfaction.

Costain recently held its annual Supply Chain Management (SCM) Conference at Warwick University where 140 suppliers and 60 staff heard how this is being applied at Costain. Welcoming the delegates, Andrew Wyllie, Costain’s Chief Executive, explained why a successful supply chain is so important to the success of the Company’s Engineering Tomorrow strategy, Costain’s commitment to identifying, developing and implementing innovative solutions to meet the UK’s major national infrastructure needs.

“The success of any company is down to the cumulative effort of a large number of people working together to achieve a set of shared goals, and we wanted to highlight that at this year’s Supply Chain Management Conference. Effective supply chain management relies on good communication and a strong, collaborative working relationship, which are all central to our Engineering Tomorrow strategy,” said Martin Orrells, Costain’s General Manager for Procurement and Supply Chain Management, who organised the event.

To illustrate this, Matthew Gent, Managing Director of Mammoet, the global leader in engineered heavy lifting and transport, delivered a presentation called ‘Challenges Evaporate’ which explained how early engagement, collaboration and innovative solutions enabled it to transport and install a 27 metre high, 550 ton modular unit, one of the biggest delivered to the Evaporator D Project at Sellafield.

The use of modular construction enabled the fabrication and testing of the majority of the plant equipment to be carried out off-site. The modules were assembled 90 miles south of the Sellafield site in West Cumbria before being loaded onto a barge and shipped to a beach in West Cumbria and loaded onto transport for a 1.5km ride by Self Propelled Modular Transporter, supplied by Mammoet, to the Sellafield site.

Continuing the modular theme, Michael Peers from Harry Peers Steelwork delivered a presentation on ‘The Future is Modular,’ which looked at modular build within the structural steel industry.

Delegates also heard from Colin Reynell, Costain’s Operations and Programmes Director for the Water Sector, and Steve Fozard, a Supply Chain Manager, who gave some insights into off-site manufacturing through ‘Factory Thinking’ which uses production controls and simple assembly techniques to help Costain deliver whole life cost benefits to its customer base.

Finally, James Forward presented on behalf of Path Intelligences MD, an innovative people tracking technology used jointly to deliver a solution to our rail sector customers.

Next, Patrick Bruce, Costain’s Group Commercial Director, and Richard Howell, Costain’s Head of Supply Chain, presented certificates of recognition for excellent performance to Mammoet, Harry Peers Steelwork, Bridges & WW Pipetech.

The day concluded with a Q&A session with Costain’s Executive Panel, which included Andrew Wyllie; Tony Bickerstaff, Group Finance Director; Darren James, Managing Director for Infrastructure; Alex Vaughan, Managing Director for Natural Resources; Peter Fisher, Costain’s Group Safety, Health & Environmental Director, and Patrick Bruce.

The event was well received by all delegates, not least because it gave members of the supply chain an insight into how they fit into Costain’s broader strategy and an opportunity to directly engage with Costain’s senior management team.

“The scale of what has been achieved by Costain by following a clear and well considered strategy is very impressive and we are proud to be part of your supply chain,” said Chris Pike, from Hyder Consulting.