Sellafield Ltd’s approach to supplier relationships has been described as ‘outstanding’ by the Government’s lead on the subject.
Stephen Duckworth, head of supplier relationship management (SRM) at the Cabinet Office, said the company’s SRM programme is “setting the future direction” for UK industry.
His comments came as Sellafield Ltd’s supply chain directorate was recognised in the State of Flux 2020 benchmarking index.
Stuart Wilson, Sellafield Ltd SRM lead, said: “This is the result of years of collaborative hard work.
“In January 2018, we set ourselves the challenge of putting in place a ‘best in class’ SRM programme.
“This reflected the Government’s recognition of the importance of contract and performance focus whilst working more closely with suppliers and developing deeper strategic relationships.
“Our approach involved sorting suppliers into four segments: levels one to four, with the most strategically important grouped together in level one.
“That gave us an initial framework to prioritise who to work more closely with, allowing us to release more value out of these relationships to the benefit of Sellafield Ltd and the suppliers themselves.”
Progress has been rapid. In year one, Sellafield Ltd’s approach was rated two (beginner), in 2019 that jumped to a four rating. This year the programme was rated 5.3: class leaders.
“The process is maturing and becoming embedded as business as usual,” added Mr Wilson.
“At the heart of the model is an IT system called Supplierbase. This allows mutual transparency for all level one relationships so we can share key data points like engagement and governance, people, technology, KPIs. tracking, risk and value.
“It has been a really rewarding journey. The process is maturing, becoming embedded as business as usual, and driving real transformational change, especially as we additionally move towards more collaborative working with those recognised as level 2 relationships .”
Mr Duckworth said: “The team at Sellafield have really understood the core principles of SRM and have worked with others to produce an outstanding programme.
“The Government Commercial Function is committed to seeing real innovation in this area and organisations such as Sellafield that really commit are truly setting the future direction.”