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Projected growth

Projected growth

30/11/2006 | Channel: Business

Atkins plans, designs and enables the delivery of capital projects to public and private sector clients across a wide range of industries

As the largest multidisciplinary consultancy in Europe, and the largest engineering consultancy in the UK, Atkins plans all aspects of clients projects, designs systems, processes, buildings and civil structures. It also enables clients’ complex programmes across a wide and varied customer base in service sectors such as transport, telecoms, airports, defence, utilities, energy, health, environment and aerospace markets.

Employing a wide selection of professionals, including architects, surveyors, nuclear physicists and geologists, the company’s core business is to plan, design and enable solutions for its clients, operating through seven business segments; Highways and Transportation, Rail, Design and Engineering Solutions, the Middle East and China,Management and Project Services, Asset Management and Equity Investments.

“With so many different experts around the Group, we can bring together specialised teams to meet or exceed the exact needs of our clients,” explains Sue Ferm, supply chain management director. “For example our Asset Management business won a public sector contract for a Facilities Management Information Centre with the support of our Management Consultants business and the Group’s Information Services team- a very clear example of the Group’s strength in depth.”

Turning her attention to developments within the Group’s supply chain, Sue comments: “A Supply Chain Development Programme commenced in 2005 - this development was split into three key phases, phase one was to create a Supply Chain Centre of Excellence within the Asset Management business.We now have a team of 27 people based in our Leeds office who are managing categories including travel and fleet management, office services and recruitment agencies alongside the supply chain management for our key clients in technical and accommodation services such as repair and maintenance and cleaning.

“Phase two of the programme is to use this Centre of Excellence to engage with the different business units, helping where appropriate to manage their supply chains more effectively, so that the same best practice processes and tools can be made
available to manage supply chains across the Group. The ultimate vision is that suppliers working with any part of the business will be engaged via a similar process making us easier to do business with and ultimately making us a customer of choice.”

One of Atkins’ Supply Chain Solutions initiatives to ensure supply chain consistency is its Quantum Accreditation process. “For each category we have got a ten vector diagram that states what we expect from a supplier in that marketplace,” explains Sue. “We then do an assessment, validating suppliers against this footprint to show us where development is required or where a particular supplier is operating in advance of our expectations.”

As part of this selection and assessment process suppliers have to adhere to the four
cornerstones of the supplier sourcing strategy: continuous performance improvement, cost effectiveness, commitment to managing operational risk, and the ability to demonstrate statutory compliance.

Once suppliers have been selected, Sue explains that Atkins has a culture of developing and building long-term partnering relationships where possible: “One of many examples is Zenith, the independent fleet management company. They have managed our fleet for six years, which ordinarily people would say is too long, but we've assessed and benchmarked their performance along the way, and they understand our business, so we have grown and developed together.”

Alongside the vision of establishing best practice processes for dealing with suppliers, Sue explains that there are plans to enhance the Supply Chain Solutions service proposition to provide a consultancy service: “Initially it will focus on the internal market within Atkins identifying the opportunities for improvement and enhancement to existing supply chain activity but there is clearly potential externally
which will be reviewed. There is a vast opportunity for this service, and it is important for us to distribute our knowledge across the group.”

Named among the Sunday Times’ ‘20 Best Big Companies to Work For 2006,’Atkins is a successful people-oriented business that is in a period of significant growth.With a clear vision for the future of its supply chain operations, the Group is committed to ensuring that its service quality continues to develop alongside this expansion.

Sue concludes: “Currently, we have about 16,000 employees, and are forecast to grow by another 10,000 over the next five years. Focusing on making our identity
clearer, we are developing excellence in everything that we do to encourage further growth.”

Employees: 16,000
Industry: Consultancy