A decade of cost savings in the construction supply chain

25 July 2012

As the government looks to more effective procurement to cut the cost of public construction projects by 20 per cent over the next three years, Wolseley UK is celebrating a decade of helping organisations cut building, maintenance and repair costs through smarter procurement and supply chain efficiencies.

Ten years ago, Wolseley UK decided to develop a specialist integrated supply division to help organisations achieve significant efficiency savings on construction projects by using its expertise and experience to manage the supply of all materials, rather than procuring through multiple sources.

Now in 2012, the specialist supply chain and procurement division has been renamed Integrated Services and since its launch has helped hundreds of organisations, including local authorities, large residential housing estates, hospitals, schools and supermarket chains to cut construction costs through smarter and more efficient procurement.

Grant Richardson, Trading Director Integrated Services & New Channel Development Director - Wolseley UK, explains: "The whole concept was developed to take the headache out of large, complex construction projects where materials were being delivered from multiple sources, adding to both the financial and environmental cost. With our single source supply it means that the products that contractors need are supplied where they want them, when they want them - effectively like a just-in-time manufacturing strategy for construction sites. This means that there is less product wastage and no need to store large quantities of stock on site."

Customers can choose from a suite of options, which includes: a single point of contact to process orders, the provision of implanted staff to work within the purchasing organisation, through to the total outsourcing of stores and materials supply.

Richardson continues: "Back in 2002 when we developed the concept of Integrated Services, the construction industry was experiencing a strong period of growth, very different to today's challenging marketplace. There has never been more focus on cutting costs from the construction supply chain, both in the public and private sectors. Our decade of experience in this area can make significant efficiencies on the cost of materials supply, particularly if we are involved very early on in the process."

Wolseley UK's Integrated Services division now operates from 36 locations throughout the UK, with several more scheduled before the end of the year.

The newly named Integrated Services division at Wolseley UK has made six customer commitments:

  • Efficiencies - we save our clients time and money, at all stages of their supply chain, however big or small
  • Knowledge - we provide clients with up to date, relevant information and share best practice from within their sector
  • Availability - we make sure we have the products and services clients want, when they want them, where they want them
  • Community - we support our client's local community through the creation of jobs, training & CSR projects
  • Environment - we offer sustainable supply solutions; putting the environment first because it's legally and ethically right to do so
  • Continuous improvement - we continually strive to improve our business, so that we continually strive to improve our client's business and drive it forward

Adding value at every turn

As part of the commitment to sharing knowledge and best practice initiatives, Integrated Services has also recently launched an intuitive online portal for customers. As a free added value service, the portal allows customers to log on to a dedicated and tailored website to access their own data and product information. A fully interactive dashboard includes key management information and key performance measures such as spend trackers, stock availability and credit note analysis. Bespoke PDF reports can be created at the click of a button and information can be displayed in interactive tables and graphs.

Richardson adds: "The portal is the first of its kind in the industry and is a tool for customers to access up-to-date, relevant information and reports at their fingertips. This way, they can keep track of their contract remotely and ensure that process efficiency and performance is maximised. The site is fully intuitive and easy-to-use and data feeds are automatically entered from our system on a weekly and monthly basis."