ICE Talks: Procurement and supply

ICE members

The need to improve procurement practices and reduce opportunities for waste throughout the  supply chain are vital if we are to deliver the world class infrastructure the UK's economy requires.

As part of our Procurement and the Supply Chain campaign, ICE is using the experience and knowledge of our members to highlight the their views on current practices, and more importantly, to give voice to their thoughts on how procurement practices can be improved and savings achieved.

In the lead up to Procurement and the Supply Chain 2016, new thoughts from ICE members will be released every week, from ICE members involved in every aspect of civil engeering, procurement, legal practice and accademia.

Join the debate and share your thoughts #EngineeringChange and #ICEProcurement

  • Susan Briggs

    Working on A9 dualling in Scotland, help procurement, start thinking about it earlier and have sight of budgets coming through. Need to think long term and have understanding of long term money coming through. More collaboration and working together, reasons for this but things work better if you can bring people together.

    Susan Briggs, Project Manager, Fairhurst
  • Alexis Field

    I think engineers are innovative by nature, but our industry isn't as innovative as it could be and there are things that stop us such as contracts. We need to be more innovative about how we do things. Do we want to restrict people, need to think differently about the framework people work within to encourage innovation.

    Alexis Field, Growth and Improvement Team Leader
  • Eva Linnell

    I think the question about risk is interesting, as an industry we are too risk averse. Clients want expected outcomes and consultants want to deliver them. By doing the same things again and again we are not going to tackle this situations we have. If you talk about the risk of extreme events, we need to adapt how we think about these events. Risk is something we need to consider a bit more carefully.

    Eva Linnell, Water Engineer, Atkins
  • Donald Bell

    The industry benefits from a stable workload, it takes a long time to train people up and its important that politicians realise that these people can't be conjured out of the air and if they cancel projects people will go into other industries. Consistency, these are long term projects for long term investments. Stop start infrastructure investment is not the way ahead. They wouldn't do it with health, policing or defence you need to get it right for infrastructure.

    Donald Bell, Client Director
  • Sophie McPhillips

    I think the traditional ways we procure projects and the contracts that we use are a huge blocker to innovation and there are ways we can avoid this by using pain/gain mechanisms. Clients might ask for innovation, but if they don't create the environment for it to be brought forward they aren't going to get it. By sharing the risks and rewards of innovation everybody is encouraged to do it.

    Sophie McPhillips, Assistant Engineer, Atkins
  • Sarah Kellerman

    Procurement could be improved by focusing on what's important in pre qualification and the start of the process. It needs to be a very efficient procurement process.

    Sarah Kellerman, Partner, Arcadis
  • Nick Lyness

    Procurement is a word that until 40 years ago wasn't used. It evolved around nuclear submarines in America. Brunel and our fore fathers when they were building the Parthenon didn't go 'where's my procurement manual?'. We've tried to frame it within framework contracts which last 5 years. Its difficult to get procurement right. Any contracted relationship with society is about behaviour and trust.

    Nick Lyness, Wessex Flood & Control Risk Manager, Environment Agency
  • Teresa Frost

    I don't think engineers are too risk averse. The consequence of an accident because you don't take into account those risks are huge and I don't think anybody would want to be on the end of that litigation.

    Teresa Frost, Area Surfacing Manager, CORMAC Solutions Ltd
  • Eva Linnell

    In terms of ethics, in my career I've not had any huge dilemmas, but being aware of these huge global challenges. There is an element of me challenging why we are putting in tons of concrete. In water there is some short term thinking…its difficult for me fairly young in the industry...with the right communication with clients one can overcome that.

    Eva Linnell, Water Engineer, Atkins
  • Ann Metherall

    Within the industry I feel it needs to get to grips with the management of risk. We need to get better at it and do it. Proporal risk management. Risk management isn't to avoidance of all risk, but the avoidance of all risk has become the aim. Causing problems and costing money. It potentially makes people risk averse.

    Ann Metherall, Partner
  • Donald Bell

    There is a lot of money and time spent by the industry to tender and build projects. I think we need to work together to see if we can streamline that and cut down costs, to deliver projects faster and to deliver better finished products for society.

    Donald Bell, Client Director
  • Alexis Field

    I work for a client organisation and one of things I get to see is the good and bad. There is a lot of good going on. Its very hard for clients to understand the value of things. Need to be able to show the real value of things, not always about the right technical answer.

    Alexis Field, Growth and Improvement Team Leader

Procurement and the supply chain

In order to help improve procurement skills and tackle some of the issues our members perceive, we've produced a unique procurement knowledge resource. Lead by Procurement and the Supply Chain 2016, this includes a range of best practice, case studies, events and training opportunities from ICE, ICE Training and NEC.

Explore procurement and the supply chain

Procurement events

Hear from innovative construction leaders on changes in industry and how everyone can win.

ICE Procurement and the Supply Chain 2016 will be the largest gathering of experts representing every step of the supply chain, sharing knowledge and promoting best practice in the heart of Procurement Fortnight.

  • Hear lessons learnt from major projects
  • Get updated on regulation changes
  • Network with leading professionals
ICE Procurement and the Supply Chain 2016

Expert speakers at ICE Procurement and the Supply Chain 2016 include:

Simon Adams - Procurement speaker

Simon Adams
Head of Commerical, Crossrail 2

Ainslie McLaughlin - Procurement speaker

Ainslie McLaughlin
Director, Scottish Procurement and Commercial

David Poole - procurement speaker

David Poole
Director, Commercial and Procurement, Highways England

Beth West - Procurement speaker

Beth West
Commercial Director, HS2

Alexis Field, Growth and Improvement Team Leader

Alexis Field
Alexis Field

Alexis is an Incorporated Engineer and past student of Plymouth University. Her career has been within the highways sector initially working for WSP Development as an infrastructure engineer on schemes such as the Bath Southgate redevelopment. By chance and not design, a move to Highways England (then Agency) moved Alexis to the client side.

Since then, Alexis has worked in Network Delivery and Development on a broad range of high profile projects and programmes and is currently the team leader for the Growth and Improvement Team in the south west.

Alexis has particular interests in project and programme management, lean improvement, equality and diversity and the sustainable development and growth of the south west region.

She is married to a Chartered Engineer, Dan, and mum to a soon to be 2 year old boy and aspiring engineer, Xavier. Living in a house full of engineers and all their traits can be interesting at times, particularly when the evening conversations revolve around concrete or being very particular about building a bridge with toy blocks.

Donald Bell, Client Director

Donald is a chartered civil engineer and a Client Director in CH2M's European highways and bridges team, with responsibility for project and business delivery in Scotland.

A graduate of Dundee University, he has over 30 years’ international experience in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of transport infrastructure and is currently providing strategic leadership for major trunk road projects and advisory frameworks.

He has also provided strategic advice to various European roads authorities and led the ground-breaking National Roads Maintenance Review in Scotland, identifying ways of improving service and value

He has a strong record of innovation and has particular interests in sustainability, diversity and corporate social responsibility.

Ann Metherall, Partner, Burges Salmon LLP

Ann Metherall is a fellow of ICE having worked as a civil engineer in the rail sector for over 11 years. She is also a disputes lawyer and recognised for her work in Transport and Health and Safety.

Ann’s extensive experience includes rail disputes, rail regulation, liability claims and procurement. She also advises on regulatory and criminal investigations as well as commercial disputes across a range of industries.

Eva Linnell, Water Engineer, Atkins

Eva is a graduate member of ICE, having completed a MEng Engineering Design course at the University of Bristol, then a six month Engineers Without Borders placement in Ecuador, where she worked on improving rural water supply systems.

Eva is currently based in the Bristol Water offices, working on water treatment works, pumping stations and mains diversions. She is primarily a civil engineer, but in carries out a considerable amount of coordination and liaison work.

Teresa Frost, Area Surfacing Manager, CORMAC Solutions Ltd

I started work straight from school for South West Water Authority in the drawing office. Updating plans with apparatus and responding to enquiries. I transferred in to the Mains Drainage section when the company was privatised, I enjoyed the change and the responsibility of drawing up schemes, long section, construction details etc under the guidance of the engineers. I left when my progress was hampered.

I worked in a woolshop as a manageress and then when the shop closed moved to Cornwall where I worked for a while for a timber frame housing company and then an Architect before I secured a position as a Trainee Technician with Cornwall County Council. This all seems such a long time ago. I rotated through an number of positions in a variety of teams, I passed my professional review for IEng AMICE in 1995 and then transferred my membership to MICE in 2001. I became FICE in 2013.

I have spent a number of years now at Cornwall Council holding positions such as Minor Improvements Officer, Streetworks Assistant, I have been seconded out to complete the role of Trunk Road Manager and I have held the position of Partnership Coordinator and Business Improvement Manager. My longest serving role was in highway maintenance and currently I am enjoying being an Area Surfacing Manager with CORMAC Solutions Ltd.

Nick Lyness, Wessex Flood & Control Risk Manager, Environment Agency

I am currently the Wessex Area Flood & Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency. The role makes me responsible for providing an overview on all flood and coastal risk, high quality data on risk and communicating this data in suitable formats for professional partners and politicians to make informed.

I also work on community engagement on flood and coast erosion risk and climate change, promoting improvements in weather forecasting and monitoring, providing a flood warning service, providing flood and erosion defences with the delivery of a 6 year capital programme, securing external funding, and ensuring existing defences are maintained.

I’m also a Category 1 respondee under the Civil Contingency Act, so I work with emergencies and civil authorities during incidents and on future resilience and readiness.

I sit on a number of local, regional and national bodies e.g. ICE City Club Chair, past SW ICE Regional Chair, ICE Regional Committee, national ICE Geospatial Panel, UWE University Industrial Advisory Panel, Future Forum, Dorset Coast Forum Steering Group, World Heritage Jurassic Management Group and Steering Group, EU Interreg Projects, KRING ( European North Sea Tidal Surge Group), LRF Execs, etc.

My career experience has included work throughout the UK working for consultants, contractors, local government and government agencies as a promoter, option appraiser, designer, constructor, project manager, programme manager, operator, strategic planner, policy delivery. I’ve worked on range of projects including public health, sewerage, sewage stations, marine structures, tunnels, highways, bridges, office blocks, off shore structures, pipelines, pumping stations, flood defences, reservoirs, inland navigation structures, land drainage, etc.

Outside of work I’ve got a number of interests, including sea kayaking, cycling, sea swimming, hill walking. I’m passionate about my work with its mix of geology, natural geomorphological processes, scientific investigations, application of engineering solutions provision of a public service and learning from our communities.

Sarah Kellerman, Partner, Arcadis

Sarah Kellerman is a Partner within the Contract Solutions team of EC Harris. Sarah is an experienced Chartered Civil Engineer with legal qualifications, originally from a consulting engineering background; she has 28 years of practical experience working for client organisations, consultants and contractors in civil engineering, quantity surveying and project and commercial management.

Sarah has recently provided contract and commercial services to power station, industrial and oil and gas plant clients. Her experience is over a diverse range of sectors including water, marine, rail, highways infrastructure, utilities, building and civil engineering, public works, nuclear, oil and gas, petro-chemical, power, and shipbuilding/refurbishment.

Sarah is experienced in NEC contracts and has been leading and managing the forensic audit of Defined Costs under NEC contracts for the purposes of commercial management and the defence of claimed costs for compensation event disputes. She is currently working on expert witness and procurement commissions and works with client organisation, lawyers, engineers and contractors to develop the commercial strategies needed to ensure that the payment of costs is consistent with contractual entitlement.

Sophie McPhillips, Assistant Engineer, Atkins

Sophie McPhillips is an Assistant Water Engineer in Atkins’ Water, Ground & Environment business. She has worked in the UK on water treatment systems, pumping stations and pipelines, and abroad in Uganda and The Gambia on rural water supply projects.

In 2015 she was an ICE President’s Apprentice, working with David Balmforth to research the blockers and drivers of innovation in the UK construction and engineering industries. She co-authored the report ‘Innovation: Stepping up the Industry’ with the other apprentices and she is now working to share the findings with companies and leaders in the industry.

Sophie is also an Ambassador for the charity FRANK Water.

Susan Briggs, Project Manager, Fairhurst

Susan Briggs is a project manager with Fairhust in Glasgow. Her time is currently divided between two roles on the A9 Dualling Programme: seconded to Transport Scotland working on the procurement strategy; and in the CH2M Fairhurst JV working on scheme development.

Susan is a chartered civil engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the assessment, design and procurement of transportation projects and over 10 years’ experience of business management. Before joining Fairhurst she worked for Scott Wilson and URS in UK and Ireland and in Eastern Europe and Nordic.

Susan grew up and went to University in Glasgow. She joined Scott Wilson Scotland Ltd in 1982 and was based in Glasgow until 2000 when she moved to Newcastle upon Tyne and then, in 2005, to Dublin. She became a Director in 2007. Following re-organisation Susan worked in the Transportation Sector, first in Local Government Services and then in Major Roads. In 2013 she moved to Warsaw, as Regional Director responsible for URS’s Infrastructure business in Eastern Europe and Nordic.