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As one of the UK’s largest specialist ductwork subcontractors, Hotchkiss has overseen projects such as the Tate Modern on the South Bank and Broadgate in the City of London, often from concept stage through to fit-out and even maintenance. From this privileged position, the firm knows all about how well project can run if the supply chain works as it should – and about the web of confusion that can arise if it gets snarled.
The firm has a reputation for staying close to its tried and tested specialists, and that partly accounts for its close relationship with major clients such as Stanhope and BAA. Indeed, on the Heathrow Terminal 5 project, Hotchkiss has the responsibility of heading the “buy club” for purchasing axial fans, attenuators and thermal insulation. As with all areas of supply, Hotchkiss will be able to choose from one or two reputable suppliers that it has built a relationship with over a number of years.
Over the past 10 years, Alumet has evolved from a small window and curtain wall company to an £8m-turnover outfit that provides a full facade package for clients, including its award-winning innovation, the Avon Dry Wall Beam (see the innovations category, page 15). In the course of several multimillion pound contracts, it has set up several partnering agreements with suppliers and forged partnerships with contractors such as Taylor Woodrow, Miller, Marriotts and Moss Construction. Taywood even awarded it gold preferred supplier status because of its willingness to become involved at the early stages of a project.
The Winchester office of cladding and roofing specialist Lakesmere was awarded a Business Excellence Through People certificate by the city council this year. This will come as no surprise to those who are familiar with the firm, which has four delivery teams that take a project from research and design through to construction and management. To do this effectively, it has developed special relationships with its supply-chain members, with whom it evaluates market trends and potential problems. The company encourages team bonding and development and works to identify problems early.
Briggs roofing and cladding
As Briggs is one of the few contractors to install all types of flat roofing systems as well as metal roof and wall cladding, you might think it has to use a complex supply chain. And if you thought that in 1994, you’d be right: they had more than 5000 suppliers of goods and services. These days, you’d be wrong: Briggs has formed about 30 strategic partnerships with preferred suppliers, and these take care of 80% of its needs. These partnerships work through local branch offices, allowing the firm to stay close to suppliers and clients. The preferred suppliers are reviewed annually, which ensures an impressive consistency of performance.
Specialist Contractor Awards 2004
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Best supply-chain award