Widacre Homes and Circle Anglia jointly took the prize for their dedication to partnering which has led to much faster completion times

Willmott Dixon's new specialist Widacre venture and its first partner Circle Anglia walked off with this award by dint of their sheer dedication to partnering. Tools such as supplier charters, bespoke framework agreements, “relationship managers” assigned to each supply chain, subcontractor productivity incentives, off-project workshops and end-of-project debriefs have obviously paid off. All but 5% of materials orders are now placed with just 36 formally designated partner suppliers (compared with 300 a few years ago) and the same proportion of its timber frame projects were carried out with two key timber frame partners. The upshot of all this collaborative work? Well, the Peartree housing development in Welwyn Garden City was completed at least 21% quicker than a comparable scheme done the “traditional” way (now known as the hard way …) 


Higgins ConstrucTion

This company has changed its procurement of modern methods of construction for London regeneration projects – and for the better. Higgins evaluated potential MMC suppliers, using questionnaires and factory visits to come up with a crack team of six firms across the UK. The firm then developed team workshops to help integrate these new suppliers into the supply chain, and found that a fresh way of working opened up, with collaborative working, standard detail development, open-book accounting and a true spirit of teamwork.


Keepmoat has a grand mission statement. It is to achieve “an integrated supply chain that is focused on the reduction of the total cost of the supply chain through the analysis of every component and by streamlining processes …” And it seems to be living up to its fine words. This Doncaster firm has established a series of long-term partnering frameworks with subcontractors and its 37 carefully selected suppliers (down from 3000), from which 80 of its core materials are now procured. Keepmoat reckons this alone saves half a million pounds a year in capital costs.


In order to refurbish the entire United States Air Force UK housing stock, some 1200 properties, Defence Estates realised that to competitively tender each phase would waste a huge amount of resources. So it developed a long-term partnering strategy, and chose Mansell Partnership Housing as its sole contractor. An integrated project team comprised USAF, Defence Estates and Mansell as core members, with architect, engineer and materials supplier added later. Mansell says the team has slashed by half the time taken to deliver the phases so far and reduced defects by a massive 96%.

United house

For United House, the whole partnering business is very simple. The Kent firm says: “We do not bid for projects where we cannot bring our partners.” The judges were impressed by this unshakeable philosophy on partnering and the processes by which they are selected and reviewed. Partner subcontractors’ performances are regularly assessed, and United House takes an active role in improving performance through project workshops and forums. What’s more, the company has opened its own training centre for its partner subcontractors to develop their skills.