Fit-out contractor Mitie Interiors is to overhaul its supply chain, following similar moves by main contractors including Costain, Wates, Bovis and Laing O’Rourke.

Mitie Interiors now has 200 preferred subcontractors, and also uses hundreds more, but it aims to create an “elite” 50 that will be rewarded with preferential payment terms and retention releases.

The plans echo a wider move to consolidate supply chains in the fit-out sector and beyond. Some contractors have cut supplier numbers while others, including Bovis, are revamping preferred supplier lists.

The plans also follow the news that fit-out contractor Ibex has started a “specialist joinery club” to stave off supplier insolvency. It will give preferred joinery contractors off-site materials payments and a promise not to withhold retentions.

Matthew Quill, joint managing director of Mitie Interiors, said the consolidation proposals would push up standards: “Through these rewards people from the procurement list will aspire to get into them. It is almost a three-level tier process, trying to get people to buy into our commitments and get into the elite level.”

He added that benefits from the scheme would outweigh costs.

It is getting people to buy into our commitments and into the elite level

Matthew Quill, Mitie Interiors

Subcontractors would need to meet the criteria enshrined in Mitie’s “quality without compromise” commitments, which include promises to maintain a high standard of health and safety and to follow quality management and environmental policies.

A spokesperson for Mitie said the proposals would “rationalise the supply chain”.

Meanwhile, Northern Irish company Mivan also said it was “completely reviewing its supply chain”.