Contractor plans to charge product and materials suppliers over £200 to register with its quality and data management system


Kier’s plans to make suppliers pay over £200 to register with the firm or risk losing work have been labelled “daft” by the Construction Products Association.

Today, Kier unveiled its Kier Vendor Management System, a quality control and data verification system, which all its major product and materials suppliers will have to be registered under.

The scheme, which is for product and materials suppliers, not subcontractors, is designed to ensure that all the materials supplied to Kier’s projects are of a high standard,

In a statement the firm said: “In order for Kier to meet its compliance responsibilities, mitigate risks within the supply chain, and ensure it has consistency across the enlarged Kier Group, we will now require our large and active supply chain to work to mandatory standards and accreditations.”

It said product and materials suppliers in the system would “benefit from improved access to Kier’s supply chain” and would only need to complete a single questionnaire.

However, a spokesperson for the firm confirmed that some suppliers would be charged £210 to register on the system and a further £170 a year to remain on it, by supply chain management firm Exor, which is running the system.

In a statement the firm said: “Only those key suppliers expected to receive high volume turnover will be asked to pay for their information to be validated, and this will be a relatively small cost compared to the value of orders that they can expect from Kier.”

But John Tebbit, deputy chief executive of the Construction Products Association, said: “If all of main contractors started doing their own scheme it would be chaos… It’s daft. Kier need to understand that there needs to be a single way of doing this.”

He said he favoured a cross industry accreditation scheme, paid for by main contractors that asked suppliers for standardised information that all contractors have agreed to use. He said main contractors setting up their own schemes would only lead to an increase in suppliers’ prices.

However, Kevan Jepps, Kier’s group procurement director, said a generic accreditation system would not provide the level of detail the contractor required.

“It cannot be generic it needs to be specific to working with Kier and that’s where we are trying to separate ourselves from the competition,” he said.

He said the cost to suppliers was “nominal” because all the firms that were required to be on the system were already receiving around £500,000 in orders from Kier and its supply chain.