Posted: 15 April 2019

TSS was engaged by Amey under a framework agreement to provide a wide range of professional services across its utilities, FM and local government divisions, across numerous contracts UK wide. The Utilities Division hold the contract for construction and refurbishment/rebuilding of 11kv,33kv,66kv light & heavy construction overhead lines across the whole Western Power Distribution geographic region. This contract operates with both direct and outsourced resource to manage the programme.

Following an internal audit review, TSS were engaged to review and comment on commercial, planning and management of the contract to ensure good governance is in place. Initially leading with one interim manager embedded in the contract team reporting to the Amey Divisional MD, the project scope was delivered identifying risks and opportunities in both financial and operational systems and practices. The outcome from this initial project was to deploy a TSS commercial team (7 FTE) to implement robust, uniform systems and processes, to ensure the integrity of financial information and governance. TSS delivered the activities below to provide sustainable, consistent contract performance;

  • Engaging with project teams to define processes utilising white and brown paper exercises,
  • Implementation and integration of a work order management system to manage the commercial progression of projects and orders, thus negating the need for any reliance on spreadsheets and where results are supported by robust data, ensuring the provision of one version of the truth management information for both client and contractor.
  • Implementation of weekly and monthly meetings reviewing contract and project performance utilising bespoke dashboards driven from agreed processes and management information.
  • Implementation and integration of weekly tasks and processes at project level for all contract functions embedded within the 4 regional teams.
  • Increased presence and engagement by commercial resources on live operational projects to build team culture to support the challenge of contract cost base, client engagement and visibility.
  • Work bank analysis to determine expected volumes versus future resources, and associated authorisations to optimise utilisation and minimise costs, in tandem with identification of work hotspots and budgetary impacts with accurate forecast completion costs.
  • Re-procurement of the supply chain to ensure best value across the four geographic regions, delivering sustainable savings of 4.9% or £980K per annum. Assessing bids on; company structure, HSEQ, technical competence, mobilisation, innovation and price.
  • Direct labour works validation in order to assess utilisation and sustainability. This measure has underpinned accurate forecasting of additional resources and weekly and monthly performance.
  • Through improved end to end governance processes, work in progress was reduced from a starting position of £5.5M down to £2M over a 12 month period and is now managed and reviewed on a weekly basis thus maintaining an acceptable level of work in progress and providing budget certainty to client, contractor and supply chain.

The above underpinned the contract transition, improving performance and WPD perception by giving them assurances around the accuracy of spend profiles, by reducing invoicing disputes to nil and a level of debtors down to £400k, from £960k 12 months prior. The contract team have been able to reduce overspends via internal reporting mechanisms, whilst promoting a cohesive team approach to revenue and cost accountability by means of a weekly review of all revenue and costs, including spend on supply chain and directly employed resources.

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