ORR publishes report into HE’s supply chain capability

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published a report into Highways England’s supply chain capability.

The study aims to understand the capacity constraints within Highways England’s (HE) supply chain which could influence deliverability of the first Road Investment Strategy (2015/16 –2019/20).

The ORR is repsonsible for monitoring the efficiency and performance of Highways England.

ORR commissioned Credo Business Consulting LLP to undertake a fieldwork study with representatives of HE’s supply chain, capturing input from across all tiers of supplier and a range of specialisms. The study focuses on suppliers’ capacity, capability and readiness to deliver the first RIS, and also considers a high-level view of the concurrent demand on suppliers from key infrastructure clients in adjacent industries (including local roads, rail and nuclear).

The study sets out key areas of supply-chain related risk, and provides a top-level forecast of demand in terms of people, plant and materials. Beyond this, it considers suppliers’ views on relationships with HE and the company’s approach to managing the RIS portfolio. The report suggests how HE and ORR should work to establish an ongoing approach to monitor progress of the RIS.

In a statement, Highways England said: “We recognise the need to understand the impact of our forward programme on the supply chain and we support ORR’s objectives in undertaking this report.

We have been working with our supply chain for some considerable time to identify areas where we can support development of supply chain capacity and capability. We are pleased to see that the areas identified by ORR are common with the areas we have identified, although we believe there are other areas we will need to pursue as well.”

Highways England are due to publish a Supply Chain Skills and Capability Plan shortly.

The statement continued: “Our work to date has involved completing an initial assessment of demand, development of an understanding of root causes of capacity limitations and potential solutions, and selecting the key areas for further development and implementation. Consistent with our Supply Chain Strategy all this work has been carried out with input from our supply chain and key stakeholders (e.g. trade associations).

“Our key next step is to build a plan that addresses the capacity constraints we have identified. This work is currently underway and we expect to have the first iteration of this plan by the end of Q1 16/17. The plan will need to develop as we develop our understanding of each of the key themes and the most effective way of responding.”

You can read further details of HE’s observations of the specific recommendations identified by ORR here.

In other related news, the ORR has set out plans for how Highways England’s performance will be benchmarked.

In the short-term, ORR will focus more on comparing Highways England’s regional performance to identify areas of best practice or where efficiency could be further improved. Longer-term, Highways England’s performance will also be considered in light of comparable strategic or national road networks in the UK and other countries.

You can read more about this here.

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