The Task

Octavius Infrastructure were seeking support in upskilling their buying team and quantity surveyors via our procurement learning journey of workshops. The 16 participants consisted of mostly quantity surveyors and some plant and materials buyers and procurement administrators.

The Action

The Supply Chain Sustainability School started out by ensuring the participants undertook the procurement self-assessment of 14 skill/topic areas within procurement as a function and scored themselves ranging from one point for minimal knowledge to five points for expert level knowledge.

After analysing the scores of the 14 participants, the executive sponsor from Octavius ensured the participants were registered for the workshops that most suited their training needs and requirements, based on their scores from the self-assessment. The workshop topics selected by Octavius from the participants were; ‘Introduction to Procurement’, ‘Value through Plant & Materials Procurement’, ‘Value through Subcontract Procurement’, ‘Supplier Performance Management’, ‘Supplier Relationship Management’, and ‘Collaboration in Procurement’.

We used the five workshop days to run the workshop sessions and the consultancy days to run the self-assessment, workshop allocations. This project was delayed due to a merger and rebranding of the business and hence the workshops finish in February 2023, leaving little time for phase 2.

The Outcome, Benefits, and Lessons Learnt

The five workshops provided a forum for participants to understand the basics of the ‘Plan-Source-Manage’ part of the procurement process and to dive deeper into the details of what the process entails, what could be missing from their current tools and process, and where better practice could be implemented. The workshop offered plenty live examples and discussion points to drive down the learning. The interactivity of the workshops helped to seal concepts and process steps in the participants minds.

The benefit of these workshop sessions was that it provided for an appreciation for procurement as a function and process and how it ties in with work winning/the bidding team and what can be incorporated early on to ensure that important added value considerations were not left out in the procurement process later on.

How have the delegates have put their learning into practice:
a) Created a stage gateway process based on the procurement cycle (Plan-Source-Manage).

b) Incorporated elements of the learning in the revised supplier relationships management strategy.

c) I will shortly be involved in the procurement of Walsgrave Junction and will look to implement the training I have been given.

d) The training received was invaluable in assisting me to understand the processes and how to better support the procurement and delivery teams.