Skanska, formed in 1887, is one of the world’s leading construction groups with expertise in construction, development of commercial and residential projects and public-private partnerships. In the UK, Skanska is famous for building iconic structures like 30 St Mary Axe (the ‘Gherkin’) and the QEII Bridge. Skanska UK has 5,200 employees and annual revenues in excess of £1.3 billion.
Dale Turner, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain, is responsible for procurement strategy at Skanska UK and leads a procurement enabling function who, each year, are responsible for around a billion pounds of spend across the business.
Before becoming an Achilles BuildingConfidence buyer, Skanska UK had its own internal pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), but it didn’t go into as much depth and help to deliver assurance to their internal and external stakeholders. That’s why, eight years ago, Skanska UK became a buyer member of Achilles BuildingConfidence.
Through the Achilles BuildingConfidence pre-qualification questionnaire and supplier audits, Skanska has found a way to provide more visibility and transparency of the risk in its supply chain and highlight where suppliers can be helped to improve.
‘Most of our business is subcontracted, so what our clients see each day is our supply chain,’ says Dale. ‘It’s important our suppliers are of the standard we need them to be and to come on a journey with us so we can meet all our aspirations.’
“In terms of value, Achilles BuildingConfidence gives Skanska visibility and transparency of our supply chain and highlights where the major risks lie.”
Dale Turner, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain – Skanska UK
The quarterly report, which Achilles provides to Skanska about their supply chain, helps to watch for long-term trends and confirms whether the supply chain as a whole is improving year on year.
‘In the beginning it was mostly about legislative compliance,’ explains Dale, ‘but now we can focus on more advanced supply chain management.’
For example, many of Skanska’s clients are currently focusing on behavioural culture, and how contractors ensure values and behaviours ripple down through the entire supply chain. Achilles BuildingConfidence helps Dale demonstrate exactly how Skanska achieves that.
Skanska is also an accredited Achilles BuildingConfidence supplier.
‘It’s mainly to do with our own continuous improvement of our business, but it’s also about leadership,’ says Dale. ‘It would be difficult to ask suppliers to go through an audit that Skanska wasn’t willing to successfully complete itself.’
Skanska is also qualified with Achilles UVDB ‘having our supply chain managed for different sectors, and administered through the same company makes it much easier to control,’ says Dale.
Skanska UK sees several benefits from the Achilles communities:
Supply chain performance improvements. In the last 3 years, Skanska has seen a 74% reduction in non-compliance in their supply chain for those suppliers accredited on Achilles BuildingConfidence.
Interaction with other buyers. ‘Being in the room with the buyer community and understanding their challenges is a huge benefit,’ says Dale. ‘We leave our company hats at the door and try to shape something for the whole industry.’ For example, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is currently a big challenge in the industry, so the steering group is working together to change the PQQ and audit to assess where our supply chain are on their journey.
Avoiding duplication across the industry. Supporting the Government’s 2025 Construction strategy, there are several major contractors who are already Achilles BuildingConfidence buyers, meaning suppliers only need to complete one PQQ and audit for these organisations.
Better value for suppliers. ‘For suppliers, it’s a great business improvement tool,’ says Dale. The audit provides a robust assessment of how a business is set-up to deliver what are often complex projects and maintains continuous improvement as standards change over time.