As a key supplier to Costain, we were invited this summer’s Supply Chain conference in Docklands. The subject was “Growing our businesses together”.
Around 200 people were there, as well as members of Costain’s senior team.
The day was introduced by Costain CEO Andrew Wyllie, who talked about Costain’s success (underlying operating profit up 16% last year) and the company’s customer focused strategy. This has seven parts:
- Unique customer focus
- Range of innovative services
- Financial strength
- Skills and experience of the team
- Central resource allocation and prioritisation
- Consistent behaviours and a proven track record
- Values and brand reputation.
We discussed collaboration and how working together creates growth and sustainability for Costain and also for their suppliers – like VGC.
Technology is changing and we need to change too.
In 2006 a flat screen TV from John Lewis cost £1,000. Now you can get the equivalent for £150. However, customers will pay for innovations in products and services: you can buy a 75″ flatscreen HD TV with Freeview and Playstation for £4,000. We all need to aim to be the next generation – the premier league. That means being the best, winning more work and doing it the best.
Gray Wright of Rowsell Wright discussed procurement, and Aidan Franks, Costain supply chain manager, gave insights into Costain’s supply chain and strategic partner processes. The three targeted plans are
- Be safe
- Be healthy
- Be responsible.
Then we saw examples of the benefits of working collaboratively, and a very interesting panel Q&A session chaired by Richard Howell.