Supplying Places People Prefer

By Ginny Warr
Head of Procurement at British Land

31 Oct 2016

Our new approach to procurement is helping us partner with like-minded suppliers, who share our vision and identify with our values, so they deliver a consistent message to the people who use our places. We’re also improving efficiency, so our interaction with suppliers runs smoothly for all involved.

Quite often suppliers are the face of British Land – whether it’s greeting occupiers in offices and welcoming visitors to shopping destinations or designing and constructing new buildings. As such a critical part of our success, we work in partnership with suppliers, so they understand and share our vision to create Places People Prefer.

Here in the procurement team, we’ve spent quite a bit of time with suppliers and internal stakeholders to find out what’s working well and what we can improve.

Improving processes

Across every procurement activity, we now look to use a standard evaluation model. We select suppliers and monitor their performance based on six pillars. In addition, we’ve introduced new standard terms and conditions.

By applying standard governance and templates, we’ve improved transparency and operational efficiency – cutting the time taken to complete procurement activities and reducing costs.

Focusing on outputs

When tendering opportunities like cleaning and security at our places, we’re now focusing on the experience we want to create for customers, rather than setting out exactly what we want suppliers to do, when and with how many people.

We’re delighted that our new output-focused approach is encouraging suppliers to propose different techniques, products and innovations to achieve the best results in a more creative way, further improving the standard without increasing the cost.

Amin, one of the Not Just Cleaning team at Broadgate.

Doing the right thing

We believe that treating suppliers fairly and making sure they treat their people fairly is not only the right thing to do, it also delivers better results for our customers. When people are happy, this comes through in how they deliver. At our London campuses, suppliers pay all team members the London Living Wage. As signatories to the Prompt Payment Code, we pay suppliers promptly.

When we evaluate suppliers for ‘Sustainability’ through our six-pillar model, we look at their ability to meet our Supply Chain Charter requirements. This isn’t just about ticking boxes; we want live examples of sustainability within their organisation. We’ve also incorporated references to Charter requirements in our standard terms and conditions and provide training where needed.

Apprentices earning while they learn as part of the Meadowhall team.

Download our Supply Chain Charter

View our Modern Slavery Act Disclosure 2016

Helping local people and businesses grow

We’re starting to ring-fence some opportunities for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs may not be able to throw the same resource into a pitch as big business, but they’re sometimes better placed to deliver. For instance, marketing agencies near our shopping destinations often have valuable local intelligence and understand the customer base.

Regardless of whether we appoint a small or large firm, we expect all suppliers to be proactive in recruiting locally around our sites. Last year, 120 apprentices were supported at our places by us and our suppliers. We also rolled out WorldHost customer service training. 

Katie completed her marketing and events apprenticeship at Broadgate and is now a permanent team member.

Managing supplier relationships

We’ve introduced a supplier management programme to maximise value and minimise risk. We’ll be interacting more closely with suppliers of strategic importance, because this is where there are particularly exciting opportunities to innovate and improve our service offering.

Some suppliers want greater insight into our strategy and roadmap. So we’re exploring ways to support a more holistic approach, where we benefit from their market intelligence. We’re also looking at establishing sponsors within suppliers, mirrored within British Land, as part of a more collaborative approach.

It’s an exciting time for British Land and our suppliers. By thinking differently and using sophisticated approaches to procurement, we should all get more out of the relationship and all parties gain from the commercial benefits.

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