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Civil Engineering frameworks

Supporting smaller businesses in the local community


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There is a common misconception about large frameworks that they restrict opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however our SCAPE National Civil Engineering and Infrastructure framework is demonstrating quite the opposite.

Both Balfour Beatty and SCAPE share the government’s commitment to supporting SMEs. In 2014 our UK construction business committed to spending £1bn annually, marking a 25% increase on our 2013 small business spend. Balfour Beatty were the first UK contractor ever to do so and today we have 3,000 - 5,000 supply chain partners, working on over 1,000 live projects across the UK.

At least 85% of the work packages sub-contracted by Balfour Beatty through the framework are delivered by SMEs. We recognise that SMEs support local jobs and apprenticeships and that they are the innovators and engineers of the future

Rachel Sudlow, Performance Manager

The SCAPE Framework delivers intelligent and cost-effective civil engineering services to our customers via an OJEU compliant route, but also brings another major benefit in that it enables us to contribute to projects as early as Inception Phase, where the most value can be added. This gives us both the time and opportunity to co-ordinate with SMEs to ensure that at least 85% of all sub-contracted work packages are delivered by smaller contractors.

We’ve also combined efforts with our tier 1 supply chain to extend opportunities to even smaller businesses within our local communities. Such measures have included:

  • Supply chain engagement days to encourage our tier 1 supply chain to mirror the same KPI principals within the procurement of any tier 2 trades
  • Setting banded targets to monitor this and integrating the engagement of tier 2 SMEs into our procurement assessment criteria (pre sub-contract award)
  • Listening to our supply chain partners and offering our expertise where required, for example, analysing training plans

And through rigorous monitoring of our progress here, using a spend analysis mapping tool to manage our investment with SMEs by location and type, we are focused and proud to be able to open up the SCAPE Framework to more providers and an extended local supply chain and to ensure that the framework not only delivers value to its clients but to local communities and smaller businesses.

Rachel Sudlow

Written by:

Rachel Sudlow
Performance Manager, Balfour Beatty