The Client Challenge
National Highways’ Investment Programmes are manifest through Major Projects via Asset Delivery across six primary regions of England through the Operations Directorate. One commitment, towards ‘pavement’ (the road surface that vehicles travel on), was procured competitively during 2022 as the five-year, national, £1.3bn Pavement Delivery Framework (PDF).
The tender captured strategic aims to improve safety, productivity, innovation, design, standardisation, carbon reduction/environmental solutions, social value enhancements, efficiencies, and cost savings. Assessment and requirements of the procurement approach supported the Government’s and National Highways’ carbon agendas, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), and social value.
Twelve months prior to the tender being published, we identified the existing framework would be updated and started positioning our client via multi-media channels to elevate their profile through key connections in and around the National Highways network.
We then supported our client throughout the bidding processes for two of the six regional tender lots by planning, managing, coordinating, and authoring responses. In positioning our client as differentiated from its competitors, our strategy centred on building change through early involvement with National Highways, extensive collaborative planning, and driving improvements. These ideas were presented as our ‘win themes’ throughout the bid.
By example, we enhanced our client’s customer service approach in highlighting ways it would minimise the impact of its works to National Highways’ customers and neighbours through a reduction in time on the network. We also described our client’s drive for innovation through its expertise to identify alternative pavement options to help facilitate design and efficiency opportunities.
The underpinnings of our tender responses were National Highways’ imperatives of safety, customer, delivery, environment, social value, and carbon reduction. For carbon planning, we deployed our in-house-developed analysis and tracking software: Emissions Management & Impact Tool (EMIT). This evidenced tactics to mitigate carbon outputs through reduction and offset planning from the baseline position.
Our client ranked first and was awarded contracts for both the regional lots that it submitted bids for.
The award fulfilled National Highways’ aim to increase SME opportunity and expand its supplier base whilst ensuring capability and capacity to deliver the pavement demand in servicing and maintaining the Strategic Road Network, its trunk roads, motorways, and other road types. The framework is operated with a high spirit of collaboration across the whole supply chain.
The contract has supported building the skill base for businesses in the pavement supply chain with workforce recruitment, development, and welfare evident from our client since award.
Opportunity has also been grasped to explore use of low carbon materials and other environmentally positive options. By example, our client has used in-situ recycled materials and methods in its surfacing operations.