Sydney Water’s new procurement strategy looks to partner for success 

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Sydney Water has developed a new procurement strategy, called ‘Partnering for Success’ which will see a new Regional Delivery Consortia appointed to manage design, construction and maintenance and facilities management in each of its three regions (North, South and West) for the next 10 years.

The strategy also includes Shared Purchasing, which will simplify how Sydney Water and its partners will procure specialised goods and services that can’t be self-performed.

Sydney Water’s area of operation will be divided into north, south and west, and the consortia will be responsible for operations in these areas for the next ten years.Further to this new procurement approach, Sydney Water has also entered into a long-term partnership with Aurecon and ARUP who will work with the Integrated Systems Planning team to form a truly integrated planning function, bringing the right mix of capability to co-create projects and deliver plans successfully. 

The integrated team will also perform technical assurance and project engineering. This will ensure that planned benefits are realised through delivery and maintenance.

Aurecon’s Global Head of Water, Kevin Werksman, said water utilities were increasingly seeing the benefits of the partnership model as being able to much better leverage value in a collaborative, non-transactional environment. 

“As well as additional technical engineering smarts, Aurecon and ARUP will provide additional advisory services such as asset management and community consultation,” Mr Werksman said.

The integrated team will also perform technical assurance and project engineering. This will ensure that planned benefits are realised through delivery and maintenance.

Shared Purchasing is a new approach adopted by Sydney Water to simplifying its procurement of specialised goods and services.

First requests for tender are currently being sought for pipes and fittings, and valves and actuators.

In the coming months, additional RFTs will be issued on eTender for:

  • Pump supply and servicing
  • Plant equipment and hire
  • Waste management services
  • Electrical goods and services
  • Network support 
  • Industrial cleaning

Head of Supply Chain and Property at Sydney Water, Xavier Decomps, said, “Shared Purchasing simplifies how we and our partners will procure specialised goods and services that can’t be self-performed.

“By pooling our purchasing in this manner, we’ll achieve economies of scale, increase our buying power and develop deeper relationships with preferred suppliers throughout the entire asset lifecycle.”

Under its new Partnering for Success model, Sydney Water and its partners will use a series of NEC4 contracts to procure these and other specialised goods and services that cannot be self-performed.

Sydney Water has been an early adopter of the NEC4 suite of contracts to support the rollout of its new procurement strategy.

Head of Delivery Management at Sydney Water, Mark Simister, said Sydney Water is the first major infrastructure company in Australia to use the NEC4 contract approach to deliver new works. 

“The contract will help simplify our supply chain and deliver significant benefits to Sydney Water as an organisation, to our customers and to our partners, through increased efficiency, cost savings, continuity of work, resource availability and partner capability by incentivising high performance and increasing productivity. 

“By doing this, we’ll give our partners more certainty, and drive better decision making across the whole lifecycle of our assets, improving our productivity and delivering value for our customers.”

NEC4 Chairman, Peter Higgins, said, “Our contracts have already been used to great success on water projects across the world, and we’re confident that Sydney Water will achieve the same results as our other partners.

“NEC’s fundamental principles of risk management, alliance and transparency align perfectly with the New South Wales Government’s recent ten-point plan for infrastructure delivery, and the alignment in economy, government and language makes Australia a key growth market for us.”

Sydney Water is looking to not just change the way it procures services, but to transform the way that it does business.

In March 2019, Sydney Water was recognised by the UK’s Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) for becoming the first international organisation to adopt the principles of ‘Project 13’ for the rollout of P4S.

Project 13 is an industry-led movement to improve infrastructure delivery, so it provides better outcomes for customers, whilst moving to a more sustainable and collaborative business method.

ICE’s Director General and Chair of the Project 13 Board, Nick Baveystock, congratulated Sydney Water for being the first international adopter of Project 13. Mr Baveystock said he was delighted to see Sydney Water embed the Project 13 principles into its work on P4S and help the delivery of infrastructure move from a transactional business model to a more collaborative and sustainable one.

Mr Simister said, “The appointment of the three Regional Delivery Consortia in our north, south and west operational areas will see the need for organisational transformation to support, enable and integrate the Regional Delivery Consortia.

“Given the decade-long term of these contracts, this is a once in a generation change which will have a lasting impact on Sydney Water, the industry, and its customers. 

“The scale, complexity and impact of this change cannot be underestimated and, done right, will create an enduring legacy.

“This approach will help the delivery of infrastructure move from a transactional business model to a more collaborative and sustainable one, which will focus on customer outcomes, bring together skills and technologies in a collaborative environment, properly integrate teams across projects, and foster long-term relationships. 

“Regional Delivery Consortia Contracts will be awarded to the three successful consortia at the end of the year with a ‘go-live’ date of July 2020.”

 

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