Dalton urges supply chain to become ‘leaner’

April 22 2015  

Dalton urges supply chain to become ‘leaner’
Highways England has called on its supply chain to move away from “old fashioned contracting” and become ‘leaner’ in the delivery of its operations.
 
Chief executive Graham Dalton told an audience at the Traffex show in Birmingham on Tuesday that the new organisation is expected to deliver three times the level of capital investment seen under the Highways Agency. This requires, he added, for suppliers “to work with us to keep the network running”.
 
“We need to get leaner and not just because it is good to be efficient, but because we have got a lot to do,” Mr Dalton said. “In terms of capital spend we have been through a post recession dip and we have a steep climb in front of us, building up to three times the rate of investment.
 
“We are not going to employ three times as many people to deliver it, our suppliers are not going to employ three times as many people and there is not three times the amount of kit out there. So we need to get a lot leaner - and get our suppliers to work with us to do so.”
 
Mr Dalton added that Highways England has its Collaborative Delivery Framework “to deliver the major stuff” and is also working “very closely with new players in the market”.
 
“This is about collaboration, not old fashioned contracting and we have to remember who the customer is,” he said. “We are not doing this because we enjoy highway engineering and we not doing it because we have got some nice products. We are doing it to make the network work better and the less visible we are the better.”
 
Mr Dalton was asked if he saw a role for road charging on the strategic network in future. “There is nothing in our delivery plan around road user charging, we only collect revenues at tolled crossings and that is the brief we run to,” he said.
 
But he added that managing demand on the network using in-vehicle technology and automation “is a really interesting area and one we should be working on much more.”
 
Mr Dalton added that Highways England is committed to making the strategic road network safer and reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on it by 40% by the end of 2020.

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