This report discusses the procurement of light and heavy vehicle transportation services by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which is based in the United Arab Emirates. It is separated into four sections: stakeholders, contract terms and conditions, sourcing approaches, and agreement negotiation. The first section analyzes the stakeholders involved in the provision of the service and evaluates the market as a whole. In the second, it develops a sourcing contract based on ADNOC’s current supply agreement template and evaluates its ability to counter various risks and enhance operations. The third section, develops and considers four different approaches to transport sourcing: an internal fleet, a sole supplier agreement, a dual supplier situation, and a multiple-supplier situation. Porter’s Five Forces and STEEPLE analyses were conducted for each and found some advantages as well as issues in each arrangement. The fourth and final section outlines the process of completing a tender and negotiating a transportation supply agreement. The process involves a number of steps that begin before the invitation to tender and continue after the contract has been finalized and the services start being rendered.
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Introduction: Transportation and Stakeholders
Definition of the Light & Heavy Vehicle Transportation Service Agreement
As a large company that offers a diverse range of services, ADNOC uses a large and diverse fleet of different vehicles. Examples include cars for personal transportation, buses for facilitating employee movement, trucks and forklifts to manage freight, and others. The company has chosen to outsource its transport fleet to a different business, which would be responsible for its maintenance and timely provision. In some cases, they will also provide dedicated drivers for these vehicles, who will be responsible for bringing them where they are needed, following requests from the hiring company, and returning them to the garage when they are no longer in use. Markowska (2019) notes that this approach can improve service quality and free the company reserves to focusing on its primary tasks. The arrangement between the companies is called a Light & Heavy Vehicle Transportation Service Agreement to incorporate all of the different possible items, which is the topic of this paper.
Stakeholder Importance and Impact Analysis
The first step of the analysis will be based on the 5 Rights framework, which consists of price, quality, quantity, time, and place. The price that is required of the product is one that is at most the same as the cost of purchasing and maintaining a transport fleet long-term, though preferably, it should be lower. The quality has to be superior to that of the alternative because otherwise, the outsourcing would not have a meaningful purpose. The quantity has to be sufficient to satisfy ADNOC’s changing needs, with some spare vehicles to use in case of damage or maintenance on the main fleet. They should be available at any time on demand and ready to arrive at the requested location quickly. To that end, they should be located near ADNOC’s facilities where they are required and delivered by dedicated drivers who are available at any time.
In terms of stakeholders, ADNOC’s choice of vehicle service does not make a meaningful impact on the majority of its groups of interest. The UAE government would be located in the “keep satisfied” area of high power and low interest of Mendelow’s matrix, as it is unlikely to act as long as the company’s operations are ongoing smoothly. The private co-owners of the company, such as various oil and gas companies throughout the world, only hold a minority share and are in the “minimal effort” area, having neither an interest in transportation nor powerful means of influence. The vehicle suppliers belong in the “keep informed” category, as they have a high interest in becoming or remaining ADNOC’s partners but can be replaced by it without much difficulty. Lastly, the company’s employees are the key players, as they both depend on high-quality transportation for work and have the power to advocate for a change in the services provided.
Stakeholder Management Strategies
Stakeholder management is a complicated task that can be performed in a wide variety of different ways. Obicci (2017) lists numerous different options, such as stakeholder mapping, the power-impact grid, the vested interest index, relationship matrices, and others. They cover a wide variety of stakeholder-related characteristics and factors that can influence their decisions. ADNOC first identifies stakeholders and assesses them using these tools, understanding their goals and power over the company. Then, several different approaches to management are proposed, and the leadership deliberates on them and considers their outcomes. The optimal strategy that furthers the interests of both ADNOC and its stakeholders the most with minimal friction arising is then chosen and implemented.
Over time, the performance of ADNOC’s transportation providers has been most satisfactory. It has had a stable relationship with its suppliers, which have provided adequate services in all areas of service. In terms of the supply chain, ADNOC remains a dominant player due to its ability to choose different providers or maintain a fleet of its vehicles. The risks of the arrangement should be low due to the long-term partnership and the experience of communication. With that said, the dangers of outsourcing, such as weak management and outdated technology, always have to be considered (Lacity & Willcocks, 2016). ADNOC should be prepared to foresee these situations and respond to them appropriately.
|Strengths ||Weaknesses |
|Opportunities ||Threats |
- Political: low importance. The government is unlikely to change the circumstances in which transportation providers operate.
- Economic: medium importance. Depending on the financial situation in the UAE and worldwide, ADNOC may adjust its activities, leading to changes in transportation demand. However, these differences are unlikely to be substantial enough to affect business strongly.
- Social: low importance. As a B2B industry, transportation providers are not affected strongly by social changes.
- Technological: high importance. Transportation providers must maintain an updated fleet of vehicles that suits the needs of their partners.
- Legal: low importance. The arrangement between transport providers and their clients is not unusual, and, as it is not international, legal issues are unlikely to emerge.
- Environmental: medium importance. Vehicles may be required to comply with ecological standards, and it is the task of the provider to ensure that they do. However, most current transports are designed to be compliant with such regulations already.
Transport providers contribute to all three aspects of the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. They help drivers and mechanics by enabling them to organize in a unified body that can bargain with companies for fair wages. Lastly, their operation is economically profitable because of the economy of scale achieved by the use of a unified maintenance base and efficient fleet operations, which enable them to offer excellent prices to customers. As Kundal (2019) notes, these achievements increase the companies’ corporate social responsibility and overall value. As a result, they add value to their partners through the cooperation between them.
Kraljic Matrix and Attractive Factors
In the Kraljic Matrix, the transportation providers would be represented in the leverage item category. The services are provided by multiple different local suppliers, who offer generic services with some specific items requested, such as forklifts. The supply of such transport is abundant, and the time horizon for a supply contract will typically be relatively short and frequently renewed. As such, ADNOC can pressure them to offer the best prices, though excessive lowering that leads to insolvency can be a concern. An alternate approach would be to push the providers to innovate to provide superior services at lower prices. In doing so, ADNOC would generate value both for itself and for its partners.
As a company, ADNOC has multiple advantages that make it a desirable partner for a transport provider. It is a stable, reliable customer who orders large volumes of transportation, generating a steady supply of revenue for the business. It is also a well-known brand within the UAE, lending prestige to the companies selected to work with it. Lastly, the company’s demands are unlikely to be excessive or unreasonable, making cooperation easier. Overall, ADNOC is one of the most attractive transportation buyers in the UAE, and most transport suppliers are likely to compete to secure a contract with it.
Pricing Agreements and Value Adding
Suppliers can create value by introducing a markup so that their services are profitable and offering premium services, which ADNOC is likely to request, at suitable prices. They can also provide off-peak pricing, reducing the rates of their services, though, as Feiwel (2016) demonstrates, it may ultimately not increase value. As a buyer, ADNOC can use fixed target cost approaches to ensure that its transportation expenditures are fixed and predictable. However, rebates are also a valid option, with the volume of purchases ADNOC makes enabling it to negotiate for price breaks.
Contract Terms and Conditions
ADNOC already has an extensive contract that it establishes with its transportation providers. It covers a large number of items, such as performance, responsibilities, payment, termination, subcontracting, force majeure events, liability, and others. Overall, the document governs the entire relationship between the supplier and the buyer, covering many different situations that may emerge throughout the duration of the contract. ADNOC has the advantage in the relationship, being able to terminate the agreement at will as long as it provides 30 days’ notice. By following this agreement, ADNOC is able to avoid various risks and ensure that it receives service of high quality while also satisfying the providers.
Service Quality Risks
The arrangement sets stringent penalties for any failure by the contractor to deliver the service as established in the agreement. In case of a delay, the provider will have to compensate ADNOC for the damages the event has caused, which incentivizes it to avoid any such issues. In case of a material breach, the company reserves the right to terminate the contract immediately, as well. ADNOC also retains the right to audit its transport provider at any time to review their technical and financial practices. In doing so, it can identify any potential deficiencies and make suggestions for the contractor to improve its practices. By preventing issues from arising and incentivizing the supplier to deliver high-quality service consistently, ADNOC minimizes the risk of receiving a subpar product.
The contract recognizes that sometimes delays will be unavoidable and not associated with misconduct on the part of the supplier. It stipulates that, if a force majeure event can be invoked as the cause of the delay, then the party that has failed to deliver on its obligations will not be held in default of its obligations. The affected company has to provide advance notice of the problem to its partner and prove that the force majeure event has taken place to take advantage of this clause. Both parties will then cooperate in seeking a way of mitigating the event’s consequences, and an extension of the commencement or completion date is available. However, if the event impacts the contractor’s performance for 60 days or the company’s for 180 days, it becomes grounds for termination of the contract.
It is possible that throughout the contract’s duration, some circumstances will lead the contractor to try to increase the costs of their services to ADNOC. The agreement aims to cover all of the costs and disbursements incurred by the supplier in the performance of the service to the company. However, it also stipulates that, unless otherwise agreed, the fees paid to the contractor will remain fixed throughout the duration. With that said, if the contractor’s costs legitimately increase, if not to the degree that would warrant termination and renegotiation of the contract, ADNOC may be amenable to adjusting the fees.
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Another potential issue that can arise involves unethical practices on the part of the transport provider. In the contract, they agree to follow ADNOC’s code of ethics as well as other applicable standards and requirements. Moreover, both parties sign a contract clause that states that no conflicts of interest have taken place or will take place while it is active, as well as that neither party nor an affiliate has engaged in corrupt activities in the making of the contract. To ensure compliance with these terms, ADNOC retains the power to audit its supplier for misconduct, as stated above. Corrupt practices would likely constitute a breach of contract and lead to its termination with the associated liabilities.
Performance Measure Monitoring and Management
The audits performed by ADNOC can ensure that the contractor performs corresponding to the terms of the agreement. Additionally, the company reserves the right to supervise all of the contractor’s work at any time, identifying any potential issues in time. If the supplier identifies any deficiencies or problems in their work, they are also obligated to notify ADNOC about them. With this information, as well as its internal data gathering, ADNOC can obtain a comprehensive image of the performance of its supplier. If it refuses or fails to comply, discussion of further measures can begin, including the termination of the contract if the problem jeopardizes ADNOC’s operations. Overall, the agreement establishes sufficient oversight and influence tools for the company to ensure that its partners perform excellently.
Battle of the Forms
Suppliers are unlikely to engage in a battle of the forms with ADNOC because of the potential damage of doing so. The power balance in the relationship skews heavily toward ADNOC, which has numerous other options in terms of both competitors and an internal fleet. As Granovetter and Swedberg (2018) highlight, this difference in bargaining power enables the company to enforce its terms on the suppliers and push them into signing it. There is some limited room for maneuvering on the part of the supplier, but it should not affect the outcome of the negotiation significantly. As a result, most suppliers will not choose to engage in a battle of the forms unless the terms are unfair to preserve their relationship with the company.
The first sourcing approach is to operate a fleet of vehicles internally at ADNOC. Due to the wide variety of vehicles that are used by different ADNOC facilities, it would be impossible to use a single supplier to fulfill every need of the business. As a result, the arrangement would be a multiple supplier situation, where ADNOC interacts with a number of different manufacturers to fill and maintain its fleet. The company would be free to pick the best vehicles for the task before purchasing them, but it would then have to refer to that vehicle’s manufacturer for replacement parts. Nevertheless, this approach likely offers the most freedom to the company, albeit at the highest immediate cost.
Porter’s Five Forces
- Competition in the industry: high. There is a wide variety of different vehicle manufacturers worldwide, which compete in most markets and types of transport. As a result, ADNOC can select from a large number of options when considering purchasing vehicles.
- Potential of new entrants into the industry: low. It takes substantial time and effort to create a vehicle design that can compete with the models currently on offer and establish its mass production. As such, the leading vehicle manufacturers are likely not threatened by new entrants due to the high entry barrier.
- Power of suppliers: low. ADNOC is free to select from many different providers worldwide and compare the vehicles that they offer for sale on a variety of metrics. Manufacturers retain control over replacement parts for their cars after purchase, but there are alternatives, and ADNOC can respond to pressure by not considering the brand in future acquisitions.
- Power of buyers: high. ADNOC can demand concessions from vehicle producers, such as lower prices, extra features, extended warranties, or other items in exchange for its lucrative contracts, as it will be purchasing vehicles in large numbers. As it can easily find another option for most types of transport, its power in the relationship is extensive.
- Threat of substitutes: low. In the modern world, wheeled vehicles are almost irreplaceable for most purposes. There exist few to no alternate options that would be acceptable to ADNOC.
- Social: low importance. Culture and beliefs do not affect vehicle purchasing decisions significantly in most cases.
- Technological: high importance. ADNOC intends to obtain the most advanced and reliable vehicles for the price.
- Economic: high importance. ADNOC’s financial situation dictates the amounts of funds it can spend on purchasing vehicles.
- Environmental: medium importance. ADNOC is an environmentally conscious organization and considers ecological performance a substantial factor.
- Political: medium importance. Import tariffs can affect the costs of acquiring a vehicle significantly, depending on its origin.
- Legal: low importance. Vehicle acquisitions are unlikely to encounter legal difficulties due to the commonplace nature of the event.
- Ethical: medium importance. Some potential for unethical behavior during decision-making exists, and the company should be careful to avoid misconduct.
The second option would be to establish an exclusive agreement with a company that will manage a vehicle fleet for ADNOC and supply it on demand. This organization could be an existing one, or it could be a business explicitly established to work with ADNOC, acquiring a fleet based on its requirements and servicing it while also providing drivers. By definition, this arrangement would constitute a sole-supplier situation, where ADNOC would be contractually restricted to using the company’s services.
Porter’s Five Forces
- Competition in the industry: low. ADNOC would be unable to change its supplier while a contract was active without breaching it. During renegotiations, the provider would have the advantage of having a fleet that is adapted to ADNOC’s needs.
- Potential of new entrants into the industry: low. The establishment of a fleet sufficient to serve ADNOC’s needs is an expensive and risky endeavor. As such, other companies are unlikely to attempt such an initiative.
- Power of suppliers: high. Due to the exclusivity of the agreement, the provider’s bargaining power is enhanced, and it can make substantial demands of ADNOC. With that said, the relationship will still be governed by the contract, limiting the potential results.
- Power of buyers: medium. ADNOC depends on the supplier’s services for its daily operations, and lengthy bargaining would impede its operations. With that said, the ability to choose a different supplier when the contract expires enables it to counteract supplier pressure to some degree.
- Threat of substitutes: low. The only viable alternative to the vehicle outsourcing arrangement is an internal fleet. However, it is expensive to implement, and ADNOC is unlikely to do so after committing to a partnership.
- Social: low importance. The decision to contract a supplier will likely depend on objective rather than subjective measures.
- Technological: medium importance. The role of technology in the maintenance of vehicles is limited, though it is vital to have relatively new and intact cars.
- Economic: medium importance. ADNOC will pay for the services out of necessity at all times, but the financial situation may impede efforts to expand or replace the fleet.
- Environmental: medium importance. The vehicles provided to ADNOC should follow its environmental guidelines, but most are likely to do so without significant adjustments.
- Political: low importance. The political situation is unlikely to affect a business relationship between ADNOC and a local supplier.
- Legal: medium importance. A large-scale arrangement such as the one discussed may undergo a degree of legal scrutiny, especially if issues arise.
- Ethical: medium importance. There may be unethical dealings during the making of the contract, and they should be prevented.
A third variant of the arrangement would be to use two suppliers for different types of vehicles. Cars, both more budget-oriented and premium ones, along with chauffeurs, would be supplied by one service, and another company would provide more specialized vehicles such as buses, trucks, and forklifts. This arrangement has the advantage of having different vendors specialize in maintaining and driving their respective types of cars. At the same time, it avoids the confusion of having a large number of suppliers, with the roles of the two providers clearly delineated.
Porter’s Five Forces
- Competition in the industry: medium. The two services would not compete with each other, but each would probably have to deal with a range of competitors.
- Potential of new entrants into the industry: low. It is expensive to purchase a vehicle base, hire drivers, and establish efficient and capable maintenance facilities.
- Power of suppliers: medium. ADNOC is interested in preserving the current relationship between it and the suppliers and ready to make some concessions.
- Power of buyers: medium. ADNOC can switch its supplier if necessary, though doing so would take substantial effort and adjustment, giving it a degree of leverage.
- Threat of substitutes: low. Vehicle services are highly challenging to replace due to a lack of viable alternatives.
- Social: low importance. Social factors are unlikely to be significant compared to economic effects.
- Technological: medium importance. A degree of technical competence and an updated fleet are vital, but it is not essential to be at the forefront of progress.
- Economic: medium importance. Vehicles are an essential service and will be paid for, but expansion may be challenging if resources are lacking.
- Environmental: medium importance. The vehicles are expected to be environmentally compliant, but they are typically manufactured to follow them.
- Political: low importance. The political situation is unlikely to affect the relationship significantly.
- Legal: low importance. As long as the contract is well-designed and thorough, there should be few legal issues.
- Ethical: medium importance. Both parties should ensure that they and all involved persons or organizations behave ethically.
The fourth and final possible approach involves using a variety of vehicle suppliers to suit ADNOC’s purposes. They can be differentiated based on size, the type of vehicle that they provide, or other characteristics. An advantage of this approach is flexibility, as the number of different organizations enables them to compensate for increased demand or failure on the part of one member. At the same time, coordination between the various entities can prove to be challenging (Willcocks and Lioliou, 2018). However, this problem can be mitigated through proper governance and management.
Porter’s Five Forces
- Competition in the industry: high. Even when contracted with ADNOC, the different businesses will have to compete for opportunities to provide their products to the company.
- Potential of new entrants into the industry: medium. The possibility for smaller providers to enter a relationship with ADNOC due to their number makes entry more accessible.
- Power of suppliers: low. ADNOC can choose from a variety of different options based on its current needs, and the supply will likely exceed the demand.
- Power of buyers: high. ADNOC has most of the leverage in the relationship, which enables it to set prices to a degree and make demands.
- Threat of substitutes: low. Few to no substitutes exist for various vehicles, especially specialized ones such as buses and forklifts.
- Social: low importance. The suppliers are likely to be socially homogeneous, with little differentiation in this regard.
- Technological: medium importance. ADNOC may discriminate based on the age of the fleet and technical competencies, but factors such as price are also central.
- Economic: high importance. ADNOC will likely search for the lowest bidder when considering different providers, especially during economic issues.
- Environmental: medium importance. Environmental compliance will be required but likely not challenging to achieve.
- Political: low importance. The political climate should not have a substantial influence on local business arrangements.
- Legal: low importance. Due to the nature of the contracts established and services rendered, legal issues are unlikely to arise.
- Ethical: low importance. The opportunities for unethical behavior are limited due to the low potential rewards of doing so, though companies should still monitor their dealings for problems.
Supplier Appraisal Checklist
- The size of the company’s fleet and the number of its drivers. As Papier (2019) notes, without sufficient resources, the rental company will not be able to produce the services that the buyer needs.
- The state of the company’s fleet. It should be modern and in good condition to suit ADNOC’s needs.
- The maintenance facilities. They should follow a high quality and productivity standard, with skilled staff and excellent equipment.
- Financial stability. The company needs to be able to survive for the duration of the contract and deliver the required services at a guaranteed quality level (Emmett & Crocker, 2016).
- Reliability. The supplier should be able to provide services whenever and wherever requested within reason.
Transportation Agreement Negotiation
Key Facts and Approaches
When approaching the negotiation, the company will have to consider a variety of facts. It is essential to understand its goals and those of the supplier, as well as how the two interact. Fells and Sheer (2019) also note that an understanding of the power relationship between the two parties is highly beneficial, as well as the degree of trust between the two. ADNOC seeks to enter a relationship that is beneficial for both parties and will last for a substantial time. Lastly, as O’Brien (2016) notes, the company should understand how it is viewed by the prospective supplier based on a framework of four options: development, core, nuisance, or exploitable. The negotiation approach taken by ADNOC will have to depend on this perception, as it will define the supplier’s strategy.
Invitation to Tender
As the first step of the process, ADNOC will have to distribute an invitation to tender. Woolhouse and Patil (2019) describe several preparatory measures that have to take place beforehand, such as a schedule of quantities of works and a complete set of specifications. These documents will enable prospective respondents to evaluate the work that they will need to perform and compare it to their current capabilities. They will then be able to decide whether they would like to compete for the offer and outline an offer, which they will submit to ADNOC. The company can then proceed to evaluate the submissions before it and choose the most suitable one.
Offer Analysis and Choice
The first item that ADNOC should inspect is the ability of the offering company to satisfy its needs. The losses from a failure of service would likely offset most or all of the gains made from a lower price. As such, any company that cannot feasibly provide an adequate service or improve its offer to become able to do so should be dismissed. Afterward, the prices of the remaining offers should be considered in terms of comparisons as well as viability. The companies that require the lowest investments (including potential expansion costs) while remaining solvent and reliable should be chosen, and negotiations should begin.
During the offer analysis step, ADNOC should have determined whether the bidding company can move on some issues. If it has provided its best offer already, the result can be accepted without negotiation. However, if some movement is possible, then discussions should take place, with ADNOC pushing for particular outcomes such as lower prices in exchange for some concessions on items that are less important for it (Kennedy, 2017). Companies that would need to expand to suit ADNOC’s needs present a particularly notable negotiation target, as the company can fund their expansion in return for lower prices over time, ultimately recouping its costs and securing a loyal partner.
With the negotiations finished, the contract can be finalized and awarded to a specific supplier or group of suppliers. The talks were most likely ongoing simultaneously with a variety of different suppliers and resulted in a number of offers. ADNOC should evaluate each of these prospective proposals and select the one that generates the most economic value for the company. It should consider the risks, costs, and other potential implications of each contract and choose the ones that maximize the benefits and minimize the dangers. Once a choice has been made, the company can notify the tender winner and begin finalizing the contract and preparing to put the relationship into practice.
Supplier Management Monitoring
Once the supply relationship has been established, ADNOC will have to ensure that it remains mutually profitable and that quality standards are observed. It will partially rely on the reporting of its suppliers and the apparent quality of the services rendered. However, as Hutchins (2018) claims, ADNOC will also have to monitor the internal performance of its suppliers, identify issues and improvement opportunities, and take corrective measures. In doing so, it will be able to avoid future problems before they manifest and improve the operations of its partners while enhancing the relationship and cooperation between the two. The clauses for such monitoring are already present in ADNOC’s supply contract and will have to be accepted by the other company.
Bill of Materials
The provision of vehicles and drivers to ADNOC is a service that the provider renders rather than a material good. As a result, as well as due to the role of cars in the company’s operations, it is generally not directly involved in the production of its goods. They can be traced to most aspects of production but take a secondary role, the importance of which can be challenging to define specifically. As a result, a bill of materials will be unnecessary in this case, as it does not involve the vehicle provider or providers in a meaningful manner.
Overall, ADNOC appears to have established a capable supply chain system for its light & heavy transportation agreements. It has substantial power in the relationship but does not abuse it, instead seeking to create equitable and fair relationships between itself and its providers. The investigation has revealed the mechanics behind the provision of the good and the different options that are available for doing so. ADNOC appears to possess a substantial amount of leeway in its decisions on retaining a transport fleet and using this freedom to its advantage. The application of different models has demonstrated the viability of ADNOC’s current approach compared to the other potential options. Each variant has some opportunities for savings and operational improvements but also unique weaknesses, and the company has chosen a policy that suits its needs. In negotiations, ADNOC appears to be best served by an aggressive approach that seeks to draw out the supplier’s best offer, possibly through some concessions.
In terms of stakeholder management, ADNOC would benefit from a more continuous framework that involves them at every step of the process. In doing so, it will be able to evaluate their needs better and capitalize on their strength when requesting their aid on particular matters. There are no recommendations for the contract, as it already covers the vast majority of potential supplier-related issues and grants ADNOC the privileges necessary for it to discover any wrongdoing. With that said, the company needs to take advantage of these clauses and monitor its partners’ performance carefully, seeking to prevent issues instead of addressing them once they start harming its performance. Such reviews would also generate a win-win situation in the market, as ADNOC would become more involved with its providers and be able to recognize changing conditions, helping them remain solvent and profitable when issues arise. Lastly, in negotiations, ADNOC may benefit from improved flexibility and willingness to compromise, negotiating numerous matters and giving the other party ground on some issues to gain it on other, more important ones.
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