This report is a sourcing plan for McLaughlin and Harvey in its cement procurement strategy. Key sections of this document show that five operational areas of the company’s procurement framework will be the basis for the company’s sourcing plan. They include the roles of procurement and supply, application of cost-reduction techniques, inclusions for future company contracts, selection of effective suppliers, and additional aspects of the supply or purchase system that may require negotiation.
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This analysis will be useful in improving five key areas of the procurement and supply chain, including (but not limited to) driving value through procurement and supply systems, developing contracts, managing expenditures, sourcing essentials, and negotiating procurement and supply activities. Negotiation is a critical instrument outlined in this document to develop the sourcing plan and is useful in improving some of the rights that stakeholders wield in the larger procurement and supply model.
These rights are quality, price, quantity, time and place. Key recommends made in this report highlight the need to employ effective negotiation skills to improve the current sourcing plan. This way, the company could realise several benefits, such as improved quality and quantity of concrete purchases, lower prices of concrete, and reduced delivery times for the same.
This report is a sourcing plan for the procurement of cement, which is a strategic and tactical area of spending for McLaughlin and Harvey (MCLH, 2017). Its activities are mostly concentrated in the planning and development of residential and commercial properties (MCLH, 2017). Procurement and sourcing is an integral part of the company’s operations and is largely responsible for its success and longevity. Notably, procuring building materials is central to the organisation’s activities because it is one of the most significant areas of expenditure for the company. Concrete is in a category of materials used in the company’s construction projects and is instrumental in the completion of construction projects.
In this report, I demonstrate that McLaughlin and Harvey’s current procurement plan is flawed because it is outdated and does not reflect the realities of the current procurement environment. Consequently, it poses different risks to the company’s operations, including supplier bankruptcy, natural disasters, political changes, and technological shifts, which, if left unaddressed, could disrupt its overall operations. However, adopting effective procurement and supply practices could prevent such an occurrence.
This report presents a sourcing plan for the future requirements of the organisation’s procurement framework for cement. It highlights five critical issues that form the basis of the company’s procurement and supply plan. The first one is the role of procurement and supply in managing this area of expenditure, including how these roles interact with shareholder inputs. The second part of the report highlights techniques that will be used in improving the sourcing of concrete through value addition. A significant part of this document also highlights key issues that should be included in the overall formulation of the company’s future sourcing plan.
The last two segments of the document explain measures that we will take to improve the supplier selection procedure and identify important sourcing plan areas that may require negotiation. The scope of this document includes (but is not limited to) driving value through procurement and supply systems, developing contracts, managing expenditures, sourcing essentials, and negotiating procurement and supply systems.
The Role of Procurement and Supply in Managing Expenditure in Construction in McLaughlin and Harvey Company
An Opportunity to Engage
Effective procurement and supply chain systems will help us to connect with prequalified contractors and suppliers (He, Huang, & Yuan, 2015). Supplier engagement events will be organised through the constructiononline platform of the company, which allows local SMEs and suppliers to interact with members of the buying organisation.
With several projects in the pipeline, the employment of effective procurement and supply systems would aid in identifying competitive subcontractors that will be later consulted with the goal of building sustainable working relationships. For example, the annual “Meet the Team” event at Twickenham could benefit from this development because this is where good concrete suppliers have been admitted to the company (MCLH, 2017).
Procurement and supply activities will be useful in quality assurances because they will improve quality management systems of concrete purchases in hot and cold weather conditions (He et al., 2015). Materials properties will also be evaluated in a similar manner. Issues such as non-destructive testing of concrete and steel welding are other aspects of quality management that will be undertaken through the employment of effective quality assurance systems. This analysis shows that the procurement and management plan will be vital throughout the supply plan, all the way from the receipt of materials to the final completion of the project. By improving on quality techniques and quality management, it would be possible to maintain a stronger quality management regime for the company.
Compliance standards that cover materials specifications, state specifications, contract specifications, performance standards, mixed designs and quality control of concrete use will be effectively managed through the adherence to stringent procurement and supply controls. State specifications could be learned from several agencies that are either directly or indirectly associated with the company’s activities (He et al., 2015).
For example, the State Highway Agency has outlined materials specification standards for concrete mixing that need to be adhered to by McLaughlin and Harvey (MCLH, 2017). Similarly, each contract involving the company has its own specifications that need to be observed. Procurement and supply systems will also aid in the improvement of these guidelines and additionally help to revise performance standards that will similarly be used to evaluate the activities or products provided by different suppliers.
Having an elaborate procurement and supply chain system for McLaughlin and Harvey will also make sure it better assesses its market to exploit existing opportunities and avoid impending threats. For example, Parthiban, Zubar and Katakar (2013) say such a sourcing plan would aid in reviewing the right suppliers for the organisation by analysing their capabilities and availability. It would also better equip the company’s managers to assess existing technologies by providing them with a framework to do so.
The technologies will be beneficial to the organisation’s operations because they will streamline key activities of the procurement and supply system. Lastly, the procurement and supply plan will boost McLaughlin and Harvey’s ability to assess its market by creating conditions for competition among suppliers. The best suppliers would be chosen to work with the company, thereby creating a win-win situation for both parties. The benefits enjoyed by McLaughlin and Harvey are similar to those highlighted in figure 1 below.
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Based on the above competencies and useful areas of the procurement and supply chain operations to McLaughlin and Harvey’s activities, the organisation we will adopt techniques that would help to improve the organisation’s operations.
Developing Sustainable Partnerships
By working closely with constructiononline, procurement and supply chain plans will help in prequalifying and monitoring supply chain members. This way, the burden and cost borne by suppliers, which is often realised through the engagement in different prequalification systems will be eliminated or minimised (MCLH, 2017). The time and resource savings that will be realised from this method could also greatly strengthen the company’s supply chain framework. Table 1 below summarises the key roles of procurement and supply in managing expenditure on concrete purchases.
Table 1. Role of procurement and supply in managing expenditure on concrete.
|Functional Area||Area of expenditure management|
|5||An Opportunity to engage|
Techniques for Improving Value in McLaughlin and Harvey’s Procurement for Construction Materials
In 2013, McLaughlin and Harvey adopted an e-procurement strategy to streamline its supplier recruitment framework. By doing so, it wanted to align its procurement systems with government and industry codes governing construction plans. By virtue of adopting this standard in the constructiononline platform, the company similarly adopted the PAS 91:2013 standard to streamline its prequalification of procurement plans.
The platform contains a PAS 91 questionnaire that allows all suppliers who meet the stipulated prequalification standards and comply with them to apply. The time and resource savings associated with this system will strengthen its supply chain processes. These views align with the organisation’s strategic performance framework, which has strived to combine traditional values of quality work and innovative solutions of the same.
Although the above strategy is commendable, we will link the e-procurement strategy with the e-sourcing plan using a purchase-to-pay (P2P) system. The e-procurement strategy typically contains five tenets: selection and requisition of the right supplier, authorisation to use the most competitive supplier, ordering building materials, receiving the materials and making payments. The e-sourcing model would also culminate in a similar sequence because it includes systems that involve the formulation of a contract with suppliers.
The inclusion of the e-procurement system in the company’s overall plans will come with multiple benefits for the organisation, including improved supplier management plans, improved benefits management systems and on-going strategic sourcing activities. These benefits are all intended to promote increased savings for the organisation, which could be realised through the identification of saving opportunities, securing them, and tracking their performance (relative to the organisation’s business performance).
Generally, the e-procurement system will have different uses in the operations of McLaughlin and Harvey. Some key applications will be in e-auctions, formulation of e-catalogues, e-tendering and e-sourcing. Collectively, these applications will be instrumental in streamlining the company’s sourcing plan. We will use these internet-based technologies to facilitate communication with its suppliers. Notably, e-procurement will aid in the acceleration of data exchange between multiple vendors and the company. The same strategy will help to reduce inaccuracies in the sourcing plan, thereby leading to the efficient execution of procurement roles and responsibilities.
Launching an Internal Transformation Initiative to Add Value in Procurement
McLaughlin does not have an effective internal transformation initiative for adding value to its procurement plan. Kannan (2017) says that such an initiative should take into account a clear delineation of roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities of the supply management team, which should be clear to all the stakeholders. Different techniques will be used to improve this framework.
For example, it will entail a rigorous review of the expenditures associated with procuring cement. To achieve the best outcome, we will communicate and reinforce a clear and compelling goal of the organisation’s projects. Moreover, the negotiation for the appropriate supply of construction materials will require a recalibration of incentives for project managers, who will have a high level of power and latitude in supplier selection. The managers and contractors will be encouraged to embrace change as well as to take part in consolidated procurement calls.
The procurement model will be refined by considering four critical operating pillars that include strategy, workforce, systems, and tools. The four aspects of the operation will work in harmony to streamline the sourcing plan.
Furthermore, constant reinforcement will be part of the change management system in the organisation. It is possible to achieve this requirement through proper communication and integration of stakeholders’ feedback to promote the realisation of organisational objectives. To get the best results, the procurement and supply of cement will be done by defining service level improvement goals.
Value Analysis and Strategic Sourcing
Value analysis is a viable technique that we will use to improve the procurement and supply chain as well. Particularly, it would be instrumental in determining the importance of the materials purchased. However, before including it in the overall plan, the procurement team will evaluate several factors relating to the value of the products they buy. First, the supplies will be reviewed because they are essential in the design and preparation of the procurement and supply model. Secondly, we will make sure that the materials serve their intended purpose. If the cement is more or less than what is necessary, we will outsource modified products or negotiate with substitutes to meet the desired standards.
Inclusions Necessary in Future Contracts
Application of Information Systems
It is important for us to manage the procurement function effectively by adopting information systems to enhance procurement and supply processes. This addition is essential to the company’s operations because the organisation lacks the essential tech-savvy capabilities to manage all its procurement-spending categories. Introducing ICT tools to the company’s overall strategy will help it to get a good set of contracts and pricing arrangements that can drive the efficient implementation of proactive acquisition strategies, which adhere to a baseline spending threshold. The primary focus of this undertaking is managing service delivery, monitoring service providers, and administering contractual relationships.
We will introduce a negotiation clause in the procurement and supply strategy because doing so would guarantee the best quality of lowly priced building materials. However, to do so, we will first build a direct and contractual relationship with the actual service providers. Later, we could use different models to do so. However, the framework developed by Age and Eklinder-Frick (2017) in figure 2 below presents a good guideline that we will adopt.
The three parties highlighted in the model above will ensure the procurement system addresses various sporadic concerns to safeguard the primary mutual interest of the construction company. The most significant intermittent issues include (but are not limited to) insurance claims, amendments, call-in performance period, liquidation of damages, and work extension for completion, back charges, termination, and suspension.
Measures of Selecting Effective Suppliers
We will review the financial performance of potential suppliers to determine their ability to deliver. Those who fail to meet the set criteria will not be shortlisted. It is important to do so because an economic viability analysis will help us to assess whether we could rely on their suppliers throughout the life of the contract period, or not (Yang, Zhang, & Xie 2017). Additionally, we will check whether competing vendors have the capacity to manage the contract from commencement through to its completion.
We will also make sure that suppliers demonstrate competence and professionalism in the way they manage economic and monetary policies, particularly as a response to changes in both internal and external environments. He et al. (2015) support this proposal because they argue that companies, which have strong financial viability ratios, are more prepared to absorb procurement risks than those that have a poor credit rating score.
We will also evaluate the commercial strength of potential suppliers to determine whether they meet their operational costs, or not. Particularly, we will look for vendors who demonstrate professionalism and flexibility to meet emerging needs of the construction company on short notice. For instance, we will seek suppliers who are in a position to increase delivery quantities in short notice because they have a competitive advantage over other players who cannot do the same. This provision is essential because McLaughlin and Harvey’s long-term contracts could be subject to shifting demands (brought about by market uncertainty).
Moreover, the demand for construction materials from overseas markets could yield multifaceted issues brought about by regional politics, global economic conditions, and natural disasters. Thus, suppliers must prepare to satisfy the company’s emergency needs. Additionally, the creditworthiness of vendors will be a central focus for us. If the financial resources fall short, we will be in a position to guarantee a continued supply of construction materials through borrowing (as one strategy) of ensuring the continuity of its processes.
We will choose a supplier who demonstrates the ability to introduce and deploy technology with ease because doing so would translate into improved service delivery for the business. Moreover, we will only do business with suppliers who uphold high-quality standards of operations. For instance, we will require vendors to have ISO 2010 certification as a prerequisite to maintain preparedness through sound policies, procedures, appropriate documentation, and continuous training.
These measures should help it to maintain top-notch services for our clients. A check on previous deliveries to several companies, through trade history assessments, will provide crucial information regarding the competency of the suppliers. Assessing the fixed tangible asset values will also provide vital information about the advancement or deterioration of a supplier’s technical capabilities. Additionally, Dzeng and Wang (2017) say technological capabilities are the prerequisites to excellent service delivery, reputation, financial profitability, and cost-efficiency.
Stakeholders are often involved in negotiating different kinds of rights that characterise company operations. These rights affect procurement and supply plans because they influence the price, quality, quantity, time and place of delivering building materials. For us, negotiations to improve these rights will occur at any stage of the sourcing process. However, for this to happen, we need to understand the stakeholders. According to the PESTLE analysis below, the main stakeholders of the company are:
The government and its agencies are the main stakeholder group that characterises the political environment of McLaughlin and Harvey. This group affects the company’s procurement and supply systems by affecting the pricing of construction materials through subsidies, tariffs, licences and such as levies (Engel, 2012). Regulation is a key instrument used by this stakeholder group to influence activities within the construction industry and, by extension, the activities of McLaughlin and Harvey.
The economic environment of McLaughlin and Harvey outlines vendors as the main stakeholder group. The company’s economic environment largely refers to the prevailing economic conditions that would affect the supply and demand for construction materials through pricing and similar instruments of quality and quantity control.
Our clients are the main stakeholder group that emerges in the company’s social environment. Since the organisation largely works for different types of private and public clients, issues relating to security, the architecture of buildings, lighting, furniture and fittings are aspects of the social environment that would affect the company’s operations, based on the demands, preferences and tastes of the customers (Engel, 2012). In this regard, clients are the main stakeholder group in this segment.
The technological environment of McLaughlin and Harvey highlights vendors as the main stakeholder group. Technology affects the company’s operations, based on the kind of building and construction techniques the company adopts in its projects. Thus, the availability and applicability of this technology are largely dictated by vendors, who are the main stakeholder group.
Legal (Pressure groups)
The legal environment of McLaughlin and Harvey outlines pressure groups as another stakeholder. The international organisation for standardisation (ISO) is one such partner because it sets the standards of operations for the company and its partners to follow (CIPS, 2017). The legal environment simply refers to the policy structure the company should abide by. It also refers to the rules and laws that the company should adhere to when undertaking its operations.
Environmental (Environmental agencies and local communities)
We are legally required to respect environmental laws and standards. The company is also supposed to make sure its objectives are sustainably achieved. Environmental agencies are the main stakeholder group in this field of assessment because they are required to make sure our activities have a minimal (or no) cost to the environment. At the same time, local communities affected by the company’s operations form a distinct stakeholder group as well because they are the custodians of the environment where the company operates.
Based on the above analysis, the main stakeholders of McLaughlin and Harvey are listed below:
- Local communities.
- Pressure groups.
- Government agencies.
- Environmental agencies.
Value could be added to the procurement and supply processes of McLaughlin and Harvey by negotiating with the aforementioned stakeholder groups. This is because they affect five rights (price, quality, quantity, time and place) that influence the procurement of building materials for McLaughlin and Harvey. Thus, negotiating with them to improve these rights by demanding for improved quality, lower prices, increased, quantities of materials sourced, slower delivery times, and the delivery of construction materials at the right place would improve the company’s procurement and supply processes. The stakeholders that would be involved in improving the aforementioned rights are highlighted above.
To realise the above-mentioned goals, we will have to make sure the stakeholders do what they are supposed to. For example, the framework of awarding contracts will consider the level of responsibility of the suppliers. A successful contractual relationship is underpinned by how the different parties within the provider organisation will coordinate the numerous aspects of stakeholder engagement.
Data relating to the suppliers will be found by scouting for information about them through different platforms and using different tools. For example, Gumus and Love (2013) say requiring suppliers to fill prequalification questionnaires is a sound way of obtaining valuable information about their operations and processes. Such a data collection tool could be instrumental in obtaining all the information highlighted here. Hartmann and Caerteling (2010) supports this assertion and says that, in the past, companies have used this instrument to obtain information relating to a company’s financial stability, technical abilities, environmental policy systems, and record of accomplishment.
Overall, we will investigate the leadership qualities of potential vendors as a source of competitive advantage. This is because poor performance is attributable to the overall management of procurement organisations. Figure 3 below shows how we will utilise these principles to select suppliers.
Figure 3. Selection criteria for vendors (Sporrong & Kadefors, 2014).
Aspects of Procurement That Require Negotiation
Many aspects of our systems require negotiated agreements with stakeholders to meet the organisation’s procurement and operational goals. It is possible for us to enter into an agreement with specific suppliers to guarantee it gets the best quality and affordable building materials for its operations. The single and multiple supplier frameworks are the most commonly used models for guiding procurement and supply processes and will be used in this sourcing plan.
This decision is informed by our willingness to discuss the terms and conditions for conducting business. The emphasis is on price and quality negotiations. Although the single supplier and the multiple supplier frameworks are the most dominant ones, the latter is best suited for McLaughlin and Harvey because competition will be the basis for the selection of the most suitable supplier. Past performance and capacity of the suppliers will be some of the main considerations used to assess their performance.
There are different areas that would be subject to negotiation. One of them is the cost of materials procured because an escalation of material costs could significantly affect the company’s bottom-line (Frankel, 2013). Thus, it is pertinent for us to negotiate with suppliers to deliver affordable concrete. This provision will not come with quality concessions, because it would cause a larger reputation problem for the company if clients are dissatisfied with their work because of poor quality.
Another aspect of the company’s operations that requires negotiation is the quality of concrete delivered on-site. In other words, we will only work with suppliers who can deliver quality materials to the company because the failure to do so could significantly lead to greater structural problems for the buildings constructed by the company. This area of negotiation is an important point of concern for most construction companies because different building or construction projects have specific standards that can only be secured using quality construction materials (CIPS, 2017; Sezhiyan, Page, & Iskanius, 2011). Thus, we will negotiate with suppliers to provide quality materials.
Lastly, another area of negotiation we will focus on is the time and place of delivery because, in as much as some suppliers may be in a position to deliver quality and affordable concrete, they may not be in a position to deliver them at the right place or time.
Therefore, we will be in a position to negotiate with suppliers to deliver the required materials at the right time and place. Orders will be placed only to those companies that are able to deliver the materials at the right place and time. Based on the above aspects of procurement that need negotiation, the sourcing of construction materials emerges as a general concern for us and that require careful attention. Nevertheless, we will also engage both internal and external stakeholders to develop a win-win strategy of attaining mutual benefits (Peter & Athanasios, 2016; Madhusudan & Rao, 2016).
This document has outlined a sourcing plan for the future requirements of McLaughlin and Harvey. Five key areas of operation have been highlighted as being instrumental in improving the overall sourcing plan. They include procurement and supply processes, techniques the company could apply in reducing its expenditure for increased value addition, inclusions that should characterise future contracts, measures that could be undertaken to select effective suppliers and any aspects of the supply or purchase system that may require negotiation.
These key aspects of operations are integral in making sure the sourcing strategy is robust. Negotiation is also a critical element of instrumentation that will be useful in enhancing some of the rights that the stakeholders wield in the larger procurement and supply process. These rights are quality, price, quantity, time and place. Thus, if we employ effective negotiation skills, we will benefit from improved quality, lower prices, increased quantities of concrete, and reduced delivery times.
Some of the key concepts applied in this document could help to analyse stakeholder activities/inputs and demonstrate effective ways we could use to manage the concrete supply plan. The latter concept has been used to analyse the company’s operational environment and recommend possible directions it should follow in improving five key rights of operation for its sourcing plan: quality, place, time, price, and quantity. The Kraljix matrix has also been highlighted in this report as a tool for recognising weaknesses in the sourcing plans and protects the company from supplier disruption. Therefore, adopting the Portfolio Kraljic Matrix will help us to mitigate risks while managing many aspects of the supply chain.
The goal of improving McLaughlin and Harvey’s sourcing plan is obtaining high quality, cost-effective, and valuable concrete from vendors. At the centre of this analysis has been the concept of negotiation, which has emerged as a significant value driver. The adoption of procurement and supply chain best practices can help to deliver value throughout the sourcing plan. For example, as highlighted in this report, we will use e-procurement strategies to ensure effective negotiation and vet the suppliers accordingly to make sure they subscribe to good principles of procurement.
Furthermore, we will launch internal transformation initiatives to manage change – an undertaking that could lead to improved value in the procurement framework. This analysis is useful in our sourcing plan because it could help to improve five key areas of the organisation’s procurement and supply systems, including (but not limited to) driving value through procurement and supply plans, developing contracts, managing expenditures, sourcing essentials, and negotiating procurement and supply processes.
In contemporary commercial organisations, procurement has gained increased significance as a necessary enabler of business strategy and a preferred way of cutting costs. The adoption of technology has transformed procurement into an opportunity for system simplification. McLaughlin has been relying on traditional sourcing plans, which hamper the above-mentioned benefits. Thus, we need to adopt better negotiation techniques to overcome some of these challenges.
To do so, we will pay more attention to the kinds of suppliers and vendors we intend to work with. A specific emphasis on the formulation of some irreducible minimum conditions and requirements that the stakeholders should conform to needs to be a key part of the negotiation process. In this regard, parties that want to work with the company should meet them. Its key procurement and supply functions need to perform a “gatekeeper’s” role as well, where there should be a free, but well-managed flow of information between the company and its shareholders.
The goal of participating in this undertaking is to make sure that there is more value-added to the company’s sourcing plan by effectively engaging with stakeholders and securing their commitment to abide by best practices in procurement and supply management. This recommendation aligns with Andrew Cox’s work on approaches to procurement as a tool for improving relationships between companies and suppliers (Dominick & Lunney, 2012). Figure 4 below depicts how this relationship should look like.
We will also exploit the more than 160 years of experience the company has had in the construction industry and nurture its existing relationships to form better relationships with suppliers. Leu, Hong Son, and Hong Nhung (2015) add that by so doing, we would be able to promote increased compliance standards in the organisation by investing both time and resources in improving the stakeholder management plan.
At the core of the company’s operations will be an emphasis on the triple bottom line concept, as proposed in 1994 by John Elkington (Dominick & Lunney, 2012). The concept dictates that companies should pursue policies that aim to promote the welfare of their people, the planet, and the company’s profitability. Pursuing this strategy will provide direction to our operations, especially regarding the procurement and supply policies.
In other words, we will shun stakeholders (or parties) involved in the sourcing plan that aims to undermine any of the three bottom-line areas mentioned above. At the same time, we will strive to negotiate with stakeholders who want to promote the same bottom-line areas. We will also stop relying on poor quality information from general ledger documents to seek vendors. Instead, adopting a procurement-spending map is a unique tool that will be adopted to help in identifying opportunities and risks associated with the procurement and sourcing plan. A procurement-spending map entails category analysis, item analysis, payment analysis, vendor analysis, and contract analysis, which ensures value addition in every stage of the acquisition process.
Another recommendation entails adopting initiatives that can help us to enhance savings across the supply value chain. Relative to this assertion, researchers point out that the leading driver of “cost leakages” in the procurement and supply chain is the mismatch between an organisation’s wants and needs (Bellantuono, Kersten, & Pontrandolfo, 2014). In fact, researchers argue that supply cost reduction initiatives, which depend on price reduction, often get it all wrong (Bellantuono et al., 2014).
Bohner and Minner (2017) give perfect examples of savings initiatives, which include matching wants and needs, employing alternative contract models to deliver the best value for money, balancing demand and supply, and managing the cost of doing business. Comprehensively, adopting some of the recommendations highlighted in this document will help us to improve efficiency, increase profitability, and enhance the overall procurement outcomes of the company.
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