John Rossiter, Head of PPP Supply Chain and Executive Director at Solomons Europe, hit the road to deliver a presentation at the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster’s Energy and Engineering Showcase (Wednesday, October 11).
Delivering a PPP update, he covered the journey so far and how, having built the enterprise, the current focus is on ensuring the PPP ecosystem delivers on both project delivery and socioeconomic impact. He detailed the progress made by the Swimming with the Big Fish SME Matchmaker Service, which is being delivered by Solomons Europe for PPP to ensure the inclusion of high performing SMEs in its supply chain. John also revealed plans for all PPP related procurements to be published on the CompeteFor online supply chain opportunities platform.
And to cap off a busy session, he took part in a lively panel debate addressing the question, “How can procurement strategies be used to benefit SMEs?” with Cliff Woodburn of Cumbria O&M Services (COMS) and BECBC Chief Executive Dianne Richardson.
Below are extracts from what John said during the presentation, which you can download below.
“Some people won’t know, but I work for an SME (Solomons Europe). Everybody working on PPP actually works for a company within the supply chain. PPP wants to see that spectrum of representation, and the perspective this ‘rainbow’ approach to the team brings. So, it may be strange to some, or at least a pleasant surprise, that someone from an SME is heading up the PPP supply chain. Personally, I’d say that’s a good thing.
“As a Director at Solomons, I know only too well what its like for an SME. I know all about the frustrations SMEs have trying to secure work on large programmes and projects. And I know the challenges they face each and every day – from fulfilling work, doing the paperwork, bidding for and delivery work, while at the same time trying to plan for the future. The PPP commercial model is designed to be inclusive of SMEs. It gives them the opportunity to access long-term contracts – and hopefully build long-term relationships – that provide security and allow them to invest and grow. As we say a lot, it is giving SMEs a hand up, not a hand out. The hand up hasn’t always necessarily been there before.
“There will be challenges along the way, and it won’t be easy. We’re delivering a model that is new and very different and is industry leading. We’re building an ecosystem of businesses based on true collaboration – an ecosystem that spans specialist skills and expertise in construction and engineering through to professional services. This requires a huge shift in culture for everyone involved because this is far removed from traditional contractor-supplier relationships. This will take time and we will do a huge amount of learning as we progress.
“I’d also stress that not every SME – either registered with the Matchmaker Service or in this room – is going to secure work with PPP. That is very dependant on what skills, expertise and services the programme requires. But this can change given the nature of the challenges we face at the Sellafield site. This is a long-term endeavour with opportunities spanning 16 or so years. So, I’d encourage SMEs to explore what relevant potential opportunities there are for them in the programme – and also appreciate that, given the scale and longevity of the programme, work won’t necessarily appear tomorrow.
“We’re always here to answer questions and provide advice. We’re here to support you as best we can, so please get in touch.”
Contact details for key people at PPP and the Swimming with the Big Fish SME Matchmaker Service are included in the final slide of the presentation.