British Gas faces the massive challenge of putting smart meters to every home in the UK – and its strategy has made it overall winner in the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards. No wonder the team was absolutely delighted. Report by Nick Allen and Alex Whiteman.
British Gas took the overall Award at 2014 European Supply Chain Excellence Awards for the way it’s supply chain has responded to the challenge of putting smart meters into every home in the UK by the end of the decade. The Awards were presented in front of some 600 guests at a gala dinner at the Park Lane Hilton in London.
Dave Long, senior project manager at Centrica, said: “The British Gas team were extremely pleased to have won the two sector Awards, but are absolutely delighted to also have been named overall winner.
“The government have mandated for every UK household to be able to have a smart gas/electricity meter by the end of the decade. Winning these prestigious Awards is a great testament and recognition of the efforts everyone in the team have put in to give us an industry leading supply chain solution that will enable British Gas to scale to deliver for our customers and the UK, on this massive undertaking.” The British Gas team was presented with the Overall Award by Johnathon Marshall, partner at PwC.
The awards were hosted by Martin Bayfield, the former England rugby player, who at 6ft 10in, is one of the tallest players ever to take the field.
The Individual Award went to chairman of The London Ambulance Service, Richard Hunt CBE. “I am rarely surprised,” said Hunt. “But this has truly surprised me, catching me off guard. It is a humbling experience.”
John Lewis in partnership with Knapp won two Awards: Retail and E-tail, and Warehouse Initiative. John Munnelly, head of operations at Magna Park, said: “It is a pleasure to achieve the double win,” said Munnelly. “I am picking this Award up on behalf of a fantastic team at John Lewis, and for the strong collaborative effort alongside Knapp.”
The Awards are organised by Supply Chain Standard in association with PwC, and are unique in the depth of analysis involved in the judging process, which in turn makes them uniquely worth winning. A total of 72 organisations made it to the final stage of the Awards this year.
“Four years ago, the supply chain team of Sky D embarked on its journey – tonight we received the European Supply Chain Excellence Award,” said Sebastian Hauptmann, collecting the Hi Tech, Communications & Electronics Award on behalf of Sky Deutschland. “It’s a great honour for the whole supply chain team of Sky Deutschland to have won this Award and motivates us to continue our quest for excellence to the benefit of out customers, our shareholders and the employees of Sky Deutschland,” he added.
Accepting the Environmental Improvement Award on the behalf of The Co-operative Food, national transport support manager Justin Kirkhope said the win was the result of collaboration of the various teams involved. A sentiment echoed by Allport Cargo Services’ group marketing and business development manager Clyde Buntrock.
“In accepting the Award for Logistics and Distribution, I have to acknowledge the collaborative effort involved,” said Buntrock. “We are absolutely delighted, and it is a testament to our solutions teams’ hard work.”
Nisa with DHL was recognised for Training and Professional Development. Kristian Latham, DHL vice president of operations, said: “This is astonishing. A fantastic achievement and a commendation for our drivers and the work we’ve done.”
Team of the Year was the 27th Regiment of the Royal Logistics Corps which was tasked with getting the British army home from Afghanistan. Accepting the Award, Major Lucy Anderson said the win had come as a total surprise. “It is a huge honour for all the soldiers, and it is on their behalf that we collect this. They made it a reality with their tireless, hard work in Afghanistan.”
The SME Award went to the fast rising Tangle Teezer, the speed of the company’s ascent noted by web order co-ordinator Austin Lindsey as he collected the Award: “This is a great win for the team. We started off small. We are getting bigger. And we will continue to grow, spurred on by the recognition this Award has provided.”
The Award for Third Party Logistics Provider of the Year went to Kuhne+Nagel. Bill Thatcher, Kuehne + Nagel Whitbread contract general manager, said it has been a pleasure working alongside Whitbread. “It’s exciting to work with a company of Whitbread’s quality and its brand reputation. And it’s been an honour and pleasure being the facilitator of Whitbread’s growth.”
What does it take to win?
Winning a European Supply Chain Excellence Award can be a gruelling experience. Entrants are asked to provide us with a lot of information. In some cases where the judges feel they don’t have enough information, they go back and ask for more.
Those entrants that make it through to the shortlist are invited to make a presentation to the judges and answer questions. We have a team of more than 40 judges made up of specialists from PwC, the team at Supply Chain Standard, and leading supply chain professionals.
In the process the judges look for five common characteristics of high performing supply chains – the five core disciplines. These are:
1. Does your supply chain help to deliver competitive advantage to your company – or is it a cost of doing business?
2. Are your processes and systems streamlined and integrated across the end-to-end supply chain – or are they complex and fragmented?
3. Is the supply chain organisation structured and staffed for success – or is it an admin function staffed with the dead weights?
4. Have you built a collaborative operating model with a clear understanding of your core competencies – or are you a jack of all trades and a master of none?
5 Have you a clear understanding of how to measure success and is the organisation incentivised to deliver it – or do you measure everything and do nothing with it?
If the entry was for a special category – for example Sourcing and Procurement, or Customer Service there is less emphasis given to the core disciplines and more emphasis to the relative performance and achievement of each of the finalists. In addition, the judges give special attention to the demonstration of innovation and the commitment, passion and enthusiasm of entrants.
First Published in Supply Chain Standard: December 2014