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Barratt Developments is the nation’s largest house builder. It is active throughout the United Kingdom and is known for creating well designed residential properties to the highest standards.

As a result of the downturn in the UK housing market, which followed the financial crisis and its consequent credit crunch, the capacity of many suppliers in the construction industry was significantly reduced. In light of this constrained capacity, the subsequent recovery in the UK economy and revival in housing demand placed strains on the supply chains of many leading house builders.

Against this backdrop, Barratt Developments asked Collinson Grant to design and deploy a supplier assessment programme. This was intended to assess the capabilities of its major suppliers, their potential to increase capacity and sustain volumes over a 12 to 15-month period, and the business risk arising from their ongoing involvement in Barratt's supply chain.

Each audit was carried out over a two-day period at the supplier's site and involved a systematic assessment of:

  • the quality of the relationship between Barratt and the supplier
  • strategic planning processes
  • key performance indicators and operational performance
  • supply chain planning and management
  • purchasing
  • systems and software
  • business continuity and contingency planning
  • organisational capability and capacity
  • change management propensity

Following the audit, each supplier was provided with objective feedback and assigned a rating of low, medium or high risk in up to 25 indicators with recommendations in those aspects where scope for potential improvement was identified.

The supplier assessment programme has provided Barratt with a platform for driving and monitoring ongoing improvement in the performance of its key suppliers and a structured methodology for managing and mitigating supply chain risk.