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Help us support the nuclear decommissioning supply chain

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Supply Chain

I want to explain why our supply chain is so valuable, so please watch the video or read the transcript below.

The consultation on the draft of our revised strategy is open until 15 February 2016, and I'd like to encourage all our suppliers to read the Supply Chain section, and to share your thoughts with us.

We want our suppliers to grow and be successful. We believe we can play a positive role in helping achieve this.

We know there are still barriers we need to address to improve access and engender success in our decommissioning market, and we need your input to help us improve the process for suppliers.

Transcript of video

I’m Ron Gorham, I’m the Head of Supply Chain Optimisation for the NDA, and I’m also the SME Champion for the NDA.


My role is to look after our relationship with the supply chain not surprisingly, and to ensure that over the coming decades we do everything we can to make sure that we use the supply chain in the best way, that they can be successful, and in doing so, help us be successful as well.


This is the third evolution of our strategy and what is clear is that there’s still an awful lot more to do in the coming strategy.


There are a couple of very subtle aspects associated with the new document. One of the key changes is that we’ve for the very first time aspired to be the nuclear client of choice.


That’s not intended to be an arrogant statement, but it is intended to reflect that actually that £1.8bn spend that our Site Licence Companies has isn’t in itself enough to create the kind of relationships that we and our Site Licence Companies aspire to have with the supply chain.


So we want to be seen very positively by the supply chain as an organisation, as a client that they want to do business with. That they see predictable opportunities in the future, they see a reasonable expectation of being able to be successful, not on every tender and not every contract, but it needs to be an environment and relationship where those companies can grow and be successful.


Importantly for us, it’s also the first time that we’ve actually declared that we have a positive role in helping enable the supply chain to be successful.


This is not a one way relationship, we do need to do things to improve our own internal processes, to make that consistency of experience more transferable and the companies know and understand what it takes to be successful.


So that’s a key aspect for us going forward. If you were to ask me what single word I might use to encompass our document that we’ve developed, it’s "efficiency". And for us that means we need to continue to deliver those efficiencies in terms of simplification of processes, and predictability of outcomes and work on being seen as a genuine estate, so that the experience is consistent.


That’s our side of the bargain, we need to challenge ourselves and be prepared to be challenged to do things differently. And as part of that, I think that that’s the kind of commitment that the NDA estate needs to make.


But equally we need to make the same challenge to our supply chain which is to bring forward those improvements, differnt ways of working which improve the predictability of outcomes, the value and affordability and that’s particularly important as we go into continued spending issues across government.


But also ensure that how they behave engenders safety, security and the environment is an integral part of the way they work.

I’m Stephen Sanders, I’m the Business Development Director for Oxford Technologies.


Although I like to say I’m an engineer as well, as are all the people and managers in the company. We are a remote handling specialist, and that’s pretty much all we do, although for us there’s a lot of depth there, particularly in the 3 main markets that we operate: nuclear decommissioning; nuclear fusion; and high energy physics.


We fundamentally solve people's problems, particularly really challenging problems. Simple problems, we tend to let it go elsewhere. We do the difficult stuff.


One of the things the NDA helps us with, and can help us in future...a company like ours, is allowing us to access the stakeholders to understand what the issues are.


So when we come to produce bids, we have a better grasp of understanding, and things like the NDA show, which is happening in November this year does help you to get to understand the culture of the sort of organisations and how they are delivering.

I’m Sam Dancy, I’m the Supply Chain Manager for the NDA.


We and our SLCs have put in place initiatives to look at improving procurement processes, and helping to support suppliers working in the NDA estate, particularly small and medium sized enterprises or SMEs.


We’ve been listening to our suppliers at business events, workshops, seminars, even via questionnaire and one to one basis, and aim to respond to this feedback.


We’ve introduced a range of measures looking at contract simplification, standardisation.


We definitely think working with our supplier is a two way relationship.


We need our suppliers to be affordable, innovative and reliable, and responsive to our requirements.


But equally, they need us to be good clients. Being a good client means being predictable, we’re looking at standardisation, simplification of contracting, making it easier to work in our supply chain.


We need to try and reduce bureaucracy in the things that we do. We need to make our contracts simpler and easier to understand.


We also need to listen to our suppliers, if there’s an issue and respond to that. There’s definitely more to do, we’ve got so far, but more to do.


We definitely want to encourage more suppliers into our market, but equally we want those suppliers to widen their, horizons and look at other markets in the UK and also abroad.


We have an annual supply chain event, we work very closely with our Site Licence Companies, and as part of the supply chain event, we use that to celebrate the success of our suppliers with our annual supply chain awards. Those are focused on innovation and collaboration.


Part of the awards is to focus on SME innovation.


We’re in Hangar 10 today, here at Harwell, behind us is the BEPO Storage Block. Steve Vick, one of our SMEs, won an award for their innovative approach to providing foam filling into the storage block and easier decommissioning.

Ron Gorham speaking again:

One of the specific things that we need to do and encourage as part of the strategy and through consultation process is actually to encourage engagement around the whole document, but also being very parochial for a minute, particularly for me, supply chain development strategy.


So I’ve got one simple question, which is:

What single action or activity could you recommend to us which would make the single largest impact upon the NDA estate being seen as the nuclear client of choice?


We’re very keen to have your ideas and we take all of those extremely seriously.

Online engagement via web chat

If you have questions or comments, you can join a web chat. We have scheduled 2 sessions where our specialists will be online to answer any queries you might have:

11:30 Friday 29 January (1 hour)

16:00 Monday 8 February (1 hour)

Feel free to submit questions beforehand via and we will provide answers during the live webchats.

Transcripts will be available after each online chat session.

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