I am the Defence Infrastructure Organisation's (DIO) Commercial Director and I wrote a blog earlier this year on the launch of our Commercial Strategy. The strategy sets out DIO’s vision for future ways of working with suppliers in the soft and hard facilities management, construction and property advisory sectors. It also explains our intent to broaden our supply base, and encourages our existing and prospective suppliers to have the confidence to work with us.
As mentioned when we launched the Commercial Strategy, the next step was to publish our Procurement Plan. The plan has now been published so I thought I would explain a bit more about it and share an example of how DIO is already putting the plan into action.
The Procurement Plan
This document explains to existing and potential suppliers what our priorities are and how they can navigate our procurement and approvals processes. It also provides transparency by showing suppliers where and how we plan to spend a total of £15.8 billion on construction and infrastructure over the next five financial years.
DIO is moving from being a landlord to becoming a commissioning agency, and enabling our suppliers to meet their needs will be essential. We recognise the need to do things differently to better meet the needs of our customers and to attract new customers and suppliers. Both the Commercial Strategy and the Procurement Plan demonstrate our commitment to this new way of working.
Suppliers and partners will now be able to view opportunities to bid for work which will support programmes such as the £4 billion Defence Estate Optimisation Programme, Future Defence Infrastructure Services across the UK Defence Estate and the £1.3 billion Clyde Infrastructure Programme.
Work is already under way on some of these programmes. For example, the procurement process for the Clyde Infrastructure Programme has already begun. As mentioned in a previous blog on selecting commercial partners, we have created a framework of providers who can bid for specific areas of work on this programme. We were aware of the need to do things differently and our procurement process, in addition to focusing on each company’s ability to carry out the work to high standards, also focused on how individuals at DIO worked with individuals from each company. Our research and past experiences found that relationships were as important in the success of a project as the expertise of the company and individuals carrying out the work.
It is still early days for the Clyde Framework but there has been positive feedback already from suppliers and DIO staff.
It is this type of innovative approach we are adopting from now on when procuring services and working with potential suppliers and customers. Our different way of working will help set DIO apart as a forward-thinking organisation that can adapt to the changing needs within Defence both now and in the future.