Sydney Water

Sydney Water has been selected as an ABA100® Winner for Supply Chain Management in The Australian Business Awards 2020. The Australian Business Award for Supply Chain Management [SCM] recognises organisations that have achieved outstanding results through initiatives that demonstrate excellence in supply chain management.

Sydney Water is Australia’s largest water and wastewater service provider, supplying water, wastewater, recycled water and some stormwater services to more than five million people in Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains – both supplying and reviving water.

Sydney Water is focused on preparing for the future growth of our city to service the extra one million people forecast to live in Sydney in the next ten years. Sydney Water is a statutory State-Owned Corporation, wholly owned by the New South Wales Government, and the sole provider of public water and wastewater services to Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains. As a water utility Sydney Water must act in accordance with regulations and the license conditions set by NSW Health and reviewed by IPART every five years. Sydney Water operates under the Sydney Water Act 1994 and has three equal objectives, to protect public health, environment and a successful business.

Sydney Water’s vision is to create a better life with world-class water services. The Delivery Management (DM) division is a strategic consortium between Sydney Water, Lendlease and John Holland to design and deliver infrastructure projects with 200+ staff and 1500+ ‘active projects across three regions. DM forms part of the Liveable City Solutions group.DM has the ambitious task to deliver a $600 million annual infrastructure program to service the growth of Sydney. Taking a partnership approach, it leverages strategic supplier relationships to meet program demand. From 2014-2020, DM overhauled how it manages suppliers by implementing and maturing an innovative performance partnering framework called Supplier Relationship Management for Success (SRM4Success). The driver was to find more efficient ways to deliver value and infrastructure to the community in the context of strong projected population growth and environmental challenges including sustainability and climate change. This objective aligns with Sydney Water’s corporate strategy for high performance, to have the customer at the centre and be a world class performer. effective partnering is essential to serve the current and future water needs of the community.

As a model of procurement excellence, SRM4Success resolved these issues and delivered exceptional results for Sydney Water, its stakeholders and customers. SRM4Success is not a single project but rather a continually improved model with a robust governance structure designed to optimise and evolve supplier relationship management and infrastructure delivery to benefit all stakeholders including staff, contractors and the community. The project outcomes are compelling and include but are not limited to a significant increase in the capital target and trending growth in performance across all Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across the capital program. Partnering practices and supplier satisfaction rates have improved greatly. SRM4Success has been recognised as a best practice supply chain management model by multiple associations nationally and globally which is a testament to its strength and value to the industry.

Sydney Water is committed to building a high-performance culture as an enabler of their corporate strategy. To deliver on this, DM established the ‘Towards Organisational Excellence’ program with the overarching goal to improve business and financial performance. The supply chain improvement initiative sat within the program with a focus on improving supply chain management. The project was delivered and led by procurement in conjunction with the Head of DM, the project Sponsor. The project goals and objectives centered on the research, development and syndication of the three major features of the new model. The main KPI’s or project milestones used to measure project progress was first development and then implementation of the of the aforementioned components. The overarching goal or benefit sought was improved performance through effective supply chain management and collaboration to enhance commercial, social and environmental outcomes at the project/program/portfolio level.

The SRM4Success initiatives were delivered as part of a broader business improvement program called ‘Towards Organisational Excellence’ that is still underway. The program is sponsored by the Head of DM and focuses on uplifting people, processes and systems to integrate and improve infrastructure delivery model including all underpinning functions. Since implementation of SRM4Success, continual improvement has been institutionalised. Leveraging supplier capability and knowledge improves solution selection and design and reduces the cost, risks and inefficiencies associated with rework. Together this improves project delivery and sets the project up for success.

The benefit, impact and value of the SRM4Success initiative is measured by its ability to improve performance across all KPI’s at the project, program and portfolio level. This performance uplift creates value for the organisation and is critical to meet the needs of a growing Sydney. It can be measured via commercial indicators such as performance against the capital target, growth in the capital target and FTE per $1 million of program delivered. However, the impact and benefits extend far beyond just commercial measures. These outcomes translate into greater value for the community by “making every dollar count”. Equally important, is the improved performance in environment and safety which serves the community, staff and suppliers that has been achieved. All this is possible through a framework that promotes collaborative practices and working as “one team”. Promoting the best practice supply chain management serves as a template to industries across the water, utilities and construction sectors. The SRM4Success has proved how to effectively leverage and integrate public and private capability to achieve better outcomes.

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