How Morgan Sindall Construction are supporting SME’s

23rd November 2020

Morgan Sindall Construction are committed to working as a responsible and ethical business, providing a positive impact to the communities where we work and their local economy. One of the ways we achieve this is through the support and employment of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Our Social Value Bank is a tool which allows us to monitor and monetise these social value outputs. This includes a software known as Local Multiplier 3 (LM3) which is a calculator, measuring and reporting the impacts of our work with SMEs locally. Further supporting our commitment, we are the first construction company to become a Partner for Social Value UK, which is a national network for social impact and social value.

To support and improve our use of local SMEs we have designed a responsible procurement framework, in line with our Social Value Bank tool. We consider SME spend across our construction contracts, always exceeding the 25% minimum spend that Central Government target. We are also committed to targeting a minimum of 70% supply chain partners procured within a 25-mile radius of each project which we regularly exceed. 95% of our jobs delivered across our three lots of the Southern Construction Framework (South West, South East and London), achieve in excess of 90% project spend through the employment of SMEs.

We operate a strategic supply chain, maintaining close relationships with local SMEs, enabling us to understand their availability and capacity for local projects. To help promote the local supply chain to our wider business and encourage local enterprises/ SMEs to deliver our projects, we routinely host Meet the Buyer events and facilitate regular supply chain networking events to introduce clients and publicise projects. We hold regular ‘drop-in’ sessions across our local offices to help SMEs comply with the processes and support them through the pre-qualification.

We work with our supply chain partners to ensure they open up opportunities to micro, small and medium sized enterprises and engage with third sector organisations to promote specific opportunities. We also enshrine social value outputs into subcontractor orders, including recruitment of local people. All trade contractors’ project scores are recorded on our database and high performing SMEs are promoted within the business to encourage continued use.

We encourage our potential and existing supply chain to upskill by holding training courses and events in association with Business Link, Local Authority Access teams and CITB as well as specialised training providers. SMEs who may not have the budget for their own training are offered additional support. Collaborating with clients, we ensure the project’s Social Value Charter identifies any local SMEs who may benefit from such training. On every SCF project, we work collaboratively with the client to produce and deliver an Employment and Skills Plan (ESP) which outlines further opportunities with SMEs.

As a business, we are targeting each project with having two social enterprises and recently partnered on a new venture to support social enterprises and the like. As founding partner of Work Radar, this new platform (developed by Local Supply Chain) connects individual tradespeople, micro-businesses and social enterprises with leading contractors. The service will help thousands of construction workers find local work and supports the government’s plan to progress shovel-ready projects in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The accessible and easy to use platform allows small businesses and individual operators to access work opportunities on specific projects in their region, while simultaneously enabling large construction firms to develop their local supply chains and improve their social value outputs. We have successfully launched the scheme across two education projects in Birmingham.

Across our regions in the South West, South East and London we have successfully demonstrated our commitment to employing SMEs. At Robert May’s School in Hampshire (South East), we employed 36 SMEs, delivering 100% of project spend. At Exeter Science Park, Engineering Facility (South-West) we employed 38 SMEs, delivering 100% project spend and at Ashmole Primary School we employed 22 SMEs, delivering over 90% project spend.