14 April 2005 | David Arminas
Lee Parkinson has been appointed the first head of supply chain management at construction and property development company Wates.
The focus of his new position will be on working more closely with services suppliers to reduce common costs.
"In the past," he said, "we've had a traditional procurement pattern, with buyers on sites choosing suppliers.
"Also, tenders have gone out and prices been negotiated, but we have had little visibility of the suppliers' costs."
Wates spends £600 million a year on subcontract work including mechanical and electrical services, and another £60 million a year on maintenance, repair and operations, including office equipment and safety goods.
"At this stage, we are not sure if savings can be 10 per cent or 5 per cent, and are evaluating where we can unlock the potential."
He said Wates will increase the use of regional subcontractors in a bid to win more work from councils keen to support their local economies.
Parkinson was previously procurement manager for public-sector work at Wates with a budget of £300 million. Before joining the company, he spent three years as a category
manager for structures at construction services firm Carillion, where he controlled a budget of £200 million.
Wates has an annual turnover of £700-800 million and its projects include refurbishments for housing that is owned by social landlords and for schools. It was also involved in the refurbishment of London's St Paul's Cathedral.