Heathrow Airport will have the opportunity to establish a “new supply chain environment” should it get the go-ahead to build a new £16bn third runway.
Ian Ballentine, procurement director at the airport, told SM they were looking at creating a new “procurement hub” and an academy to train the workforce required should the UK government give Heathrow the nod.
“We’ve looked at how we can create a procurement hub, which is basically a manufacturing hub and consolidation centre, up in the north of England, and in Scotland,” he said.
Ballentine said they needed to consider skill levels and “do we ourselves need to grow some sort of academy centre, to develop a skilled workforce that can cope with the scale of this programme? Then what’s the legacy once you’ve done that, so we can sustain those skills for future opportunities?”.
He said they were planning to use small suppliers to boost innovation and to act as a “broker of opportunity” between different tiers of suppliers.
“That’s the trick with all of this, it’s not sort of standing still and waiting for the starting pistol, it’s to get everything in place ready to go,” he added.
“So all of our design strategies, our concept architect strategy, our logistics hub strategy, our client partner strategies, the academy; all of these things are all being worked on, but they’re not committing us money yet. Then when we get the green light, these things can all kick in.”
☛ The full interview with Ian Ballentine will appear in the all-new Supply Management, published on 21 January