Posted: 12 April 2019

In March 2015, TSS was approached by Kier to provide commercial assistance in their Street Lighting division. As part of the acquisition of May Gurney in 2013, Kier had also acquired Cartledge Streetlighting. Cartledge streetlighting was the third largest street lighting contractor in the UK when it was acquired by May Gurney in 2002.

At the time of the approach, Kier via Cartledge had 14 Local Authority Streetlight maintenance contracts generally around London, the Home Counties and South West England. The 14 contracts were being run as separate autonomous businesses, which altogether was turning over £30M per year.

Kier’s medium to long term goal was to integrate the Cartledge business into the wider Kier Highway’s business.

Following an initial brief to review contracts in Plymouth and Torbay, and the provision of commercial resources on other Cartledge contracts based in Harrow, our proposals were accepted and rolled out across the remaining Cartledge street lighting contracts.

The immediate actions for TSS to address were robust WIP management in order to provide solid financial reporting mechanisms. This was achieved by introducing the necessary control procedures and by the provision of weekly CVR reports on a contract by contract basis. Thereby, enabling that the:

  • Inputs (resources deployed)
  • Process (systems, procedures and methods of working)
  • Outputs (productivity and comparator information) and
  • Outcomes (client satisfaction and overarching contract deliverables)

could all be evaluated and for any necessary management/rectification action to be determined and implemented.

Initially, we split the task into two tranches, namely Mobilisation and then the continuing Management.

For the mobilisation tranche, we established a team drawn from our existing staff with experience and knowledge in this industry. Their task was to review the existing contracts individually and to undertake brown paper exercises to understand and then to develop a uniform system of processes and procedures for the commercial management of the contracts.

We reviewed each contract in detail to ensure that the new systems and processes could accommodate any contract specific requirements, whilst at the same time providing a standardised platform from which to provide a full suite of complete and effective management information that enabled both operational and financial improvements to be made.

Supported by TSS staff that have both highly developed IT skills, as well as an operational understanding of the business, we developed a robust commercial reporting regime that improved WIP management and remove the associated risks that are inherent with ad-hoc and disparate labour intensive manual systems.

Following mobilisation a robust reporting regime had been established, TSS assisted in the rationalisation and transition of the contracts into existing highway maintenance contracts.

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