EDF Energy Somerset Chamber of Commerce SWMAS Business West
  1. Clark Willmott – Supporting ambitious businesses on road to success

    October 22, 2019

    Clarke Willmott has been engaged with the construction of Hinkley Point C (HPC) since July 2010 when EDF Energy organised an initial local supply chain conference in Bridgwater attracting 140 attendees from businesses across Somerset.

    It was evident at the very earliest stages of consultation the prospects were substantial and potentially game- changing.

    A significant amount of energy and commitment was required as it was clear that due to the scale and complexity of the project, it would be a few years before contracts of significance would be awarded. However, just over 12 months after the initial local supply chain conference, contracts to the value of £9 million had been awarded to local companies, giving impetus and encouragement.

    From the initial conference and over the next few years Clarke Willmott focused their attention on developing relationships with those businesses owners who had ambition, drive and vision, often facilitated by the Hinkley Supply Chain team run by Somerset Chamber of Commerce. Like EDF Energy, Clarke Willmott saw the building of Hinkley Point C as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for positive and sustainable growth locally, regionally and nationally.

    The early work packages centred on site preparation and site-operation contracts. These included contracts related to accommodation, transportation, catering, reprographics and site infrastructure services in which Clarke Willmott were heavily involved. In particular, Clarke Willmott provided support to business owners wanting to join forces to create new businesses which could potentially achieve success through challenging, yet rewarding, contracts.

    The expertise which Clarke Willmott could draw from was extensive. Founded in Somerset more than 100 years ago, the firm operates from seven strategic centres in Taunton, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, London and Southampton employing over 600 staff and partners.

    Early work focused on corporate activity setting up joint ventures and consortia to create locally based companies such as Somerset Passenger Solutions (transportation) and FACE (reprographics), led by Corporate Partner Simon Smith.

    Once preferred bidder status was obtained, Construction Partner Zoe Stollard (pictured) advised these two new businesses, as well as HOST (accommodation) through the NEC3 contract process which for most was a new way of working requiring expert guidance. Clarke Willmott also advised one of the Somerset Larder (catering) JV partners on property and construction matters in relation to the Central Production Kitchen.

    It was clear that both Zoe and Simon required support which gave opportunities for others in the business to gain valuable experience, in particular, Hayley Steel, Partner – Construction, who has recently been promoted, Bethan Evans, Partner – Banking and Finance, Simone Protheroe, Construction – Solicitor, along with other solicitors and professionals.

    While much of the focus has been on NEC3 contracts, work has evolved into other areas including being instructed on commercial property, facilitating funding transactions, licencing, commercial law, immigration, contractual service frameworks agreements and particularly employment matters, as businesses involved had to scale up to meet demand. This has brought more of the extended team from many of the company’s offices throughout the country into contact with work at HPC.

    The firm has accelerated its engagement over the last 12 months in developing relationships throughout the nuclear energy sector by partnering and hosting the recent Nuclear South West industry event, becoming active members of the Wales Nuclear Forum, sharing views relating to the sector including diversity, skills, energy strategy and collaboration. This planned approach clearly demonstrates our commitment to the sector and clean energy generation. With a pool of experts who have gained experience of this unique project, the door is always open for an initial conversation to either help or signpost.

    Stephen Rosser (pictured), Clarke Willmott Chief Executive, said: “Having visited Hinkley Point C earlier this year, I fully appreciate the opportunities for all business including our own. To give our future talent the opportunity to learn new skills on a project of this magnitude is not to be underestimated. I am delighted that the core team of Zoe, Simon and Dale Edwards our Specialist Nuclear Energy and Infrastructure Consultant are spearheading growth and opportunity, supported by a growing team.

    “Nuclear energy generation has become an area of expertise which I and the Board are proud of. As the project moves into the construction phases I am confident the team and opportunities will develop further. It is also pleasing to see the firm taking such a proactive approach to supporting the overarching UK government plan for a low carbon energy generation solution with our nuclear experts working closely with our established renewable energy team.”

  2. Jays Logistics – Playing a key role to minimise HGV movements

    October 22, 2019

    Highbridge-based Jays Logistics (South West) is playing a key role to ensure lorry movements to and from the Hinkley Point C (HPC) construction site are kept to a minimum.

    Jays Logistics has been working with both Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers and their sub-contractors for the last few years to increase efficiency and help reduce the total amount of HGV movements.

    Supporting the HPC Project’s existing freight management facilities at M5 motorways junctions, the company has created its own Freight Consolidation Centre – which is officially supported by EDF Energy.

    Jays’ freight consolidation centre managed by Jays enables the company to offer both a daily freight consolidation service or multi-drop service for Tier 1 and Tier 2 HPC suppliers and their sub-contractors.

    The consolidation service means one lorry can travel to the HPC site carrying items for several contractors, rather than separate lorries driving to the site with part-loads, each one taking up a valuable delivery slot.

    Jays Logistics also offers a storage facility onsite at its Highbridge depot and is part of The Pallet Network (TPN), delivering nationwide, as well as throughout the South West.

    The company is part of the R T Keedwell group, which means it can provide a complete transport and distribution package through the group’s nine nationwide locations.

    Paul Phillips, Jays Logistics Operations Director, said engaging with the Hinkley Supply Chain Team had helped Jays Logistics to gain contacts and win work at HPC.

    “Getting in front of the right Tier 1 and Tier 2 people and gaining contacts for the site has been invaluable, while the team’s updates are very informative and crucial to keep up with the changing dynamic of HPC,” Paul said.At HPC, Jays Logistics has worked with Tier 1 contractors Bylor and Balfour Beatty for more than three years: “We have been involved with HPC for the last few years delivering various different loads for all Tier 1 contractors.

    “This ranges from full loads to consolidation vehicles delivering multi-drop to all the suppliers.“Our aim is to reduce the amount of delivery slots taken up by HGVs travelling to and from HPC, which, in turn, reduces the amount of traffic, especially HGV traffic, through Bridgwater and the surrounding areas,” Paul said.

    While the bulk of the work for HPC is centred around the development site itself, Jays Logistics is also working with contractors off-site, such as in Avonmouth and Filton, in Bristol.

    The Jays Logistics team also has access to HPC’s Delivery Management System which enables them to book and manage all deliveries directly to the site, without having to go through a third party.

    All their vehicles are site compliant – HPC is a nuclear secure site, meaning only pre-authorised vehicles and personnel are allowed access. Drivers have also had extensive training to gain permanent passes to the site.

    Paul added: “Our vehicles can take 20-30 separate deliveries at a time, servicing all delivery points on site and, by using our tail-lift fleet, we do not need mechanical help for most deliveries to site. “We offer a daily consolidation service for palletised freight, enhancing the supply chain by reducing the environmental carbon footprint and the impact on local communities by reducing lorry movements to and from site.”

  3. SGS UK Ltd focuses on the Hinkley Supply Chain by opening a new office in Shepton Mallet

    August 19, 2019

    SGS United Kingdom Ltd, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, has opened a second office in Somerset in readiness to bid for future contracts at Hinkley Point C.

    The company already operates from a base at Worle Parkway providing audit services and has now opened an office in Shepton Mallet following the acquisition of local digital company i2i Infinity Ltd.

    This expansion into the South West also includes the creation of a new business development team in response to feedback received from a recent HPC Routes to Market workshop attended by SGS managers at the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre.

    Neil Hunt, Business Development Manager – Industrial Services, said: “Attending the workshop gave us a clear idea of the demands of the Hinkley Supply Chain and what we needed to do to become a part of it.

    “It quickly became clear there was a need for a greater presence in the area to enable SGS to have an increased focus on identifying and bidding on upcoming work packages for Hinkley Point C.

    “The next step will be to take part in the Hinkley C Supplier Induction Programme as 80 per cent of previous delegates are already either bidding on contracts or have won work at HPC.”

    Mr Hunt said it was important SGS did all it could to maximise its opportunities to win work at Hinkley Point C and attending the induction programme and workshop meant it would be in the strongest possible position to be successful.

    Founded in 1878, SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity and has more than 97,000 employees, across a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

    The acquisition of i2i Infinity Ltd gives SGS a unique opportunity to act as the facilitator of global trade compliance and the partner of choice for digital solutions.

    SGS already provides government and institution services, which will be complemented further by i2i Infinity Ltd. The company is the leading provider of Electronic Certificates of Origin in the UK and has provided customs compliance services to exporters and chambers of commerce using innovative proprietary software solutions for over 30 years.

    The Shepton Mallet office is located at Harvest Court, in Park Road, and will also accommodate the expansion of SGS Industrial Services division into the region, which provide asset management services covering the full life cycle of an asset’s life.

    These services include, but are not limited to:

    • Vendor Surveillance Services (Supply Chain)
    • ASME authorised agency
    • Destructive Testing – UKAS accredited ISO 17025 Materials Testing laboratories both Mechanical and Coating & Polymers.
    • Non Destructive Testing (NDT)
    • Valve Testing and Certification
    • Hazardous Area ATEX Inspection and Testing
    • Product Certification – Notified body for PED and TPED – UKAS accredited ISO 17020
    • LOLER Inspections – Accredited to ISO/IEC 17020
    • PUWER Inspections – Accredited to ISO/IEC 17020
    • PSSR Inspections – Accredited to ISO/IEC 17020
    • Asset Management Audits – ISO 55001
    • Technical Staffing Services

  4. Hydroline Solutions Ltd – Consistent strong and steady growth

    August 16, 2019

    Neil Elliott started Hydroline Solutions in 2011. It was a brave move, against the advice of friends and family who valued his success working as an employee in water engineering; first irrigation and then water pipelines. Neil had seen an unsatisfied demand for a quality water pipeline contractor. He followed his instincts and took the plunge!

    His working life as an engineer had taught him the clear lessons of delivering quality and of getting it right first time; attributes which would set his business ahead of the pack. The quality approach was rewarded, gaining the recognition of big, respected players in the water infrastructure sector. This included Costain who not only granted the fledgling company ‘Strategic Partner’ status within their supply chain but also awarded their ‘Defining Blue’ Award for exceptional performance.

    Of course starting a business is a risk. The peculiar risk in the water infrastructure sector derives from the way it is funded. As a result of the privatisation of the industry, five year asset management plans (“AMP”s) were introduced linking water companies’ performance to allowable price increases.

    Hydroline Solutions, which is based in Catcombe near Somerton, was established one year into AMP5, pretty good timing within the often accused boom and bust cycle created for contractors in the industry.

    It is certainly true that spending peaks significantly in the central 18 months of each plan cycle after which work tails off. According to research, supplying design and construction services in the industry often lose 40% of their staff in the winding down phase of the cycle and this leads to many withdrawing from the sector. Certainly a risk to a young water pipelines contractor but it’s been managed at Hydroline.

    Not long after setting up the business, Neil embraced an initiative for the nearby Hinkley Point C project, one of the largest and most complex construction projects in Europe, to leave an economic legacy in the local area. Neil would say he just went along and when the time came, delivered.

    There have been significant demands on the development of the business along the way but the process has worked. The diversification has helped maintain consistent strong and steady growth throughout the early life of the business, outweighing the AMP tail off. Hydroline Solutions has steadily grown its directly employed workforce every year at an average of 44% per annum.

    Its anchor project at Hinkley was The Construction Operations Management Alliance (COMA) group, a Tier 1 partnership arrangement of three south west businesses providing construction utilities and enabling services to the project, one of the largest construction sites in Europe, which will deliver the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for a generation.

    The alliance was formed in 2015 and in July the same year, was announced as one of five local supplier appointments. This was even before EDF Energy’s Final Investment Decision.

    These announcements followed three years of innovative and intensive activity by the suppliers,  EDF Energy’s Project Delivery team and the Somerset Chamber of Commerce. The approach taken by EDF Energy focused on developing a partnership approach to delivering project needs, giving the local supply chain the opportunity to work up viable, competent and competitive proposals. Large infrastructure projects in the UK had not engaged with local supplier groups in this way before.

    This partnership approach has been sustained by the three member companies; Wessex Water, Hydroline Solutions and MMES2012, with a philosophy of taking the experience and expertise of each member of the group to develop a learning and supportive culture. The group’s pride in promoting a safe working environment to deliver top quality services to HPC was recognised when it won the Best Safety Performance – Local Supplier award at the HPC Excellence Awards 2018.

    The group is responsible for delivering a range of services to HPC and its associated development sites. These include; potable water supplies, water drainage systems, roadway and pedestrian walkway lighting systems, electrical distribution systems, environmental recovery work and specific civil engineering enabling works.

  5. Custom Labels – Flexibility, skills and experience

    August 16, 2019

    A BRIDGWATER company is now one of the country’s leading asset label suppliers thanks to an ambitious expansion programme which has ensured it can continue to deliver a wide range of products to the Hinkley Point C (HPC) Site.

    Over the last five years, Custom Labels has invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in new machinery to cope with increased demand. The new equipment has also enabled the company to expand the range of products it can offer contract partners at HPC.

    Based at the Woodlands Court Business Park, in Bristol Road, Custom Labels has been based in Bridgwater for over 20 years, steadily growing and always employing locally.

    As a Tier 2 supplier to ARC-UK Reprographic Contract (FACE) at HPC, Custom Labels has produced over 60 pieces of work for direct use at Site. This includes a large asset labelling project which saw the company produce 50,000 units for use on various parts of equipment in the Site’s temporary offices.

    They have also provided products which are used by many of the main contractors, such as Bylor, as well as supplying EDF Energy directly for projects outside of HPC.

    The firm prides itself on its skills and expertise in producing premium asset labels and, after constant investment in digital printing, specialises in fully customised label solutions, particularly those with variable data. This includes logos, colour matches and any kind of sequential information, such as QR Codes and barcodes.

    Adam Long, Sales and Marketing Manager at Custom Labels, said: “We have flexibility and experience in printing orders from one label up to one million and boast a clientele of some of the world’s largest companies – these include Whitbread, Hobart, B&Q, EDF Energy, BBC, ITV, Jaguar/Land Rover, Eaton, Amey and Mitie.

    “We also offer a wide range of other types of labels, such as warranty, cable, pipe-line, calibration, product and industrial labels, along with highly durable fascia. We pretty much have the capacity to produce a label for any kind of application and the capacity respond to enquiries large and small.”

    Adam said Custom Labels had received good support from the Hinkley Supply Chain Team and they had helped them gain invaluable knowledge to win contracts and succeed as part of the HPC supply chain.

    “Sam (Evans) came to visit us and gave us some great advice on how to increase our exposure to different kinds of contractors/potential suppliers to the project.

    “She also recommended potential networking events which she thought it would be useful for us to go to. Her advice was invaluable to us, we would not have been able to gain this from anywhere else.

    “Without the Hinkley Supply Chain Team we would have never gained this kind of information and hopefully we will see an increase in business off the back of this,” he said.

    Among the many products Custom Labels is now able to offer, following its investment in new equipment, are highly-durable under-surface tags. These can be used in testing applications, such as on-hire equipment/tools on building sites or for use on oil rigs and other mechanical environments.

    The company has also invested in its premises – in 2018 they took on an additional industrial unit, giving staff a third more space and enabling a more planned, spacious production environment for even greater efficiency.

    It also means the company is future-proofed, with the space to buy additional equipment or to hold stock for any job that may arise from HPC.

    Adam added: “We always use premium products, value quality as being of prime importance and offer fully customised designs, including logo’s and brand colours at no extra cost.

    “Asset labels are vital to any business, they act as a deterrent to the theft and relocation of valuable assets. Workplace theft can cost businesses millions and could cause costly downtimes in labour, as staff have no equipment to work with.

    “We recently won a large contract over competitors to supply asset tags to Whitbread. After having experienced problems in the past from buying poor quality asset tags, Whitbread undertook a strenuous testing period and concluded that our labels were the best for the job.”


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