We recently caught up with Supply Chain Manager Daniel Eldridge, to discuss his role at Prater and the importance of collaboration.
“One of the things I love about my role at Prater is that there isn’t a typical day in the life of the Supply Chain Manager. Dealing with over 90 supply chain partners across multiple projects at any one time can be a challenge, but one that I thrive on.
At Prater, a Supply Chain Manager fulfils two key roles. To support the buying team to achieve maximum profitability for a project, and act as a liaison for our supply chain partners.
My remit includes developing relationships across all disciplines within our supply chain. This involves both monitoring and evaluating the current and future capabilities of partners – helping us to ensure they will meet the on-going needs of our business.
We place a great deal of emphasis on the strength of our supply chain, as these relationships form the backbone of our business. A collaborative ethos between partners facilitates the sharing of ideas, methodologies and experiences - building trust and expanding both businesses’ knowledgebase.
Due to the importance we place on our supply chain relationships, we will always look beyond ‘lowest cost’ when seeking a new partnership and instead its about long-term value and benefits. Quality is something that is engrained in our philosophy and everything we do is rooted to this concept. This has enabled us to build a well-established and loyal supply chain that we work hard to maintain.
The method behind this approach is both practical and philosophical. Any organisation that we partner with must share the same ethos of long-term collaboration. Adopting this behaviour creates the right environment to work together as a team to tackle any challenges we may face on a project – encouraging creativity and allowing innovation to flourish.
These relationships help us to overcome some of the historical hurdles linked with collaboration. The construction industry can be adversarial, with a tendency to hoard knowledge and information to maintain a competitive edge. Building for the long-term rather than on a ‘project by project’ basis helps us to avoid this mind-set by inspiring confidence in our supply chain partners.
It is crucial for our partners to understand the direction Prater is taking. We have long recognised the positive impact BIM and modern methods of construction can have on projects. We encourage our supply chain partners to embrace these methodologies. This enables both parties to plan, adapt and evolve to meet market conditions.
A good collaborative relationship is one that has matured beyond the traditional methods of working together. It is built on mutual trust and a commitment to work through issues together, so we can collectively learn and share our experiences.”