Argent Energy spends a considerable amount on goods, services and works each year. Our values set out how we treat suppliers, and we want to ensure that our supplier selection process is understood.
Typically, we assess suppliers on the following criteria:
- Health & Safety Record – We assess the supplier’s track record of working safely. We check the supplier carries out regular training for employees and subcontractors.
- Suitability – We assess all suppliers to confirm they have a track record and the ability to deliver the goods and services Argent needs to meet our technical specification.
- Financial viability – We check that winning business will not lead to a supplier becoming over reliant on a contract with Argent. We also check suppliers’ abilities to manage the expected contract value, and the strength of their financial standing.
- Quality – We check suppliers’ commitment to continuous improvement. This includes checking the appropriate Quality Assurance certification, documented procedures and ISO accreditations.
- Sustainability policy and record – We assess how the supplier considers environmental factors such as pollution and ISO 14001. We also take into consideration social factor polices of suppliers such as employee and subcontractor labour standards.
- Whole life cost – We take a ‘cradle to grave approach’ by capturing all associated contract costs from transition, all the way through to the eventual contract close-down.
All the criteria above are evaluated by key stakeholders within the business before awarding any contracts. Throughout the process, we have regular meetings to ensure that all stakeholders are confident the supplier assessments are a fair reflection of each bidder’s proposal.
The following factors are considered, where appropriate, during the evaluation:
- Minimal use of new material in the product
- The use of recyclables rather than disposables
- Minimal or no environmental impact from the product or service life cycle
- Elimination of packaging where possible
- Reduced consumption of energy/water
- Elimination of toxicity where possible
- Avoidance of using single-use disposable items
- Waste disposal considerations (high recyclability)
Preference is given to suppliers who have:
- Sustainability values and commitments
- Sustainability certificates or awards
- Sustainability management systems or quality management systems.
- Full compliance with the Argent Supplier Code of Conduct.
N.B. To be considered to supply products and services to Argent Energy (as a vendor, contractor or sub-contractor), it is recommended that a registration is completed with Achilles (www.achilles.com), this includes a registration, qualification and audit process to comply with the buyer and industry risk management requirements.
Assessment of bids / Due diligence
Bids can be in response to:
- Request for Quotation (RFQ)
- Request for Proposal (RFP)
- Invitations to Tender (ITT)
In all cases, we use formal assessment models to find the best solution.
All bids will should be compliant with our terms and conditions unless there is clear benefit to amending/deviating from our standard terms and conditions.
We may use electronic methods to conduct the bid process e.g. online tendering and from time to time, reverse auctions. We may also want to visit new supplier offices/sites and ask them to provide client references. This is a chance for suppliers to represent themselves and fully explain their products, services and capabilities.
Once the bids have been assessed, the contract is then awarded to the highest scoring supplier(s).
After award of contract, we frequently review our suppliers against performance. Some contracts contain formal Key Performance Indicators (KPI) which are regularly checked; the results being shared with the supplier to form constructive feedback. We also encourage suppliers to give us feedback to assist with continuously improvement of the contract.
Our aim is to build strong working relationships with our key suppliers, in order to continually improve our performance and help deliver mutual benefits.
More information about Achilles UVDB and Verify Audit is available at www.achilles.com/uvdb
If you would like further information, advice or to register with Achilles, please contact the Achilles Team on (0)1235 861118 option 2.