2023 SRM Research Report - Extended Enterprise





Building better connections

The company surveyed more than 100 of its top suppliers in 2022 to better understand how suppliers and partners viewed Transurban, and to gauge any opportunities or issues. The survey was part of a major ‘listening’ exercise that included interviews with industry stakeholders, employees, government officials and customers, as well as a further survey of more than 400 community members. Called ‘Project Listen’ the exercise provided feedback that helped Transurban to understand and address what was most important to its stakeholders. It soon became the “biggest catalyst and genesis for change” says Head of Procurement Mark Sheldrick, who joined the company last year. “We learned we were not getting the most we could out of some of our relationships with suppliers.” Some suppliers were keen for more information about Transurban’s strategy and priorities and hoped to enhance ways of working together, including putting forward new ideas and thoughts. The company realised an enterprise-wide, centralised approach would help it to enhance risk management, build stronger relationships, assess potential innovation, boost consistency and introduce new ways of working.

This is particularly important since Transurban outsources a large portion of its business to suppliers, some of whom have contracts that run for a decade or more. Its website points out it has a direct workforce of 3,000 but a total workforce of 9,000. “Suppliers are critical to our objectives and goals, which is why we want to invest more in these relationships.” What’s more, the timing was right, says Sheldrick, who has driven transformational change in the past and was able to draw on that skill- set and experience to contribute to The first step was to gather more data. Following on from the high- level feedback collected in Project Listen, Sheldrick’s team ran a Voice of the Supplier survey to gain more insight and a State of Flux team carried out a current- state assessment, which included interviews with internal stakeholders. Those activities gathered additional evidence that change was required and could generate improvements. “We wanted to get different perspectives and views to help us to solve business challenges and enable us to work more collaboratively to create further value,” says Sheldrick. “The research resulted in some really good insights and intel, which provided us with good ammunition.” the change at Transurban. Managing the messaging

The feedback chimed with procurement’s desire to perform a more strategic and early advisory role for internal stakeholders and to engage more deeply internally and externally. And so, work began on what a more formal SRM programme could and should look like. “The next step was about persuading people that change would benefit them - and looking at what they could expect to see out of an SRM programme.” Sheldrick says some stakeholders “got it straight away” while others were more resistant to the change or feared another layer of procurement- based bureaucracy. “For some, the perception was that procurement would try to control their supplier relationship, and they didn’t wish to relinquish control.” Sheldrick and his team had to explain this was not the case. “We wish to partner them so we can add more value. Procurement looks at suppliers through a different lens that considers social licence, sustainability, commercial value- add, cost optimisation (if need be), health and safety and so on. We effectively corral the different parts of the organisation and contribute to the supplier relationship.” The team invested a lot of time and effort into engaging internal stakeholders to build its business case. They listened too when the feedback was to hold off discussing a tech solution until much later in the process.

Australia-based road-operating company Transurban is on a journey to improved supplier management.

“The biggest catalyst and genesis for change came from ‘Project Listen’, which gave us tremendous insight into

where we could enhance our relationships with suppliers.” Mark Sheldrick , Head of Procurement, Transurban



Powered by