Building a head of steam – Philip King’s blog
24 April 2014
I was asked by BIS in the middle of last year to draft a Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter for the Construction Leadership Council, a 30-strong body chaired jointly by business secretary Vince Cable and Chairman of HS2 David Higgins to drive the implementation of the sector’s industrial strategy as set out in the document ‘Construction 2025’. I’ve spent the last few months working with colleagues in BIS talking to many organisations and individuals in order to reach agreement on wording that would be accepted by all parties across the supply chain. Construction is one of the most complex sectors and the range of views is wide and diverse. Not surprisingly it has been a difficult journey with some challenging meetings and conversations and much vigorous debate.
I was therefore delighted that the Charter was launched earlier this week with the agreement of the Construction Leadership Council and some very significant players in the sector have already agreed to sign up to the 11 fair payment principles that it contains. The CLC is looking to drive transformational change and the Charter reflects that aspiration in its content.
Signatories to the Charter agree to be monitored by reporting against a set of agreed key performance indicators and the next stage in the journey is agreeing what the KPIs should be and how best to monitor and report against them. As with all worthwhile achievements, it will take effort, hard work, and a degree of pain to get the desired outcome but the reporting and measurement are fundamental and key to ensuring the Charter has credibility and delivers what was intended. I’m up for the challenge and looking forward to the next few weeks and months as we work from words to a demonstration that those words are being translated into actions and outcomes. One of the cornerstones of credit management is ensuring customers pay on time, and it’s therefore appropriate that the Institute of Credit Management is instrumental in driving behavioural change to improve the payment culture. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far and I relish the opportunities ahead.